Dumb and dumber on Ambergris Caye

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This is just the scene we encountered this afternoon as we bicycled home from a morning filled with yoga and stand-up board paddling.  The lagoon is especially high right now, thanks to rain and high tides and is spreading across the only road heading north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. On the other hand, more birds are attracted to this lovely spot and the resident crocodile has more room to move.
This is just the scene we encountered this afternoon as we bicycled home from a morning filled with yoga and stand-up board paddling. The lagoon is especially high right now, thanks to rain and high tides and is spreading across the only road heading north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. On the other hand, more birds are attracted to this lovely spot and the resident crocodile has more room to move.

 

One month ago I wrote a blog post titled: “I swear, the heat makes me stupid.” So what is this, I ask myself, the sequel, “Rain also makes me stupid”?

Perhaps the feeling comes from Tuesday’s Trivia Night at Coco Loco’s where I insisted with grave authority to teammates Rose Alcantara and Adam and Jackie Feldman that the tiny little atoll that the U.S. bombed the crap out of during our “We freaking love the nuclear bomb” era was called Bimini.

It is called Bikini.

Or perhaps it is the discussions about childhood Catholic guilt that Jackie and I sometimes get into that unlocks this confessional need.

Maybe I am at the point  in life where doing dumb things is sometimes more entertaining and rewarding than being safe and, um, ordinary.

In the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism we accept that life is suffering. It is inevitable, as we walk through this life, that we will sometimes step into a pile of dukkha on the sidewalk of existence. Just the way it is. Avoiding dukkha becomes its own form of suffering.

Embrace the dukkha. Celebrate the sometimes dumb things we do because we are learning to love this life we have been given. That’s all I’m saying.

(And with that I add, thank you Rose for this morning’s Cafe Americano with a double shot …..)

So, now I need your help. Which of these two things is  dumber than the other:

Exhibit A:  On Friday night, Rose and I went to a fairly new south-of-town beach bar called Island Time. The DJ was pumping out a Motown/Big Chill kind of a soundtrack, the breeze was tropical-sweet and the rum and cokes were flowing.

Pretty soon I got it into my head that I knew how to dance.

With abandon.

My new favorite sign in San Pedro, Belize. Pretty much sums up the driving experience here. You could also add that nobody stops at a Stop sign, people walk into the road without looking, and people will sometimes just stop in the middle of the road to chat with someone else. It is all pretty casual. Just stay alert when you drive and assume nothing.
My new favorite sign in San Pedro, Belize. Pretty much sums up the driving experience here. You could also add that nobody stops at a Stop sign, people walk into the road without looking, and people will sometimes just stop in the middle of the road to chat with someone else. It is all pretty casual. Just stay alert when you drive and assume nothing.

I swear to god there was a look of terror on the faces of otherwise happily dancing men and women who were within striking range of my flailing feet and hands. Delusion knows no bounds when rum is involved. I even think I assumed that the floor was clearing because people wanted a better view of my really cool moves.

Seriously.

That is about the time that one of my flailing hands slapped me in the face. Hard enough to send my favorite eyeglasses skittering across the (mercifully) mostly empty dance floor.

Well, the eyeglasses went in one direction and one of the stems went in another.

I coolly picked up both pieces and quickly realized that putting them back together that night would be unlikely and dubious at best. I mean, who needs classes when you’re already blind drunk.

Maybe that is an exaggeration. Not blind, clearly.

I shoved the pieces into my pocket and resumed laying down some really cool moves on these Southside cats.

The next day I discovered that somewhere between Island Time and the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge I lost the stem to my glasses.

Yes, pretty dumb.

But wait. There’s more.

Exhibit B: Today Rose and I went stand-up paddling in between the various storm fronts that have been passing through like express trains this week. It was calm when we started out.

Second-favorite sign in San Pedro, at paddle boarding shop BigSUP Belize. Also captures something of the island spirit. Reminds me of the shops in Southern California that qualify open for business hours with "depending on the quality of the surf."
Second-favorite sign in San Pedro, at paddle boarding shop BigSUP Belize. Also captures something of the island spirit. Reminds me of the shops in Southern California that qualify open for business hours with “depending on the quality of the surf.”

I was surprised at how off my balance was, even in the fairly becalmed waters near shore. Then I was surprised at how really off my balance was as we paddled into rougher water and stiffer winds out near the barrier reef.

