Sunday, October 31

Live from Negril, Jamaica 11/1/04

(Actually I wrote this yesterday, but I didn't get to the internet bar until today.)

It takes the removing of one's self from the country in question (USATB, or The Un-united States of America Thanks to Bush) to obtain the moral and psychological clarity to see that because Osama bin Laden pops up to tell that country, "Howdy! I'm still here" - it's fabulous news for the Bush campaign! That's the conclusion of the CNN pundits whose network manages to seep into the Jamaican TV landscape.

Yes, the videotaped proof that American Enemy Number One can run and can hide from Bush to attack another day indeed spells absolute doom for - of course - John Kerry. And to think we all believed that Bush's capturing of OBL was the October surprise! This is even better than Karl Rove could have possibly dreamed in the deepest depravity of his sheer genius! But there he is - OBL on videotape putting down both guys - proving beyond all doubt that this wasn't some historical footage, as Condi Rice would call it...but a tape made . If Kerry doesn't drop out of the race this weekend, he's crazy!

For the benefit of those who aren't catching the extreme sarcasm, allow me to turn it off.

WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON BACK THERE? OBL's alive, and that's good for BUSH!?! Because it reminds Americans what we're fighting against, and that Bush is the man best suited to fight this guy...who...he still hasn't...y'know. Caught. Or even irritated. Think about that. Bush hasn't even annoyed bin Laden. In fact, from what I saw, bin Laden got some pretty tricked-out video equipment since we saw him last.

Folks, Jamaicans are laughing at our government. They are. A country whose voting choice is always between the Jamaican Labour Party and the Jamaican Labour Party Lite? THEY'RE LAUGHING AT US! They wonder why any living soul who can add two single-digit numbers together and have the common sense of an average house fly would want to re-elect "dat crazy mon."

Why? Because we're Americans, dammit. And we're not gonna let no other country tell us what crazy mon to waste our vote on. (Sarcasm again.) It does seem so simple - no matter where you are. And yet, no one seems able (or willing) to make sense of it.

But here we are. As I write this, I'm on the cliffs of Negril looking westward at the vast sea, knowing that over the horizon, people are paying twice as much as we are to stay in Costa Rica. The difference between there and here? Trees.

Yes, Hurricane Ivan did a splendid job of removing just about every shade-producing vegetation from this part of the island. We're seeing it eight weeks after Ivan, and I gotta say that I'm more surprised at what survived than I am at what didn't. While walls and roofs were destroyed, the little thatched-roof bar which our friend Dennis runs was practically spared in pristine condition, along with his Red Stripe stock, which we plowed through last night.

I must say, that despite everyone seeming totally exhausted from getting the area ready for the start of the season next month, spirits are running high, and the people are still an absolute joy to be with. Everyone has a great Ivan story, and we have two weeks to absorb them all.

Also still in business are the mosquitoes - my favorite pet away-from-home whenever we're here. This time, we not only brought the repellent of the gods, but a Sunbeam bug zapper ($24.99 at Costco). The first night, we toasted about 15 of the little bastards, and we were feeling pretty full of ourselves. That is until this morning as I was brushing my teeth, and the following conversation took place.


ME: Hhph?

MOSQUITO: Here. On the wall.

ME: (spitting) What?

MOSQUITO: Well played. That Sunbeam thing.

ME: Well, the citronella was useless and the coils are lethal to everyone except mosquitoes and why the hell am I talking to a mosquito? And more important, why the hell aren't you speaking Patois?

MOSQUITO: Doesn't matter. So what are you using for skin protection?

ME: Avon Bug Guard Expedition. It works!*
* - Not a paid endorsement

MOSQUITO: Yeah? C'mere. Lemme clue you in. C'mere. I won't bite.

ME: Yes you will.

MOSQUITO: Okay. I'll give you that. But I wanted to clue you in. See what's left of those trees out there? We've been through a friggin' hurricane that shut down the hotel next door. How do I look?

ME: Uh...good I guess.

MOSQUITO: So your spray from Avon's SKin-So-Soft division and that little spark machine in the bedroom? Please.

ME: Gotcha. Can I give you anything to send your guys over to the yuppies in the next villa and leave us alone?

MOSQUITO: No. Sorry. Democratic meat is much better.

ME: But not as thin-skinned as we used to be.

MOSQUITO: Does EVERYTHING you do - even this imaginary conversation with a damned mosquito - ALWAYS have to be political? Now, rinse and we'll talk again.

ME: No we won't. (SLAP)

MOSQUITO: Now you've pissed me off.
So Bullitt, a pissed off mosquito and I will learn to coexist for the next two weeks. After November 2nd, we expect all of you to do the same. It's a metaphor for something, but I'm too relaxed to recognize it. Peace.

(Internet service provided by Easy Rock Cafe. Internet and cold beer. Sweet.)