Welcome to the special HOLIDAY issue of "The life and times of two of
the most interesting people we know." As you may have noticed, each of
the previous form letters centers around a special, morally significant
theme. Like, for instance, last issue, which concentrated on one of the
most familiar and timely questions of society today, "What have Katie
and Dave been up to?" The theme for this issue is a little more subtle
than those of previous form letters, so pay careful attention for any
small hints hidden THE DAVE AND KATIE SHOW in the stories to follow.|
First order of business is to say Merry Non-denominational Holiday and
Happy New Year!
Second order of business is the continuation of the saga. The last
episode ended with our engagement. The morning after, there was a little
impromptu party at the house, with Jeff Stern, Alison, Jeff Goldsmith,
Terry Lyzen, and the two of us. An opportunity to spend a few quite
moments with friends, to share a little of the happiness we felt, to
drink heavily before ten o'clock in the morning.
It was also a time for making decisions. The drinking helped. Should we
move in together? Buy a house? Start looking for outfits that didn't
clash? And there were higher level issues as well. Can you mix yellow
and magenta? Is it poor taste to wear a belt and shoes with different
colors? Could we dig up $1,675,434 down payment and move into Hearst
Castle? These questions and others continued to haunt us for the
duration of the decay of a excited Cesium atom, that it to say about 3
Yes, we wanted to move in together. Yes, we wanted to buy a house. Yes,
it is in poor taste to have a belt and shoes that don't match.
Armed with these assurances, I approached Jeff Goldsmith. It was time to
find out if buying a house with a friend had been a wise move three and
a half years before. "Jeff," I started, "You know your belt and shoes
don't match, don't you?" A short while later, we had hammered out a
proposed cost for the house; $375,000 dollars and 31 cents. This was
only about $75,000 more than I thought the place was worth, so I checked
my pockets for change. There wasn't enough. It was outside Jeffs
financial reach as well, and we decided to put the place on the market.
With the horror stories about the LA housing market cooling off like a
corpse, we felt certain that it would take a while to sell the place. We
began working with our old real estate agent, Ernie Boehr, who helped us
hire a lawn and gardening group to assist with getting the place in
shape for the sale. After pouring several thousand dollars worth of
materials and labor over a ten day period, giving us at least a chance
of attracting a buyer, we would start having buyer "caravans" come
Eight days later, two days before the caravans started, we sold the
place for $340,000 to a group of real estate renovators.
We had to scramble as a result, but we found a house that looked like a
good deal after a week. It was reasonably large, had a wine cellar, and
a nice yard. It had also been lived in by heavy smokers (average smoking
rate was calculated in ppms, packs per minute) for thirteen years. It
reeked of stale cigarettes. The dim, yellowish sunlight filtering
through the stained, grease filmed windows lit the inside of the house
with a wan light that left an impression similar to the "bat cave" in a
recent major motion picture. But it had potential.
Potential, for those
of you not in the know, means that if you dump in enough money to build
a nuclear aircraft carrier, and enough manpower to operate it for a
year, the place would be what real estate agents like to refer to as
"charming," in roughly the same tone of voice foreign visitors use when
they encounter the New York Subway for the first time.
None the less, we felt we could make it work. We would spend a month in
her apartment, and, during that time, have the inside painted, the
outside painted, remodel the kitchen, remodel the den, add a new
bathroom and add a second story to the house. We could start on the
landscaping after we moved in.
This, of course, necessitated putting together a schedule and budget,
which we arrived at by making a few simple assumptions:
This would all occur after escrow closed on all the various real estate
purchases (including Jeff Goldsmith, who ended up purchasing a Town
House) in about 45 days. We felt confident enough to spend the time
going to plays, windsurfing, and a variety of other fun filled
- A professional painter was, on the average, a college graduate with a
work ethic that
would have impressed Joan of Arc
- The Government would subsidize 90% of the the costs
- Reagan really didn't know anything about Iran-Contra.
