Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Carolina Parrothead Book Review

"A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean"
by Gary Buslik

Dear God in heaven I have about come to the conclusion that I have fallen through some hole in the space-time continuum and at best landed in an outlying area of Purgatory. I would say I have set down in hell but while the politicians on television hint that is the case only a few actually seem demonic, they rest are just incompetent while possessing enormous egos suggesting reality has become some sort of zany cartoon or bad Twilight Zone episode. Still though, the oppressive summer heat and humidity, being trapped in a soulless suburb filled with pod people hours away from the ocean, and the near constant chore of driving my children around to their activities and social functions has all conspired to suck the life out of me.

Anyone who enjoys the life of a suburbia pod person all I can say, with all due respect, is more power to you. But I view dithering over such asinine things like concern over the proper shade of green for their lawn, whether the new furniture clashes with the old wallpaper, or if the family needs a new SUV because the neighbor next door bought one as a form of hell. Not that I interact with the neighbors, to them at the very least I am an odd alien from another dimension that it is far better ignored. At worst I am budding terrorist out to destroy the pod and corrupt the hive mind. My wife does intermingle with those people and I must admit that I do have some sympathy for the embarrassment she has to suffer putting up with my antisocial ways. That does not stop me from taking a blood sample from her for analysis after she returns from any visit in the neighborhood. Dragonwife has pod person leanings already and I do not need her infecting the children who are both showing strong signs of original thought and behavior but not my disagreeable inclinations.

Stuck for the foreseeable future in such an environment keeping what little bit of sanity I have is a prime concern. I have developed several tactics to alleviate my stress and frustrations, most of which are family friendly and do not involve nakedness. The most extreme, but still being fully clothed, has me dressing up for a beach party complete with loud Hawaiian shirt, baggy cargo shorts, straw hat, sandals, and sunglasses then sticking my feet in my daughters old sandbox while I hold a beer in one hand and conch shell to my ear with the other. With my eyes closed I listen to the ocean through the conch shell while Jimmy Buffett plays in the background and an open bottle of sunscreen provides a needed olfactory angle to the simulation. What would really seal the deal would be the feel of both pieces of a bikini lying in my lap casually tossed there by a now naked nymph who with her come-hither look beckons me to join her for a swim. But for reasons I will not go into such a thing just isn’t possible.

The other method is to immerse myself into some book with a strong Caribbean panache that can transport me away from my mutated American Dream. That brings me to the point of yet another rancid post and the wasting of my reader’s valuable time.

Cruising around Amazon a few months ago Gary Buslik’s “A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean” popped up in my recommended list and it looked like just the book to help me survive these dreadful summer days. It is a collection of short stories as the hero, the author himself, travels the Caribbean surviving all manner of misadventures and colorful characters one of them being his wife. Along the way he tells us about cockfighting in Grenada; surviving a trip to Castro’s Cuba while sneaking a manuscript out of the country under the nose of a commie informer as a favor to a fearful Cuban author; and smuggling illegal stogies out of St. Martin among many other extremely funny and irreverent adventures. My favorite stories involve him urinating on Idi Amin and the explanation of why chicken rectums are more relevant than you might think.

The most amazing thing for me about this very talented professor from the University of Illinois at Chicago is that he makes it clear he is a political conservative but never once does he beat the reader over the head with it. Pardon my bipartisan spirit here but this is a fellow for whom I could sit down on a sandy beach with and, if endowed with the proper political power, could find compromises that could straighten out the cluster fuck called the United States. All the while getting totally wasted drinking beer and watching the hot babes walk past in skimpy swimsuits.

For anyone suffering through similar suburban induced trials and tribulations or for anyone just wanting a well written and funny book I highly recommend this one.


Tim said...

A nice picture portrayed in my head.
Although I'm substituting the drink with ice tea. Other than that ya baby.

Beach Bum said...

Tim: Feeling the dog days of summer here, need to blow this Popsicle stand.

Teeluck said...

