Acapulco really is lovely at this time of year.
As I sit on a narrow wooden pier on the Mexican seafront with my best friend Dr. Max Tunguska*, my feet feel heavy; it's late afternoon, and it really has been a long and eventful day for the pair of us.
( * Yes, yes, the arch-genius-formerly-known-as-iDifficult. I miss him too.)
Neither of us is dressed for dinner at the Ritz, but we're perfectly attired for our surroundings: I'm sporting an Hawaiian shirt and some very cool board shorts, set off jauntily by a straw hat and some retro shades; Max is resplendent in a lime green safari suit and tinfoil panama hat.
Behind us, a new acquaintance fusses over some details, making preparations for our evening. We're waiting while he looks for something, and we aren't going anywhere quickly. Despite the rigours of the day, we slip into easy conversation.
It's nice to get away every once in a while, I sigh, the ease of a thousand miles of separation washing over me.
Yeah, agrees Max, adjusting his hat brim to reflect the lowering sun. I was going to spay the squiddrel today. He sighs, perhaps with relief. It can wait. What would you be doing at home right now?
Oh good grief, a dozen things, most likely, I reflect vaguely, and probably all at once. I wave an equally vague hand around us. That makes this place all the more fun.
As any busy person will tell you, boredom is a luxury. But as a confirmed and somewhat advanced slacker (a fractal slacker in fact), I find that boredom is a bummer. I'm only truly relaxed when ignoring things that I should be doing, rather than having nothing to do.
This is kind of an slacking axiom.
A brief jostling of the pier drags me from this train of thought, and I glance back, catching a glimpse of our companion - a short, suited figure - as he goes about his business, muttering in Spanish. There's an earthy, animal smell in the air that the sea breeze isn't dispelling.
Max doesn't seem to have noticed and smiles quietly to himself, the very picture of relaxation. I must admit, that apart from a few details of the day, I'm feeling very much the same.
I really enjoyed dinner. My mind is rarely far away from food, a truth to which my tailor will attest.
The lobster was excellent. His belly gurgles absently.
You really shouldn't have eaten that eighth one.
Max feigns offence and grins broadly. Well, you'd eaten all the pizzas!
I take a huffy tone and defend myself admirably. Look, I needed something to put all that caviar on!
We laugh hugely, but are cut short by a spat Hispanic curse from our rear. We share a glance and start to turn, but start as the third member of our party leaps forward to seize an ear on each of us. The tiny wooden pier creaks beneath us, which is hardly surprising considering how heavy his Mexican accent is.
You sons of beetches, you eat for twenty peoples!
The armadillo rears up on his hind legs to his full height, which is just sufficient to menace our earlobes as we sit, twisted, our hands uncomfortably behind us. We try to pull back, but his tiny claws are sharp and strong.
Despite our predicament, I marvel again at what a dashing figure the armadillo cuts for an armoured mammal: a black suit with a white pinstripe; an immaculate white shirt paired with an eye-watering turquoise tie; a similarly-hued kerchief poking from his breast pocket; and a tiny black hat that would have suited Sinatra sits squarely on his narrow head.
You theenk you can eat everything in my restaurant?! he bellows, spitting incredulity all over my shades.
Well, it was an All-You-Can-Eat buffet! The needle-clawed paws twist viciously on our ears and I let out a yelp. Max hisses my way, equally pained,
Yeah, too bad it was run by the Armadillo Mafia.
With a final curse, the grip is released, but his deft digits snap handcuffs onto the pair of us before we can raise our hands to nurse our mauled lugs. Lurching between us with no regard for his shoulder pads, the armadillo mobster gazes over the edge of the pier at the personal blocks of concrete encasing our feet; the aching in my ankles is quite insistent now.
The tide, she is ready now I theenk. The mammal chuckles, and aims a kick at Max's knee. Any last words before you sleep with the feeshes, dog?
Max ponders this for a moment before responding brightly, Yeah, the enchiladas were superb. The crystallised jalapeños particularly. There he goes again, thinking with his stomach. Still, he's right, and our captor knows it; the mammal touches the brim of his hat with momentary good grace.
Si. It is my wife's recipe. She thanks you. He steps in front of me, and again the pier groans under our combined weight. And you?
Um, yes! I wiggle my hips to a chorus of shrieking timbers. This pier is really shoddy! Especially with all this cement dangling from it! I kick my feet to the clonk of concrete against wood. I know some badger engineers who could design and build you a proper one.
I'm rewarded with a howl of derision.
Badgers?! he spits. We don' need no steenkin' badgers!
A moment later, the diminutive don heaves us from the pier.
As we fall, I reflect that we always strive to take it easy; it comes easily to us most of the time. But sometimes our appetites get the better of us.
Acapulco really is hot at this time of year.
Tho the water is still quite cold.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012