Tuesday, August 10, 2004
The Bahamas, Part I: The Twelve Epiphanies
The Bahamas: GOOD LORD. Today is probably the saddest day of my life, as I sit at my desk, staring listlessly at my frozen yogurt, drinking my Nestle Quik, eating two oatmeal cookies, a pot of mac and cheese, and a reuben.
As Frank the Tank said, "I had an awesome time." I learned so much about myself and life in this trip, I can’t even being to list them.
So here goes:
1) I hate Italian people. On a cloudy morning at LaGuardia airport, my brother and I braved long queues that were once reserved for Russian bread lines and Congolese polio-vaccination giveaways but are now commonplace in American airports. I didn’t mind the wait; my sense of time, space, and decency was warped by the Xanax I had taken as soon as I woke up (more on this later), so much so that I was able to stand only with the help of the posts that zig-zag around the check-in lines and spent most of the wait shamelessly staring at every breast that entered my field of vision.
What I did mind was the two families of Long Island Italian-Americans who were standing in front of us.
To say that these families did more damage to the Italian stereotype than The Sopranos ever could is like saying I’ve only paid for sex "a few" times. Each family had a man as the head of the household, who chewed gum voraciously and wore gaudy watches and fine-linked bracelets and barked commands at his wife and his children.
"The wives were tan." You could describe them like that. You could also say, "The deepness of the tans of the women was so incredible that I had to restrain myself from walking up to them, tugging at their skin to see if they were real, and asking, ‘Were you in some like bizarre microwave explosion accident or something?’"
Each family had a daughter who was about 14 or 15 years old. Of course, they looked as though they were at least 22, and had banged half the guys in G-Unit. I only know their age because once the alpha-males realized that they were from the same social group (obnoxious LI Italiano), they immediately struck up a friendship, and I overheard the daughters talking to each other about high school.
For the entirety of the wait, my brother and I had to sit there and listen to the families talk about all things Italian and all things Long Island. It was like our own personal live viewing of Growing Up Gotti, which, by the way, made me throw up seven times when I watched it last night.
The result: I hate Italians. This applies to both Italian-Americans and native Italians, since the women have no interest in me and all the men look like AJ from the Backstreet Boys and think it’s totally ok to go up to a random woman in a bar and grab her crotch.
Ok, so the crotch grabbing I’m ok with, but I still hate Italians.
2) I am in love with Lindsay Boyd of Brentwood, TN. Lindsay, I stood behind you in line in customs upon arrival in The Bahamas (Editor’s note: the "The" in "The Bahamas" must always be capitalized). In case you’re wondering, you didn’t tell me your name; I stared at your landing card until I could make it out. I did this not out of creepiness but out of love, and love that comes from deep within (my crotch).
You are beautiful and I mean it when I say that you should come live with me in my spacious New York City apartment, or at the very least come for a long weekend and let me videotape you in the shower.
One problem: you may, though probably not, but you may be under 18. If you are, I was totally kidding about videotaping you in the shower. That would be wrong and illegal, and everyone knows how much I love and respect the law. So good luck with trigonometry; it can be a bitch.
But if you are 18 or over, I’m not kidding. I just got a new digital camera, and I promise I will record you sudsing your tan, nubile body with integrity and in good taste, and will only do so when you are comfortable, or when you’ve taken enough Rohypnol that you have no idea where the fuck you are.
Speaking of drugs…
3) I am in love with Xanax. When I flew to London in February, my old crappy doctor prescribed me some Xanax over the phone for my fear of flying. These pills did very little to calm me down, so I spent the entire flight to jolly ole England drinking Bailey’s, getting huge pit stains, constantly massaging my legs to avoid DVT, and writing goodbye letters to all the celebrities I wanted to sleep with.
I called my new super cool doctor to get different, more potent drugs for this flight. When he recommended Xanax, I told him that I had taken it before and it didn’t help. My old doctor said to take one pill, which is .25 milligrams. My new doctor, god bless ‘em, told me to take four pills, a whole milligram. Since I’m kinda husky, I figured I should take a fifth pill to make sure they worked.
And boy, did they work. I fell asleep as soon as my fat ass hit the seat, and woke up only when we were landing. After clearing customs and getting to the hotel in Nassau, I sat on my bed to take off my shoes before getting changed go out and take advantage of my new surroundings. When I woke up four hours later, I had to have three Red Bulls to balance myself out.
Thanks be to god for giving us chemicals, and dependencies.
4) The Bahamas is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, this is coming from a guy who usually takes his vacations in Europe because ever since the Spice Girls he thinks he’s destined to marry a European (hopefully British) woman who will finally understand him unlike the women in the US.
But I was completely dumbstruck by the natural beauty of the land [Editor’s Note: that was the gayest sentence I’ve ever written]. You can actually see the ocean floor when you’re swimming, unlike the beaches I’ve been to on the Jersey shore, where the only thing you can see in the ocean are tattooed, musclehead douchebags fucking their tramp girlfriends while drinking cans of Coors Light.