Our windsurfing experiences added another page in the "beginners
follies" book. Anne, Katie's sister, and her boyfriend, Tom, invited us
to join them on Castaic lake for a day of sun and water sports. Tom had
a pair of windsurfers, and we rented a third. It was significantly more
windy than G. Bonnelli park, our standard windsurfing beach, and Katie
and I bellowed happily as we leaned into the wind and ripped across the
lake at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. Well, fast at
Anne had a slightly different experience, however. She was new to the
sport, but fortunately Katie and I had learned from our novice days a
few of the basics on helping beginners. You tether them to the shore to
start with, with a rope long enough to let them move around a bit, but
short enough to haul in if they have problems. After they master the
basics, a more experienced windsurfer accompanies them as the tether is
released from the shore. If they get in trouble, the experienced
windsurfer can use the tether to "tow" them back to the beach. Our
knowledge of these few, simple rules that makes things inestimably
easier for the new windsurfer really let us enjoy watching Anne slip out
into the maelstrom unescorted. After all, the school of hard knocks
really is the best teacher.
In actuality, Anne did very well, with the exception of her inability to
go in any direction besides downwind. Hee hee hee.
We also began
lessons on formal ballroom dancing. Or, more appropriately labeled, we
began an opportunity to prove that I have two left feet. Facing
backwards. And not connected to my central nervous system. It was
disconcerting to be counting along with the instructor as we performed
the simplest dance steps, muttering a quiet "one, two, three, four, one,
two, three, four... and watch my feet go "one, three, six, twenty two
and a half, hut, hut, hike!" normally followed by a squeal of
indignation by Katie as I stamped on her toes. Then we jumped into "West
Coast Swing," where the concept included multiple body parts moving in
concert to music! And another person! It turns out that this is indeed
possible, as demonstrated by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in a movie
that I'm convinced was all done with computer animation and special
effects. My experience was more like "it is possible to fling your
partner into another group of dancers, trip over a chair, and plow face
first into a wall." In the long run, however, determination, optimism,
and enthusiasm won out over common sense as we decided to take the next
series of lessons. In casts.
On the 22nd of July, we had the
opportunity to join Lisa, Katie's step sister, and Danny, her fiancée,
for their wedding. They were a handsome couple, with Danny in his
leather pants, white ruffled shirt and bolo tie and Lisa in her flowered
dress with the front hiked up to her knees. The wedding was a last
minute flurry of hastily made decisions, followed by a short but
touching ceremony where Danny and Lisa both got a little weepy. Then
they were off in a black limo. We rejoined them at the reception, which
was held in a sound stage at one of the studios Danny had done some work
for. Lisa had changed into a black suede and leather dress. It was kind
of free format; everyone grabbed drinks from the bar while Danny and
Lisa traded shots of vodka from a bottle sitting on their table. Then
the dancing started. When we left at 11:00 or so, things were still
going strong, if not actually winding up. Many of Danny and Lisa's
friends seemed to be night owls. All in all, it was an unusual, but very
On the 11th of August, we headed for a four day trip down to La Jolla, a
small seaside resort area just north of San Diego. Our reservations were
at the Summer House Inn, a hotel described in the brochure as "relaxing,
cozy accommodations looking out over the warm, blue Pacific, within easy
walking distance of the beach." We arrived to find a ten story concrete
building about a mile in from the shore. "Your brochure appears to be a
little inaccurate in its description of the facilities" I said to the
desk manager between gritted teeth, pointing at the particular passage.
"Ah, but sir, this is correct. Your beds have the latest "Swedish
massager" (coin operated, of course) installed; what could be more
relaxing than that? And the room is certainly cozy - how could it be
otherwise with 400 square feet of space? You do look out over the
Pacific across the rooftops of the town from your eighth story balcony,
and current medical studies indicate that even seventy year old people
can easily walk a mile." It actually worked out well in the end, though;
our room had a pair of twin beds instead of the queen sized specified by
our reservations, and the only alternate room they had available was a
"presidential suite." It included several regular rooms linked together,
with a little kitchen, two full baths, and an indoor Jacuzzi, which we
spent the next four days in.
