(As you can see from the gleaming muscles of my back, I am a very strong man.)
The sea was blue that day. Pickle Weasel arose at the crack of 10:37.
The old groundskeeper was already raking up the dog leavings on the beach and picking up tourist spoor for sale to the less fortunate.
Pickle Weasel walked up and fired up his Spanish. "Ola, Senor! Como esta?"
The old man glanced up briefly, then went back immediately to raking up soupy-looking dog turds. His voice sounded like a piece of pumice being rubbed on a slate floor, "Muy bien, Gringo, y tu?"
Pickle Weasel grinned madly for joy at understanding this complicated phrase, "Muy bien, mi Amigo, muchas muchas gracias!"
The old man scowled a little at this frantic assumption of friendship and poked his rake impatiently at a half-dead rock crab that was trying to eat a lump of dog crap.
Pickle Weasel, being the sensitive tourist that he was, averted his eyes, stretched and scratched his belly.
The old man, in a very obvious attempt to get the ugly American to shove off, silently pointed to a brightly colored plastic boat pulled up above the surf line.
Pickle Weasel made an eager facial expression and asked, "Por mi?"
The old man nodded solemnly--although Pickle Weasel noticed that his eyes became suddenly shifty and sly.
Pickle Weasel, with his curious mixture of boldness and lack of intelligence suddenly climaxing, laughed gaily and jogged over to the boat for a look.
It looked good. It was slender and brightly colored and had little molded areas to accommodate a tourists buttocks.
Pickle Weasel grabbed the short, frayed rope (yes, gentle reader, this is an example of foreshadowing) and dragged the surprisingly light craft down to the edge of the water.
It all seemed so simple in the beneficent morning sunshine. The water was blue and shiny. The waves were small and friendly.
Pickle Weasel pushed the little kayak into the first line of surf and hopped aboard. He wriggled around until his buttocks settled into their appropriate indentations and grasped the paddle optimistically.
The first thing that happened was no surprise. The receding surf pulled the boat forward into the second line of larger waves. P.W. paddled furiously to keep the nose straight forward (he had once read that this was the proper thing to do and he had also watched The Castaway a couple of times). He was still in the shallows and the rush of water created a powerful eddy effect that bounced him sideways in very unpredictable ways.
Just then a much larger wave swelled up from beneath and tossed the surprised PW into the air. He was caught there, for a shining moment, with the pretty turquoise boat above him, his paddle soaring out into the waves and a rush of sea foam sliding away beneath him. For a split second he caught sight of the old man leaning over his poop-smeared rake and cackling madly. Then the world turned into a jumble of salty sand in his mouth, the kayak smacking his head and a lot of choking water tumbling him over and over onto the beach.
As mentioned previously, the Pickle Weasel is bold, enthusiastic and not very intelligent. He repeated the process over and over again until he learned a very basic secret--the Sea will always win. He also learned that it is a far, far better thing to sit on the beach with a cold Pacifico in your hand and watch other foolish tourists turn themselves into sun-burned, beach-scraped idiots.
He also remembered a recent bout with the notorious raicilla and realized that he had much to learn about this mysterious, wonderful place.
The adventures of Pickle Weasel will continue...
Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby