Have You Heard About the Fire Dancers?


Vacations are as American as taxes and voting, though I detest the former and am not certain the latter does any good. Nevertheless, when people have a few days off work, they always want to go somewhere and I mean somewhere else besides where they live. People in New York go to Florida, people in Florida go to Nevada, and people in Nevada go to New York. I’m convinced that vacations are a biological response to acute stress. This built-in response has been passed down from our cave men ancestors and is what psychiatrists call the fight or flight syndrome. Papa cave man dealt with predatory animals and aggressive neighboring clans so he would often have to go somewhere else to live. The source of most stress nowadays is from work or family unless you live in West Virginia where you have predatory animals and aggressive neighboring clans.


Now that I’m retired and living in Florida, the only stress I have is finding where the delivery kid throws my newspaper every morning and wondering if the government will spend my social security money studying the mating habits of the Great Northern Loon. Personally I think the Great Northern Loon is a fine bird and I hope they make plenty of baby Loons but it seems to me that the mating habits of any species is more productive when they aren’t being studied. Perhaps someone should study the spending habits of the loons in Congress.


Now that the missus and I have plenty of time on our hands, she wants to take a cruise. That’s fine with me except she wants me to go with her. I enjoy just puttering around the house but she wants us to go somewhere. I can think of plenty of places to go and none of them involve spending a week eating and dancing about with 900 strangers on a boat in the middle of a large, deep, shark-infested body of water.


She likes the idea of a cruise because someone else will make her bed every morning and cook her anything she wants to eat. I told her I would take her to Joe’s Diner every night for seven nights and hire a housekeeper for the week but she says it’s not the same. She may be right since Joe’s Diner doesn’t serve smoked salmon and crème Brule. I do like their French fries though.


It is inevitable I will soon be joining the throngs of thousands every year that leave a perfectly good place to go somewhere else on vacation. On the bright side it will give me some good stories I can use at the next dinner party we attend. People aren’t as interested in your stories about the search for your daily newspaper as they are in one that begins with “Have you heard about the fire dancers of Playa del Carmen? We saw them on our last vacation.”