No, only kidding. We only spent about a day and a half in it. We visited
Old Town, an area that attempts to preserve the historical knowledge of
our forefathers, namely that California was a really, really miserable
place to live back then. We hit the beach, did a lot of shopping,
visited the San Diego Zoo (featuring "horny," the white owl), and drank
wine while watching the sunset from our balcony. We practiced our
artistic capabilities by attempting to draw the sunset with oil pastels.
This turned out to be more fun later on, when we passed the two around
and asked people to guess which of us had drawn each of the two
pictures. After going through a dozen people, all of whom guessed
correctly, I was willing to admit that there was something that marked
the drawings plainly enough for anyone with the observational
capabilities of a brick to figure it out. So it was kind of fun when
Bill, Katie's step dad, managed to guess incorrectly.
The wedding went off with only one minor hitch. The flower girl was
about two years old. The ring bearer must have been somewhat impatient
with the entire proceedings, since when the flower girl, stumbling along
as fast as her little legs would carry her, went face first into the
dirt, the ring bearer decided the "smooth" thing to do would be to drag
her along for a few feet. She was rumpled, but unharmed, and the wedding
continued. The reception was held at a very nice restaurant and bar on
the waterfront. It was a nice opportunity for dancing, drinking, and
getting reacquainted with a few of Jim's friends that I had banzi-skied
with in the past. The finishing touch on the entire event was the video
crew that Jim had hired to tape the event; they wandered by to interview
the guests for a few moments. Jeff Stern and I took the opportunity to
spend fifteen minutes dwelling on the some of the more colorful
adventures we had with Jim in the past. But I did warn him not to show
the video tape to Grisel until after the honeymoon, so I'm sure that
went well anyway.
This was about the time that the various escrows finally closed and we
took possession of the new house. Armed with the advice of a number of
people who had bought places Like ours and fixed them up ("don't do it,"
"you'll work harder than you ever have in your life," "it's a big
mistake," "you are insane for even thinking about it"), we set our plan
into motion. I moved into Katie's apartment while we started a painting
team on the house. A typical day during this period ran something like
5:30 Alarm goes off
5:31 Snuggle up to Katie
and put pillow over head
6:57 Suddenly realize that
I have 2-1/2 minutes left to take a shower
7:05 Suddenly realize that
I should have been in the shower five minutes ago - jump out of bed
7:26 Run out of house.
Realize I have no socks or shoes.
7:31 Run out of house.
Race off in car to pick up migrant Honduran painting team of Luis,
Pablo, and Rodrigo
7:38 Arrive at new house.
Unlock doors. Start going over house with Luis, the senior painter, who
replies "yes, yes" to everything I say.
7:49 Finish going over the
days work with Luis. Ask him if he has any problems or comments.
Luisreplies "yes, yes."
8:21 Finish pointing at
things while making brushing motions and comical swishing noises in my
throat. Luis replies "yes, yes."
8:28 Arrive at work half
an hour late unprepared for the big 8:45 meeting. Time to go get a cup
8:45 Have a meeting.
9:30 Meeting ends
9:35 Get a note from the
secretary - "Someone called and said 'Senor, the machine, it burn up,
but we putout drapes quick"
9:40 Finish talking with
Luis on the phone. Have another meeting
11:30 Meeting ends
11:35 Pick up lunch for the migrant
11:50 Arrive at house with lunch.
Luis and painting team are very busy polishing brass work.
12:05 Finish pointing at things while
making brushing motions and comical swishing noises in my throat.
Luis replies "yes, yes."
12:10 Luis makes it clear that he
needs some kind of painting equipment. Also, brain surgery.
12:40 Return from getting painting
equipment. Luis looks at it and starts shaking his head. Says "no, no."
1:05 Return from getting different
1:12 Back at work. Dig in to get
serious work done. After getting coffee, that is.
1:15 Go to a meeting
4:15 Go to an emergency,
5:00 Realize that it is five
o'clock, and I am late picking up the migrant painting team.
