Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cancun Letters #8

Letter #8

Saturday March 3, 2007

Dear Marissa,

First, let me say, I’m sorry. I know that I said I would be in Cancun by Friday, and now it’s Saturday, and I’m still not there. And, I want you to know it’s not my fault. How the hell was I suppose to know them snakes was his lunch? Well, the truth is, I didn’t think about much at all beyond shooting the damn things. Here’s the whole story. When you’ve read it, you’ll know this screw up wasn’t my fault.

Me and Win Win were half way between Bay Minette and Cancun. The weather was perfect. The engine, after a bit of initial hesitation, was doing great. I’d just finished two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and washed them down with a tall Budweiser. Win Win was running the boat, which by the way, is rather small for a shrimp boat. Win Win says it’s twenty feet long, but I’d guess it’s closer to sixteen feet.

Anyway, that doesn’t matter since the Gulf of Mexico was as smooth as glass. Win Win was singing Vietnamese love songs, at least he said they was love songs. I guess they could have been kill-all-the-Yankees-and-take-their- women songs. I was about to nod off to dreamland when I noticed a big basket, shaped like a light bulb, on the floor of the boat near my foot. It had a top that fit tightly. I guess that’s what caught my attention first. I ain’t ever seen a basket like that before. Well, I was staring at it when I heard something inside it move.

Without for a minute thinking about what I was doing, I sort of pushed the lid off with my bare foot. The next few things that happened all seemed to happen at one time. Four big snakes came bailing out of the basket. Win Win stopped singing, turned loose of the tiller, dove for the basket, and began screaming. I jumped up, almost went overboard, caught my balance, and went for my backpack. Just when I reached it, one of those damn snakes shot up my pant leg. I screamed and almost tore the top off the backpack. I hopped a couple of times and the snake came out of my pants and headed for the bow. That’s when I got my hands on Uncle Otis’ old World War II, United States Army issue, .45 Caliber, Colt Automatic Pistol.

As quick as lightning, I put four holes in the bottom of Win Win’s boat and one in his worn-out bilge pump. The snakes went overboard. And Win Win stopped screaming, for a minute.

The shots, followed by us settling lower and lower in the water, caught the attention of someone on board a German tramp freighter that was overtaking us. Well, to shorten this a bit so I can get it on this one sheet of paper, let me give you the bottom line.

Win Win and me are now in a tiny fishing village, about a hundred miles northwest of Cancun, negotiating for boat repairs and a replacement bilge pump. And, this really chaps me, I had to agree to buy Win Win’s next three meals to get him to stop screaming. All of that is going to take another chunk out of my summer school slush fund, but the important thing is getting to Cancun and helping you.

So hang on Marissa, I’m still on the way.