29 August 2015

You’re Either Very Smart . . . Or Incredibly Stupid

Fight, fight! It’s a slippery slope here on the mountain. Lots o’ rowdiness lately, as evidenced by this gecko-meets-scorpion encounter. We’ve shown this photo to numerous locals and expats, all of whom seem stunned . . . none realizing that geckos preyed on scorpions, or vice versa.

Our Internet is so lightening-fast that I’m reticent to utter aloud how thrilled we are. Baseball, streaming radio, YouTube. Fluke? Sun spots? Regardless, it makes for an easy Google search of gecko/scorpion lifestyles . . . and we all know that the Internet is authoritative. Who can say what was on this gecko’s (smart? stupid?) mind; but evidently what happened here is that the gecko thought it would eat the scorpion (maybe . . . perhaps), but foolishly underestimated the neuro-toxin of the scorpion, which paralyzed the gecko allowing the scorpion to feed at its leisure. 

Indeed, after removing both from the interior screen, the little gecko did seem paralyzed but somewhat alive (or perhaps just floppy and mostly dead), while the scorpion was most definitely alive and well . . . until it met my flip-flop.

Sally, my dear girly-girl friend, I hate to break the news . . . you’re just not gonna make it here without a handful of Xanax and your big-girl panties.

Then, Jill had her first fight. We know our terrier. Beloved though she may be, conferred Canine Good Citizen that she is, she’s sassy. Where she gets that attitude is a complete mystery. One afternoon we had a small gathering on the terrace enjoying snacks and a few glasses of wine when, BAM, Jill was down. Now I didn’t see what started it. Frankly, I didn’t need to see what started it. I am confident that Jill started it . . . but the larger dog had every intention of finishing it. Jaws were pried, and Jill was removed to her A/C in the bedroom, quite shaken, thrice punctured. It literally scared the poop out of her. She was a tad sore for a day or two . . . and milked it for all it was worth. We hope that she’s learned her lesson. Right. Hope . . . God knows I live on it.

Speaking of lessons, Jill has clearly not learned the lesson of the slippery slope. About two weeks ago she chased away an orange interloper cat. Good girl! Unfortunately she chased it down the hillside; and this time, at dusk, she slid all the way to the river bed. Yes, Rusty donned his gloves and boots (no time for brush pants) and down he went, rope in hand. I was left with the task of hauling him up using that ancient technique of leverage. Our slippery slope changes depending on the amount of recent rain . . . or lack thereof. Anyway, Rusty readily acknowledged that he was not going to make it back up without help. I envisioned a 911 call to our closest neighbors, Tom and Lubos, saying Come get Rusty, but snag Jill first. Maybe not. So, I truly believed that I was acquainted with the concept of leverage. Well acquainted. Evidently when it comes to leverage with a rope and a metal rail . . . not so much. I could easily have lost both Rusty and Jill. Rusty now stores the rescue kit on the terrace, including glow-in-the-dark rope. 

When the rescue event was over and everyone had a cocktail in their hand (or bowl), I had a little lesson in how to properly use a rope to create leverage. I still bear the bruises. Then, the very next night, on the eve of our departure for Texas, our Jill did the very same thing with the very same interloper. We fully anticipated returning from Texas to hear from Tonio and Javier the tale of Jill being swept down-river, all the way to the Buena Vista estuary, to become crocodile fodder. And this tale would have been understandable in that who’s gonna ask dear Tonio to risk his life for a spoiled, willful 17-pound terrier. Okay, Cynthia would . . . I can almost guarantee it.

On the slippery slope of cultural competency, I may have made an unintentional social faux-pas . . . or two. You’re stunned, right? Every morning I awake with some song in my head. Earworms. Following Hilary’s translation of the Spanish lyrics to In These Shoes, they’re stuck; and I’m singing or humming the full chorus all day. Our Tonio constantly sings (I think he’s part Italian tenor). I sing Como se puede bailar? Es un escandolo. Singing about a scandal may not be quite proper. On the other hand, who knows the topics of Tonio’s songs?

My world is wholly complete. [Is that redundant?] As if our new neighbors were not enough (more on that later), we have a new papaya tree. It jumped right out of the pool-side palms. Maybe shade at the pool won’t be such an issue after all. I’m lying – shade remains for me a huge issue. Anyway, after a recent lunch on the beach, off we went to the Super Iguana Verde . . . for you southerners, imagine 7-11 meets Central Market. Before glancing at my shopping list, I usually just wander the aisles to see what new treats have arrived. When we’re both at the big green iguana, Rusty and I separate so that we can independently cull through the goodies (and sometimes there’s absolutely nothing good . . . it’s a crap shoot). This particular visit Rusty crept up beside me, gently touched my elbow, and whispered, “Eduardo has something for you.” Rusty immediately stepped back, anticipating the hopping. I knew exactly what Eduardo had. He ordered it sometime in late June. Grapefruit juice. I ran to find Eduardo, who was beaming as he brought forth at least two cases of grapefruit juice. I kissed him.

In my glee, the temptation was too great and seemed perfectly natural. Then I promptly snagged one entire case under my arm and walked right out, leaving Rusty to pay and deal with the other groceries. Another faux-pas? Smart? Stupid? Do you really believe that my good pal Eduardo minded a kiss? Yes, I returned to profusely thank Eduardo en Españole. The girl at the counter smiled to see a regular client so happy . . . and we are indeed regulars. True, I’m not certain that the kiss was appropriate; however, everyone in this country does the European/West-African kiss-kiss thing, though it’s arguably just perfunctory and not so filled with enthusiasm as was mine for Eduardo. Still, keeping happy with a kiss the man who supplies the grapefruit juice for my vodka . . . very smart, or incredibly stupid? Jill milking three days in A/C . . . very smart, or incredibly stupid on our part to allow it?  Lo que hay.