5:05 Realize that I'm REALLY late
picking up the migrant painting team.
5:12 Arrive at the house. Migrant
painting team is very busy polishing brass.
5:30 Dropoff painting team. Go home
5:50 Arrive back at new house.
Begin watering lawn & flowers
7:00 Finish watering everything.
8:30 Wash dishes
9:00 Start working on bills
9:20 Finish working on bills. Think
about doing JPL type work.
9:21 Read a few chapters out of
"The best of Dave Barry", particularly the chapters on owning a home
10:00 Go to bed
The 2nd of September was a black day for Katie. She became a year
older. I took her out to dinner the night before at the Raymond
Restaurant, our favorite spot for intimate dining. The 2nd was a
Saturday, and Katie's parents had set up a little impromptu picnic /
birthday party / play at Occidental College. We arrived at the picnic
spot a shade before six, the agreed apon time for all of us to meet. We
spread out a picnic blanket, opened a bottle of wine and a round of
cheese and settled back to one of the few constants in our lives; the
perpetual inability for anyone else in Katie's family to arrive
someplace on time. About six thirty, Janet, Bill, Tom, and Anne joined
us. It was an outstanding time. The musical did not disappoint either;
it was Ruddigore. a Gilbert and Sulivan musical, excellently done.
On the 16th of September, we participated in one of those barbaric
rituals that can make the most hardy of individuals quake in fright.
Even Katie and I, who had braved the ice cliffs of Scottie's run, the
wrath of the Battle Command Training Program, and the horror of being
called "incredibly cute" together, were overcome with fainting spells
and sudden periods of dizziness. It was A Nightmare On Elm Street part
VI - meeting the relatives.
We flew to the east coast for a week. Both of our families were
concentrated in the Northeast originally, and most of our Aunts and
Uncles still live in Connecticut. It was a whirlwind tour on the "family
a day" plan. It actually turned out rather nicely, though. It was odd
for us to have "free time," when nothing is scheduled on the calender.
Heck, it was odd for us to have any time where we didn't have plans to
do three things simultaneously. And we mutually agreed that all our
relatives were basically great people, who well deserved to have us as
part of the family.
It also gave us and opportunity to visit my brother Bill (who we like to
call "Schnozacooley Jr." because he inherited the famed Rubega honker
from my mothers family) and his very pregnant wife Sang Ok. The doctor
had originally predicted twins based on the size of Sang Ok's tummy. The
sonogram demonstrated that the doctor was close to correct; it was a
baby and a nose.
On the 21st of October, we headed down for a week long and much needed
vacation on the warm sandy beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.
The Yucatan peninsula. Covering almost eight hundred thousand square
miles, with a total area almost as large as California and a large
greyhound bus combined, it is a land of worm infested liquor and cash
that is worthless unless it contains at least a half dozen zeros. A land
steeped in the mysterious history of the Mayan Empire, which, at its
peak, was almost as large as the White House janitorial staff. Their
ruins, scattered through the area, lend the eerie atmosphere of an
extinct empire to contrast the vibrant jungle growth that dominates the
local vegetation. It is a land where man's footstep has tread lightly,
leaving the untouched, wild, erotic beauty of the natural landscape for
all to enjoy. Even the modern villages have the same characteristic
elements that makes the area so unique woven into the fabric of their
everyday life. Whatever your interests, the Yucatan has to be one of the
most interesting places in the world to visit.
It was almost enough to make Katie and I stop snoozing on the beach of
Club Med and go see some of it.
We know what you're thinking. "Is this true?" The answer is ... no.
Using a philosophy expounded upon by issue after issue of the premier
thinking man's bible, Calvin and Hobbes, we made up the part about eight
hundred thousand square miles. Although we will admit that we are within
three orders of magnitude of the correct answer. We think.
Anyway, the real question foremost in everyone's mind is "Does Gorbachev
really get his incredible energy from eating Wheaties?" Enquiring minds
want to know! This, however, is related to our story only in that we
thought it would confuse everyone. So, to get back to the original
point, which was snoozing ... uhhh, that is, Cancun...
