Thursday, February 24, 2005

Where I Went On Holiday - Playa Del Carmen, Part 9

[Originally posted on]

I have no earthly idea what day it is

We packed about seven different kinds of hand sanitizers and sanitary wipes and toilet seat covers and anti-diarrhea pills and I don't know what all, but so far I wasn't having any problems. The famous "tourista" or Monteczuma's revenge wasn't happening. Usually when I travel, it's the opposite; especially if I don't drink enough water, the concrete just sets right up.

I was even OK after we ate lunch at this place on the beach were I had some kind of stuffed chicken breast, and when I was on my next-to-last bite, I noticed a funny texture, and looked down and realized that I had just eaten a hunk of RAW chicken. I think it was a frozen cutlet that didn't quite stay on the broiler long enough. Gasp -- shock -- horror -- we all know that undercooked chicken is INVARIABLY FATAL and even the cutting board it touches must be boiled in bleach, or something -- I don't follow "Food Nazi News" that closely -- but two days later I was still fine.

But then, more than a week into our trip, I discovered a drawback to relaxation: I wasn't biting my nails. Now, understand, I've bitten my nails all my life; I can honestly say I have NEVER trimmed them with a clipper in my life. They're bitten so far down the quick and beyond that they don't even grow within a half-inch of the ends of my fingers anymore. I've tried the nasty-tasting stuff, and I just chew right through it; hey, it grows on you a little! Nancy realized a long time ago that it didn't matter how often she grunted with disgust or slapped my hands away from my drooling mouth, I was going to continue this perverted practice until I died. But here I was in Mexico, and growing hideous talons.

Now, I wash my hands, and I was using the sanitizer glop, and being as good a boy as I know how (which isn't saying much, but I'm trying), but you know what? I think my fingernails made me sick. I was brushing my teeth with bottled water and squirting lime on everything, but when I broke down and nibbled my new claws, because they were scratching me in places I didn't like being scratched, I think I was ingesting some nasties that were hiding under there. It's just a theory, mind you. But I was sick.

If you have to be sick, though, you might as well be in paradise to do it. And you know, I didn't FEEL bad; I just had to run up to the cabana every so often with a worried look on my face. I even tried a nice cold cerveza, and I can report as a result of this research that a nice cold cerveza on a warm day on the beach is pretty damn therapeutic. As a result of my need to be near a toilet all the time, we were forced to set aside our busy plans for action-packed days of tourism, and just relax under the palapa for another day. This proved not to be a hardship, oddly enough. And once I figured out that we could buy beer and ice at the store, and put them in the big tub that was providently placed next to our deck, I barely even had to get up out of my chair all day, except when I was called to go perform the unmentionable.

And when huge pelicans are flying ten feet over your head, who cares about a little tummy upset?

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