Monday, July 14, 2008

The Story and The End

I took this video yesterday.

Waiting for the bus to take me to the airport, I will tell the story of my uncle clearing the beach in Negril. Jamaica is laid back, way so and chill. Despite it being a cliche, it is not unusual to really hear yah mon, no problem. Negril was tranquil, peaceful, all other adjectives used to described beaches with calm, tourmaline seas and jungle foliage. Our hotel wasn't super-swank but it was very nice, on the beach. And safe. Everyone had a safe in their room and the staff was vigilant to make sure no one came on to the property who wasn't a guest.

About Paranoid Uncle. We love him, he is a sweet guy. But, he is paranoid about being robbed or cheated all of the time. He makes sure that every day the staff at the doggy care camp where his pup is staying writes him. Daily updates. They write things like "She loves the round pillow more than the square one." Details are not left unnoticed. He writes to ask how she is eating and how her potty habits are and if they have changed.

One morning last week the whole family was in the sea. All of us floating like flotsam on foam, nursing mango-coladas, dozing and happy happy happy. The paranoid Uncle was on the beach slathering on the SPF 80. He disappeared for a moment then came barreling down the beach towards the water. Now, the Paranoid Uncle used to be svelte. In the eighties. Rotund is a more appropriate term to describe him now. He came running down the beach and his wife, my aunt, never having seen him run so fast started screaming "What?! What?!" He came down to the water's edge and said desperately "We've been cleaned out! I went to our room and the safe is EMPTY!"

It was like a scene from a movie. Everyone streamed out of the water, the entire family (moving faster than I have ever seen them) and the rest of the guests from the hotel. Everyone scrambling to grab their towel, run to their rooms and see if they too had been cleaned out. I was no different from anyone else and ran to see if my belongings were there. They were. I went out of my room and encountered a huddle of maids outside my Paranoid Uncle's building. They were standing close together, shaking their heads in annoyance. One said "How him be so dumb?"

I heard screams of laughter coming from the beach. As I approached I heard the family laughing, saw them clutching at each other, bent over and cracking the funk up. My mom caught her breath long enough to tell me that my Paranoid Uncle had gone into the wrong room. An empty room the maids were cleaning. He walked in, made a beeline for the safe and once he saw it open he became blind to the fact that not only had they cleaned out the safe, they rearranged the furniture, moved the window and took the rest of their luggage. We will never let him forget it.

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