We flew down in a chartered Continental airplane especially designed to
make your stay at Club Med much more enjoyable by giving one that
wonderful, euphoric feeling provided by escaping from a prison. The
Cancun airport was the standard slash of tarmac in the middle of a
jungle, and a short distance from the Island of Cancun. We were at the
club with a half hour of landing.
The first, and most impressive, aspect of Cancun was the water. Imagine
a blue so intense, so vivid, so brilliant that it literally melted your
eyeballs in their sockets. Well, that isn't anything like the color of
the Cancun water, which is good because we kind of like our eyeballs in
their current condition. But if you want to talk about a beautiful, gem
like turquois, shading slowly into a sparkling aquamarine, tinged with
deeper blue sapphire at the far edge, then you want to talk about the
waters off Cancun. And warm; we spent hours snorkeling inside the reef
without the hint of a chill. And full of flashing, dazzling fish in all
colors of the rainbow. Bright yellows, oranges, greens, iridescent
blues, they darted in from all directions as we entered the water. And
... well, perhaps it is best to leave it at "it was pretty nice."
The club was huge. They actually had little electric carts to run you
from your room to the various sporting areas. We never used them; the
entire area was gorgeous and the walk was wonderful. But the concept of
needing them was odd since the concept is to "escape from civilization."
Available sports included snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing,
windsurfing, water-skiing, tennis, aerobics, and a variety of less
formal sports like pool basketball and tug of war. We stuck with the
Windsurfing was intense. October is at the very end of the hurricane
season in the Caribbean, and storms are common. The area was actually
overcast the first couple of days we were there as a result. But what
stayed with us long after the clouds had gone was strong winds. The
windsurfing area was in a little cove somewhat protected from the winds.
Even so, it was stronger than we would have liked if we were beginners.
100 feet out, you passed the invisible boundary of protection provided
by the point jutting out into the water. Most people just let the sail
go immediately and attempted to paddle their way back to sanity. Katie
and I were made out of different stuff, however. With the few
microseconds of warning the wind provided as it shifted from a stiff
breeze to a gale force wind, we tried leaning into with everything we
had. This had the expected effect, i.e. a few seconds of glory before
getting slammed into the water.
After a day, we had enough practice to make it past the point, and
windsurfing became a seriously high speed sport. There was only one
problem. Leaning into the wind with most of your weight supported by
hanging onto the beam was exhausting. Even fifteen minutes was enough to
make your arm muscles ache with the effort. After a half hour, it was
impossible to hang on at all. It was time to get introduced to the
The harness is a contraption that wraps around you like a pair of
oversized diapers, with a large blunt hook sticking out in the front.
The windsurfer is rigged for the harness by attaching a loose cable
along the length of the beam. As you get the windsurfer underway, the
concept is to "hook" into the cable, and hang your weight from the
harness rather than your arms. You still use your arms to steer the
thing, but the effort is about the same as it would be for a light wind.
The theory was simple. In practice, it worked out a little differently.
I would take off, the wind screaming into the sail like a living thing
... pull the weight of my body up enough to hook into the cable,
twisting the sail slightly to let out some of the wind so the center of
balance between myself and the sail stayed over the board... hook in,
drop back, feel the harness cut into my back with comforting solidity,
twist the sail back to catch the wind, and POOF!, it was instant
catapult time. The wind would smash into the sail like a giant fist,
slamming the sail flat into the water, and the cable / hook combination
would jerk you off your feet and fling you about a mile into the air.
Occasionally, you would do a graceful little pirouette before smacking
into the water. All very amusing for the observers on the beach, but
kind of hard on the tossee. I did finally figure it out, after a body
battering day of trying, and it was worth it in the long run. With the
speed and ease you could achieve with the harness, it was easy to take
the windsurfer out to the point where it was only a tiny speck from the
shore, into the deep water where the sharks and giant squids lay ... but
that's another story.
Water skiing met the criteria for "intense" as well. The water-skiing
area was in an area that looked like a jungle river; huge trees, vines,
and dense underbrush were the only visible shore. Exotic looking white
heron stood among the reeds and roots along the banks. But the water was
salt water, and the passage in was via a small motor boat from the sea.
The water-skiing platform was sitting in the middle of a large slash in
the jungle growth, the slash a teardrop shape with a wide expanse in the
center but narrowing down to points at the ends. Katie took to
water-skiing like a pro, although it had been ten years since she had
last tried it. She started on one ski. Remembering my prior experiences,
I decided to start on two before "graduating" to the single ski scene.
Katie went first, getting up on her first try and cutting a clean line
through the water as she pulled away from the dock. I also made it on my
first try, with two skis, and enjoyed the exhilaration as the speedboat
tore down the slash toward the narrow, pointed end at high speed, the
sight of the rapidly approaching wall of jungle growth warning me that a
turn was imminent... really imminent... any time now ... TURN AROUND YOU
IDIOT!!!! I gracefully dropped the tow line and flipped into the water
as I came within about two feet of impaling myself on the tough jungle
vegetation. The speedboat sputtered back. "You stiffened your legs!
Don't do that or you'll go flying into the trees!" the driver shouted.
"Don't drive me into the trees and I won't stiffen my legs" I screamed
Later on, I did try to make it on one ski since Katie made it look so
effortless. I was very successful in that I did travel far enough for my
body to flip up out of the water, over the ski, and back into the water,
performing what the instructors called "a classic face plow."
We did actually do a little touring of the area. We took one Club Med
shopping excursion, and one tour excursion. The shopping excursion was
really quite interesting. We stopped at three places; two with fixed
prices and one shopping bazaar. The bazaar was what one expected in
Mexican shopping; thousands of goods jammed into tiny little acloves in
a giant maze that seemed to be half building, half tent. Hawkers
screamed and pleaded, waving fine jewelry or woven goods under your nose
to entice you into their shop. We wandered around, avoiding buying
things, absorbing the atmosphere. After picking the spots that looked
like they had things that might interest us, we went into action with a
carefully planned pitch. We would walk in, looking around in as
uninterested a fashion as possible, but picking out the items we were
interested in. The shopkeeper would hover over our shoulder, murmuring
encouragement. "Pretty, senor, yes, yes." Finally, after we had decided
what we would buy, I would ask how much. The shopkeeper would quote some
price, usually fairly reasonable by LA standards. I would immediately
shake my head. "No, no, much too high, I'll give you one third of that"
I would say. The shopkeeper would shake his/her head sorrowfully. "I
cannot, I would lose money" they would say, and then offer, since we
were "nice gringos," to take 10% off. Katie would immediately look at me
fiercely and say in a loud voice "He doesn't want to deal... lets get
out of here" and walk out of the store while I turned to the shopkeeper.
"Sorry," I would say, "not interested," backing out slowly. The
shopkeeper couldn't harass us both at once; invariable he would choose
me rather than run after Katie. "No, senor, I will give you good price"
he would cry. "Sorry, my fiancee is leaving..." I would answer,
shrugging my shoulders and still stepping backwards. The shopkeeper
would frantically try to baiter, but Katie's growing distance put too
much pressure on the poor sap; as I started to turn and walk away he
would shout "OK, senor, OK" in a defeated tone of voice. There were a
few items we couldn't get at more than half off, but by far the majority
of our purchases were in the 33-40% range.
The tour was a half day trip that hit two spots; Tulum, some of the
oldest known Mayan ruins in existence, and Xel-ha, billed as "a natural
aquarium." Tulum was wild. Built on the seashore, in one of the most
beautiful spots we've ever seen, it was an ancient place of worship for
the Mayans. Our tour guide took us around the area and pointed out many
interesting things; the hall of the gods, the all seeing eye, the temple
of the virgin, the grocery market, the wash 'n dry, the Mayan disco. We
are not making up the Mayan disco, by the way! Apparently, the Mayans
would pick the "queen for a year" by having a dance contest on a broad,
flat stone dance floor. The Mayan tradition of picking a queen purely on
the basis of how shapely her legs were, as opposed to making the girl
mouth silly platitudes about dressing in a skimpy outfit for the good of
mankind, as we do in Miss Universe contests, merely pointed out just how
advanced the Mayan culture was. Someday, perhaps, we will approach such
perfection, (sounds of Katie smacking Dave).
