Many of you have asked me why I don’t drink. I could say that it is because pills are so much better but that would only be half the answer. The other half comes in hundreds, maybe thousands, of individual reasons. The Cake Incident is but one of those reasons.
Costa Rica is a lush subtropical paradise replete with an amazing array of wildlife, beautiful jungles with lush flora and fauna and white sand beaches that boast the best surf in Central America. It was in this idyllic setting that I almost either became a political prisoner, minus the politics, or became Jaguar kibble and bits. And bits. And bits. –Sorry, that was probably an OCD thing where I had to type all that because that was how it sounded in my head and if you all didn’t ‘hear’ it the way I did then the world would suffer a zombie apocalypse. And I didn’t want to be the cause of that.
We had been there for a week, surfing, almost dying while surfing, doing coke, playing with the monkeys and drinking excessively. Well I had anyway, my wife pretty much lay in the sun and did respectable people’ things. By this time I could tell that my hard vacationing lifestyle was beginning to take its toll and make her irritated and ragey. I figured it out by the way she was yelling at me and telling me to go pet the poison darts frogs and feed the coral snake. Because I’m perceptive like that.
I decided to go down to the beach and have a few more vodkas while I ate my dinner of the little green olives that came with my vodkas while I figured out how to make her stop wanting to kill me. Not drinking was too easy, it never would have worked. After a few more drinks I forgot what I was trying to figure out and went home in a ‘spectacular’ mood. By ‘spectacular’ I mean obliviated. But when I got home Wifey was all murdery again just because it was 3am, like I’m somehow responsible for the linear qualities of time and space. – I wasn’t responsible for that but I don’t think she ‘understood’ that.
That’s when it dawned on me like a cartoon thought bubble, “She loves chocolate and she loves cake! Both chocolate and cake seem to make her more happy and less murdery! If I could find her an amalgamation of the two, a chocolate cake if you will, she’ll be powerless against the delightful concoction! Not only will she forget about murder but she’ll probably turn into a motherfucking leprechaun and lead me to a basket of blood diamonds!” –I’m not really sure why I thought the last part; I get weird and delusional when I’m that drunk. Then I realized that I had seen such a cake while I drank vodka and she ate dinner the day before, and so I knew I had my solution.
It was without word or warning that I set out upon my quest to subdue Wifey with a chocolate cake, and possibly find a cashe of ill-gotten diamonds in the process. The only problem was that due to my inability to manipulate time it was now past 3am and I had very little motor control or brain power left in my arsenal.
I made my way through the jungle paths that connected our cottage with the rest of the hotel and the restaurant. After getting lost a few times and falling down a few times I finally found the open air restaurant. It was pitch black and completely deserted. This didn’t faze me at all. I simply climbed the little fence that separated the kitchen from the restaurant, fell down, climbed it again, then fell down on the inside part. I rummaged through a few refrigerators until I found the ‘forgiveness cake’ for Wifey and a bunch of cooked hamburger patties for me. I was already stealing food; I might as well have a bite too, right? So I sat on the kitchen floor and ate hamburger patties covered in ketchup until I started to feel sick. I then threw the cake (which was in a box) over the fence and somehow managed to get back over it myself.
I tried to make my way back to Wifey with my noble gesture but I got lost and felt sick, so I decided to fall into the weeds of the jungle 10 feet off the path and pass out until security from the hotel found me.
My plan worked to perfection. They also apparently knew how I’d come upon the crushed box of cake on my chest as well, due to the well placed and monitored security cameras throughout the property. After yelling at me in Spanish they brought me to my cottage and made Wifey promise not to let me out again that night.
I’m really lucky that they found me at all and even luckier that they didn’t have me arrested but they’re probably used to drunk people trying to steal cake for their pissed off wives. They didn’t let her have the cake though, even after all my effort. I’ll bet they were ‘on the take’ and ate the crushed up cake and that’s why they let me off, now that I think about it.
Afterward she seemed twice as murdery for some reason. Probably because she got screwed out of her cake by the dirty security men and it made her bitter. So in the spirit of compromise I promised to cut down a little, and did, for the rest of the trip.
That’s one reason that I don’t drink anymore; because it severely impairs my ability to steal cake.
I’m not sure if I died or not, but I’ll get to that later. I’ve had more than my fair share of almost dying, but this was by far the closest I’ve come. This particular near death experience took place the first time I went to Costa Rica.
See, I learned to surf on the gulf coast of Florida, where on an average day you could find me riding 18 inch waves like a veteran Hawaiian Tropic pro. I did surf during a couple of tropical storms and hurricanes and even got called in by the local police on a bullhorn. So in my mind, I am the great Bodhi, Johnny Utah, or one of those other characters from “Point Break.”
So I’m understandably over the moon to go to Costa Rica for not only the perfect waves, but also because the place is teeming with monkeys. The people who know me, know I love monkeys. I’m almost obsessed with them. Even my facebook picture features me with a monkey. Before I die, I will own a mansion filled with monkeys. I’ll …I’ll …never mind, I have to let the monkeys go for now.
Anyway, after my first really long night in Costa Rica (which involved copious amounts of really cheap South American beer) I was stoked to hit to the beach. When I finally broke through the thick, rain forest vegetation I was awed; beautiful white sand, pure azure water forming utterly majestic waves.
Even though I was sporting an impressive hangover, it was with an exuberant smile and a spring in my step that I went to rent a board. As the nice rental man kept muttering in Spanish and crossing himself, I began to feel a twinge of doubt. I felt a moment of pure trepidation as he looked at my wife with a mixture of sympathy and regret and as he kept wincing while handing over the board. As I left him and wondered toward the sea, my ego had returned to all if its 30 something year old glory.
As I made my way out to sea, I noticed that there were only a couple of kids (all about 17 or 18) busy cutting it up out there. It didn’t bother me that they all looked like Hawaiian surfing competition pros, or that the waves were 15 to 20 feet high. It didn’t bother me that there were only natives; hell, I’m a native on the infamous gulf coast. I live on the water. I’m a Pisces. I’m probably even in better shape than these damn kids with their damn hair, damn drugs and damn music.
They kept talking to me in Spanish, which at the time I couldn’t really speak, so I just smiled and nodded. I did wonder about all the concerned, anxious looks though. It turns out that they were talking about the worst rip-tide they’ve seen in years. Oops.
The waves were breaking way, way out, but I managed to get out there seemingly without effort. I am a bad ass after all. I noticed almost everybody else was now on shore. They all probably went in to watch the talented, good looking American ‘tear shit up.’ Ah ..probably?
As I deftly went under the last few waves to take me past the break point, an exhausted native kid with flippers came and clutched my board for dear life. He mutters in broken English about how brutal it is and how he needs a break before trying to go ashore again. After trying to communicate for a couple minutes, he finally lets go and dives under the water to head ashore (with his flippers) leaving me to concentrate on surfing. Only now I’m starting to wake up to what’s actually going on. I realize that I can hardly see where the waves are breaking anymore, and can barely see the beach. If I had to guess, I’d say I was 3 miles from shore. Uh oh….shit..fuck. The lifeguard-less shore where people are now standing and pointing at the diminishing dot where the horizon meets the sea….
To be continued…