I think I was using some of my moves from Friday night to keep from falling into the drink.

Let me clarify. “Drink” is just a term used for a body of water that you are trying not to fall into. There was no drink involved before or during paddling. In fact, Rose and I did partner yoga at Zen Arcade, followed by breakfast at Caliente’s.

The only drinks were water and three cups of black coffee.

My moves on the paddle board had a similar effect to my moves on the dance floor. I went ass over tea kettle into the water.

Rose pointed out that my sunglasses had flown off my face and were sinking and that perhaps I should grab them. And my bandanna was floating away.

So I dove for the glasses, snatched up the bandanna and grabbed the center well indentation on the board so that I could smoothly hoist my body back on board – before anyone noticed from shore.

That is when my wedding band flew off my finger and rolled across the board.

Landing with a sickening kerplop into the Caribbean Sea.

I dove for it but got nothing. (I did mark the spot – on an intersect due east of San Pedro High School and due south of Grand Caribe.)

Normally I remove the ring when I go swimming or snorkeling or, yes, paddle boarding. Even sometimes when I do the dishes.

Another unrelated and gratuitous picture of the good life here in San Pedro, Belize. This was Monday afternoon, along Boca del Rio.  If you squint real hard you may be able to see my wedding band shimmering in the sunlight on the shallow sea bottom....
Another unrelated and gratuitous picture of the good life here in San Pedro, Belize. This was Monday afternoon, along Boca del Rio. If you squint real hard, to the emerald green sea far off the right-side palm  tree,  you may be able to see my wedding band shimmering in the sunlight on the shallow sea bottom ….

 

Well, there you go.

Is it “A” — slapping yourself so hard in the face while dancing that you break your own glasses … then lose the stem that might have easily fixed them?

Or is it “B” – wearing your already loose wedding band out onto the sea while paddle boarding, where it slips off and disappears into the abyss as your loving wife looks on in dismay?

The week is young. A third dumb and dumber contender is always possible. For example, I am currently gearing up to replace a bathroom mirror …..

But, hey, let’s stay positive. Two dumb things a week are plenty.

Thank you for our vote. Use the comment section and vote early and often. Just like Republicans in Florida…..

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27 thoughts on “Dumb and dumber on Ambergris Caye

    Steve 'Zooman' Lardie said:
    September 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I share your love of dance and grace on the dance floor! So, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on your ‘Saturday Night Live’ moves. I find it useful to make sure I’m dancing with the prettiest girl at the dance. Usually, most of the eyes are on Her, while I gravitate towards the darker corners!

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Excellent strategy, Steve. Fortunately Rose was a professional ballerina/dancer/choreographer so most eyes are on her and not the guy flailing in the shadows!

      Like

    Sharon Lord said:
    September 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    My husband did essentially the same thing. …fortunately I bought him a $40 titanium ring figuring it was indestructible at work. …then he lost it tubing on the river. …he now has 2 backup rings. … hope you find yours….!

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 25, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Back-up rings! Brilliant! My oldest son, Brendan, lost his first wedding band while canoeing on their honeymoon. My daughter-in-law, Cami, says he is now on his third.

      Like

    Jan B. said:
    September 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Bob….you had me laughing throughout this entire blog. Much needed comedy as we are working through the final 2 week countdown to our permanent move to the island….I’m sure this stress is still somewhere in the not too distant memory bank for you and Rose. Oct. 7th is the day we arrive home to Belize. YAY!!
    I vote for “B” as the dumber of the two.
    Can I help out with the dumb “A” move by bringing another pair of glasses for you in a couple of weeks? Let me know.
    Looking forward to being a witness of other dumb and dumber moves in the future. 🙂
    J and C

    Liked by 1 person

    Jena said:
    September 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Definitely the wedding ring!

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

      That’s the way my thinking is headed too, Jena.

      Like

    Miranda said:
    September 25, 2014 at 2:56 am

    I boldly choose C). That is when, after imbibing numerous alcoholic beverage, and demonstrating to, probably a large percentage of the population in SP (or maybe it just felt that way) your somewhat less than authentic dance moves, you then go out in front of said population, and demonstrate your athletic expertise on a paddle board. Reind you of a Seinfeld Episode, where Elaine thinks she’s “a great dancer”?

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 25, 2014 at 8:30 am

      Miranda, did Seinfeld come up with the term “white guy overbite” to define the single most common dance floor move?