Xel-ha, pronounced "Xel-ha," was a lagoon that was half fresh water and
half salt water. They were split into two layers, the fresh water on top
and the salt water about four feet down. Snorkeling in it was fun but
weird; the fresh water on top was freezing cold, while the salt water
was bathtub hot. We spent a lot of time swimming underwater as a result.
The fish were wild as well. The lagoon is netted off from predators, and
the remaining fish were very large and fat as a result. As we thrust
ourselves along, Katie let out a loud squeal of delight and pointed out
two four foot long iridescent blue and green fish - parrot fish, I
think. We swam after them, trying to get a better look, as they
leisurely finned themselves along in front of us. After a while, Katie
grew tired, but I decided to give one last push to try to get really
close. I took a deep breath, dived down a few feet, and started pumping
my legs like mad. I gained on the two rapidly, getting closer ...
closer... almost close enough to touch one... suddenly, the rearmost
fish let out a noxious looking cloud of yellowish stuff from it's
backside. ALL ENGINES IN REVERSE!!! By frantically back-peddling with my
arms and shooting for the surface, I managed to avoid the fish's rather
effective countermeasures against nosy snorkelers. We spent the rest of
the time giving the fish a little more personal room.
We made a few friends during our stay. We nicknamed Doug and Gary, a
couple of guys vacationing from Toronto, the "Mackenzie Brothers" after
the "second city TV" personalities.
They were great, with the normal, reserved, kind of understated manner
so typical of Canadians. "She her... that one over there" Doug would
cry. "Yeah", we would reply, looking over to see a fairly attractive
blond walking by. "Stupidest woman in the world" he confided in a low
voice. "Low IQ?" Katie laughed back. "LOW?" he cried, "No, not low,
nonexistent. She's too dumb to have an IQ."
One evening, we were sitting with Gary when Doug joined us from making a
phone call. "Oh, bad news, bad news" he said, looking a Gary. "What is
it?" asked Gary, puzzled. "The Vancouver exchange crashed again" Doug
replied, "Al Cranston, the stock broker, is selling his house." "Oh.
That's bad." Katie and I looked at one, then the other. "How bad?" I
asked. "Well, lets see, it's not that the stock price crashing is such a
problem, it's all that stock we bought on margin on Cranston's advice"
said Gary. "We're poor" said Doug, kind of forlornly. "That's right,"
piped in Gary, "we're poor." "Well, I know what we can do" said Doug, a
little enthusiasm returning to his voice. "What's that?" asked Katie.
"GET A BEER" they cried in unison. "And then go skiing when we get back"
added Gary. "Toronto this time of year is the best skiing in the world"
joined in Doug. And off to the bar they went.
We also had an opportunity to meet David and Cherie, a couple from the
San Luis Obispo area. After meeting them a few times at the windsurfing
beach, we decided to get reservations for four at one of the small annex
restaurants. There were two at Club Med Cancun; El Rancho and La Palapa,
a steak place and a seafood place. The annexes were a bit nicer than the
main dining room; smaller, more intimate, and the food was served to you
rather than provided "buffet style." David and Cherie brought a bottle
of Champagne, a welcome change from the cheap wine provided by Club Med,
and it turned into a really nice evening.
Well, we could go on about Cancun. And on, and on, and on. And on. But
in an attempt to prevent this from becoming the great American novel, we
will leave the other details for whomever is interested enough to ask
Since this is the holiday version of the form letter, celebrating the
end of one year and the beginning of the next, it seemed like the
appropriate way to end it would be to list the things that really made
an impression on us in the last year, or, in other words,