5) I am the worst gambler in the world. For tax purposes, I don’t want to say how much I lost, but here’s a sampling of things I could have done with money I blew at the casino at the hotel:
- get a new I-Pod (or two)
- take a long weekend trip someplace nice
- get the royal treatment at a strip club
- hire two hookers to have sex in front of me while I did jumping-jacks
- rent a limo, fill it with 300 cans of Budweiser, and drive it around NYC on a Saturday night yelling at minorities
- buy $700 worth of cocaine
I mean, fuck.
6) If given the chance, I would probably give up food altogether and drink piña coladas all day long. I am usually very regular with my drinks: beer, vodka, shots. However, when in Rome, you know, um, do what the Romans do. The piña colada is like dessert, and I don’t think we need to revisit how much I like dessert. I probably had over 100 in the weekend, and it wasn’t enough. Don’t be surprised if I start drinking these at bars. Do be surprised if I start working out. Because then something is seriously wrong.
7) Having a wedding in a tropical place is a tremendous idea. Weddings can be hit or miss. Under the right circumstances, they can be a blast. Conversely, they can be a costly exercise in awkward conversation and contrived civility.
Having a wedding in a tropical place is an excellent idea. Sure, it’s expensive, but if I went to a wedding in the tri-state area, I’d probably spend half of what I spent on my five-day, four-night all-inclusive vacation, and I’d only have one night of open bar to show for it. This wedding was like a vacation with sixty of my friends. If I actually had sixty friends. Awesome!
8) Sending me someplace that has unlimited food and drink is a terrible idea. I still haven’t figured out if my cousin Lindsay had her wedding at an all-inclusive place because she thought it’d be fun or she wanted me dead. My goodness – gluttony has always been my favorite deadly sin, but this was just too extreme. We’re talking multiple entrees and desserts with every meal, quadruple fisting drinks all day and night, and generally ordering anything and everything "because we can." I’m convinced that if this trip wasn’t all-inclusive, I would have spent $4000 on booze, food, and room service.
9) Traveling with your family can be taxing. At this wedding were my mom, dad, brother, sister, grandmom, and aunt. I roomed with my brother. I'm the type of guy who, on the day of the check-out, wakes up three hours early, even though he packed the night before, just to make sure he has everything. My brother is the type of guy who you have to wake up on the last day, and who gets out of bed ten minutes before check-out time, throws his shit in his suitcase, and leaves. To someone as anal as me, this can be infuriating.
My dad is equally as infuriating. Twenty of us had to take a shuttle bus to the airport. The shuttle was supposed to arrive at 11am. At 11:02, my dad decides to go shopping in the hotel mall. I don't know why he waited until the last minute (or rather two minutes after the last minute), but I guess he thought the shuttle wouldn't be at the hotel for a while. When the bus showed up two minutes later, we went looking for him and couldn't find him. He showed up ten minutes later with a hand-full of crappy tourist t-shirts, while everyone on the bus waited and sweat.
10) You should really bring a date to a wedding. I’m not saying you should bring a date to get some, although from what I recall getting some is nice. I’m saying that it’s good to have someone there so that your entire family doesn’t think you’re gay because you have a high speaking voice, live in New York City, love Janet Jackson, and haven’t brought a girl home in over two years.
11) The humidity in The Bahamas is 140% all the time. You know when, in the summer, you're at a bar, and it's hot and crowded inside, so you step outside just to get some fresh air, and a nice breeze will hit you, and you'll think, "Yes, now I can go back in and resuming killing myself with Jack Daniels"?
You can't do that in The Bahamas. If you're in a bar and it's hot, and you go outside to refresh yourself, odds are you're going to collapse. Even at midnight, the heat index is over 90 degrees. I sweat the ENTIRE vacation. I know I say that I sweat a lot, but please, understand me when I say without a hint of exaggeration that I sweat the ENTIRE time. Add the constant consumption of alcohol to this, and by Day 2 of the trip I had the paramedics following me everywhere I went, just in case.
12) The Bahamians love inefficiency. Well, I don’t know if all Bahamians do, but everyone knows how much I love stereotyping. Waiting for a drink could often be excruciating. The best part about the slow service is it’s not like they don’t notice you waiting; many a time the bartender would look at me, I’d nod my head, and he’d look away to another customer. That’s fine once, but after five or so times, it gets a little old.
The problem is that the bartender would be the one getting fucked in the long run. The longer I waited, the more people would yell, "Yo Jay, get me two strawberry daiquiris" or "Hey Jas, get four Miller Lites" or "Christ Jason, you pissed all over yourself - again."
And the airport...my goodness. I know what would be easier: getting through and out of the Nassau airport or escaping from Buchenwald. Lines after lines after lines, sparsely staffed with people who didn’t give a fuck or didn’t know where the hell they were. I don’t know if these airport employees had managers or they just kinda showed up every day and played it by ear.
[I’m still not ready to talk about this. I should stop before someone (i.e. me) gets hurt.]
What an incredible time. Tomorrow (or later today), in Part II I'll give some highlights of the trip.
Until then, I'm heading out of the office to search for a piña colada.