Hey Beach, sorry for being absent for a while, trying to put things together with the new book.
Gary's book sounds great!
As for the sun, surf, beer and girls, count me in!

Randal Graves said...

Engaging in criminal acts isn't very American. Saint Ronnie's rolling over in his grave.

Liberality said...

Oh to be a hot babe strutting around in a little two piece bikini turning all the boys heads once again...

Yeah, but that ain't gonna happen and neither will compromising with most conservatives either. Nice thought though.

tnlib said...

I hate suburbia for all those very reasons. I want to be in the middle of downtown or way out in the boonies on 50 acres or on a deserted island.

Not all conservatives are schmucks. I'm going to put this book on my reading list.

TRUTH 101 said...

I have long since embraced my inner ugly American. You should see me strut around Taco Bell like I own the place.

Beach Bum said...

Teeluck: No worries dude, life is complicated. Shit, this summer has been a pain and the worst month has not even started.

Randal: Given Iran-Contra Ronnie will understand.

Liberality: Just keeping hope alive. As much as it seems impossible I have to believe that when things get bad enough the current batch of politicians will be flushed away letting a new, and better group take over.

Still working up a plan B to get out of the country though.

Tnlib: I truly hate suburbia, I so want to be out in the country. City living would be nice as well.

Truth: Gave up the ugly American stuff after falling head over heels in love with a Mexican lady down in Cozumel. Saw her for about thirty minutes and to this day I would make her my wife if it was possible. No, I have never told this to my wife.

TRUTH 101 said...

WE've all been there Double B.

I take it your wife doesn't read your blog?

TRUTH 101 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lime said...

i may need to add that to my "to read" list. sounds like a good one especially for when i park my own butt in the sand.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

What celebrity would you say that the naked nymph most closely resembles? I'm really trying to get a visual here and I want it to be more authentic to your design......I really like Jimmy's version of "Brown Eyed Girl", btw.

Beach Bum said...

Truth: No she doesn't, in fact she really has no idea on the subjects I post about. Most of my marital jabs are meant in fun but it does bug me when she assumes my blog is just another version of Facebook.

Lime: It is simply a great read. Had several "bad" days while reading the book but it would always make me feel better.

Will: Some fashion catalog came in the mail just the day for my wife. While I was bring the junk inside I caught sight of the very sexy lady modeling the items that company sells. Lets just say I would crawl through a mile of broken glass just to touch the tip of her big toe.

Teresa said...

MRMacrum said...

You have to excuse Randal. He's from Cleveland. Engaging in criminal acts is indeed American. What's un-American is getting caught.

Other than that, I always found the Caribbean to be a wonderful place to get into trouble. I spent a night, no make that two in a crusty old jail with flat bars in St.Martin back in the early 70s. The time in stir was a small price to pay for the wondrous night of debauchery and puke that I was hauled away from the next morning. My only regret was they kept my hash pipe. And they kicked me off the island before I even had a chance to eat breakfast.

TomCat said...

Beach my volunteer work helps level me out. There's some advocacy, but helping prisoners and former prisoners one-on-one or in small groups helps bring me back to the simple things.

MadMike said...

A recommendation I will most certainly take to heart my friend. I wonder if it is available for Kindle?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I would have done that same mile of broken glass for Barbara Stanwyck (1941). Man, oh, man, are we (dudes, I'm saying) ever idiots, huh? LOL

Beach Bum said...

Teresa: I bought that CD after hearing that very song.

MRMacrum: That sounded like a blast! My first trip to St. Martin was a couple of weeks after 9/11, the cruise ship and both sides of the island were still keyed up like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I figure any real shenanigans would have been seriously frowned upon. Hell, the Dutch side had a gunboat with a 20mm cannon watching over the Disney cruise ship. It really freaked out the hardcore civilians.

Mike: A Kindle? Better not tell Randal, he will freak. But yes, I think they do.

