Friday, November 10, 2006

How bitter can a guy get?

I’ll let you be the judge.

To set the mood: I had spent over 2 weeks in Puerto Cabezas talking with sailors, captains, the Coast Guard, and immigration officers trying to finagle my way onto a lobster diving boat. When the night finally came the boat owner, Alberto Wu, told me I wouldn’t be going. This after I had spoken with him several times before and after he had watched me haul my gear onto his boat. If he would have shared this bit of info a week earlier, I could have made other arrangements.

What follows is word for bitter-dripping word out of my journal:

I sat on the toilet naked, my head in my hands sweaty from a long day at the dock. I pulled at my hair for lack of, and inability, to do anything better. I sat like that for 15 minutes, which is an awful long time to sit on a toilet and do nothing.

I thought how I was going to tell-off Alberto Wu. There was going to be a lot of vulgarity and hatred. Then I decided I would try an underhand “Killing with kindness attack.”

Here’s what I’d say to Wu through one of his henchman: “Tell Mr. Wu that I appreciated the dignity, the respect, and, most of all, the courtesy with which I was treated. And that I look forward to sharing his many fine qualities with my many readers (what’s a little exaggeration; as far as he knows I write for TIME) in the USA.”

Did I mention how fat he is? He is the fattest man in town. The sailors just call him plain “Gordo.” I like to call him “Gordo Alberto” or “Fat Albert.” He’s a strongly proportioned fat man. His legs seem to be of a relatively normal shape. Everything is standard up from the feet until you hit the waist. There on up the fatness explodes. It’s almost like someone set a barrel on 2 sticks and filled it with fat and stink. Rolls go all the way around, one on top of the other until they finally stack up to form Wu’s torso. On top of the barrel his head sits like a gallon jug. 2 sticks, a gusseted barrel, and a jug of milk, that’s the profile we’re working with here. His face is roughly rectangular, but rounded by fat courtesy of one large extra chin and a square-topped haircut.


That's how bitter.

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