      Like

    Antoinette Moore said:
    September 25, 2014 at 4:00 am

    I had to take a short break before responding with my answer due to the severe pain in my side while laughing! You sure can tell a great story Bob! While both stories are true contenders for inspirations for “the big screen” as the best comedy ever…..I have to go with “B.” That is only because “free expression” on the dance floor is never dumb even when it involves an occasional slap in the face to oneself. It could have been worse had you slapped someone else! Your adventures there sound wonderful, hopefully Randy & I will have a chance to come visit & you & Rose can take us out dancing & paddle boarding; we can all be dumb together😊

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Hi Antoinette! It is much like dancing with abandon during those weekend afternoon live band and wine tasting sessions at the Suisun Valley wineries!

      Like

    peter nolan said:
    September 25, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I would say there is plenty of room for improvements { more frivolity} let us have your schedule we dont want to miss anything . Peter & Lesley.

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 25, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I’m on it Peter! Every Monday I shall post potentially dumb things that await me in the week ahead!

      Like

    Lisa said:
    September 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I know exactly what mirror you are replacing – stayed in that condo in June:). Miss the place so much! Enjoy your blog.

    Like

      Lisa said:
      September 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      I vote for #2 by the way!

      Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      How great! I understand how you could miss it here. We feel blessed to be here. Thanks for reading the blog, Lisa.

      Like

    Steve said:
    September 26, 2014 at 8:13 am

    the first dumb move was drinking rum and coke ( Oh how that drink has got into trouble in the past). stick with Jack Daniels straight.

    I do vote for #2. you have alway had trouble with standing on sticks in water.

    and finally the Republicans vote twice in Fl. to offset the three vote from the dead Democrats

    In join life Bro

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      My own baby brother! Ouch!
      Hiya, Steve.
      You are probably right, (well you are very far right of Fox … 🙂 ) Democrats were using creative voting long before Republicans caught on. Actually I got that wrong. Democrats find ways to vote multiple times, Republicans find ways to suppress the votes of minorities, the poor, the elderly and anyone else who might be inclined to vote Democrat.
      So, I guess they probably cancel each other out.
      And you are so right about the rum & cokes. I think any event tinged with regret, remorse, shame or embarrassment flows in on a river of cheap rum and beer, both of which are plentiful here.

      Like

    Susan said:
    September 26, 2014 at 9:42 am

    You are very funny. I enjoy your blogs, they make me smile and look forward to Belize, but why do you have to ruin it with political barbs? So unnecessary.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Sorry Susan. I grew up and lived in a very political environment. My father and I traded barbs and argued and debated politics. And we still loved each other, until the day he died. I am an unapologetic liberal/progressive. It is who I am. I am proud of it. This is not a political forum but if some small piece of political humor should show itself I hope readers can roll with it or … like my brother Steve in a nearby comment, top it with a better one. Thank you.

      Like

    Susan said:
    September 26, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Nope, don’t intend to top it or even try. Sick of politics all together, I read your blog for fun and the adventures of Belize. Will just pass on your blog. Take care.

    Like

    Tammy said:
    September 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    OUCH! To each there own, even the overly sensitive. Keep on keepin on Bob!!

    Like

      Jill said:
      September 26, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      I’m out too. The political cheap shots ruin an otherwise decent blog.

      Like

    Tammy said:
    September 27, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Oh Crap the Karma police came and jacked up my grammar. ✌️

    Like

    Jennifer said:
    September 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    This is your blog………..don’t worry about the negative nancys………….those sticks in the mud can go read harlequin romance books if they want to live in a fantasy! The friendly banter is supposed to be fun! Keep on keeping on, Bob! I love every minute of your blog!

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer.
      I hope that my readers, love them all as I do, realize that this is not a commercial venture. It is a personal one. After 40 ears writing for other people online and in newspapers, I now write for me — with the sincere hope that others enjoy or benefit in some way from what I do. I don’t make money, I make personal observations on our life here in Belize!
      I love you all.
      Now, put down that computer and go hug some one you love even more!

      Like

        Jennifer said:
        September 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        Well said, Bob!!! That was my point. If you want a “neutral story” go find someplace else. This is your personal page. Don’t like it. Don’t read it. “Pots right” as they say in poker. I may lean a little “your way”, but either way, I like that you have the right to say whatever you want. Forget the naysayers and feel free to be you!!!!

        Like

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