Will: Stanwyck? ABSOLUTELY! If I went into my list I would be here all night, I'll just say Lauren Bacall and leave it at night.

Beach Bum said...

Tomcat: Sorry, my daughter pulled me away for a second. Started doing a little steady volunteer work before I was sent to third-shift. It very piecemeal now but I still try from time to time.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I hate to turn your bog into a chat room about chicks BUT I just saw a promo tonight for Showtime, and it showed Mary Louise Parker leaning back and uttering, "Men are weak.".....Wow! I'm considering adding her to MY list. LOL

Rhiannon said...

As you know I live among many "hard core" conservatives, along with some redneck mentality on the side. It's not always easy but I've finally found a way to "cruise" right on through with no arguments or them losing it or getting upset with me. Including the religious part's a secret so I can't tell you right now...I may even write a book about it....but it's pretty simple let me tell ya!..:<) far at least. I am well liked here and am just being myself.

You know what they say BB "What goes around comes around" just may take more time than we would like it too. I see people slowly waking up..either that or we split this country in half..we'll see.

I feel sad about you and your wife and sad that she compares your blog with facebook...facebook sucks..they hook you in and I keep trying top warn late.

I hope your happy and get along well and communicate some with your wife. I don't think I could handle my other half (if I had one right now) running to the "other side" I just could not handle..some things in relationships we should have in common and political views and how we feel about them are one of them. They are our core values our thinking about the state of the world and our concerns and the thoughtful answers or ideas we may have should be talked about and listened to in our spouses. Good luck with that.

My favorite actress and lady from way back is Veronica know the blond lady with her longish hair parted way to the side and hanging over her face a bit..she made some pretty interesting movies and was a very special one like her.

Well, hagd in there my friend..hopefully August will fly by fast and before you know it, it will be autumn..and with my very recent move to the 3rd floor view (high rise penthouse they call it jokingly here) I get to see the orange moon rise from a mountain nearby and actually see stars...I hope to be "above" all the problems more now..

Hang in there...what goes around comes around and people will either see the light of the angry tea party peeps, and the democrats might actually find themselves in a better place down the road than they think...we'll see.

Hang in there and stay cool when you can.


TomCat said...

Graveyard puts the kaibosh on volunteer work, Beach. Hell! It puts the kaibosh on life!

Beach Bum said...

Will: You can always talk about chicks here! And Mary Louise Parker has occupied significant dream time in my head, she is smoking hot.

Rhia: My intention goes beyond simple tolerance and into actual working with people I may not agree with on issues. While the bad examples get all the press, I know a bunch of good Christians and honest conservatives. Petty bickering and name calling solves nothing and is a form of collective suicide. This doesn't change my liberal beliefs, but life is never completely black and white.

Tomcat: It is stressful but I have mostly worked around it as far as the family is concerned. In a way I actually enjoy it, it keeps me out of office politics.

TomCat said...

As long as you can stand it. :-)

goatman said...

So these two parrotheads walk into an adobe tavern; but you would think that the second one would have seen it coming!

Suzan said...

Why do I love your writing?

Let me count the ways . . . .

I can't.

Love ya,


Not that I interact with the neighbors, to them at the very least I am an odd alien from another dimension that it is far better ignored

Beach Bum said...

Tomcat: I was surprised to find I enjoyed it so much. Its still a pain but as long as I can avoid work-place politics I'm good.

Goatman: LOL!!!!

Suzan: Thanks, read an article in AARP (Yeah, too young to be a member but some of the writing is good) recently about being a expat and living cheaply. Long story short I'm blowing this Popsicle stand in a few years.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Rhiannon, Veronica Lake was awesome in "The Blue Dahlia" with Alan Ladd. Both thumbs enthusiastically up.

Suzan said...

Well, dang you, buddy!

Have you read Joe Bageant lately?

He's got lots of words to the wise about moving really south, and there's an article somewhere today (I forget where, of course) about how much better their political systems are shaping up now that they got rid of US.

Love ya, still.

But you are trying my patience.