Sweetie on the Beach
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 100 16:57:18 -0800
Subject: Sweetie on the Beach
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Forwarded-by: Keith Sullivan <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
HIGH-FLYING PILOTS, FOUL WEATHER TOP OFF DAY AT THE BEACH
by P.S. Wall (Off the Wall), May 24, 1998
"Topless beaches?" Sweetie says.
"Totally topless," the guy assures him, as he fishes the cherry out of
his pina colada and plops it in his mouth.
Sweetie and I are on the island paradise of Barbados. Barbados is where
the British troops stayed when they invaded Grenada. All I can say is,
the British sure know how to throw a war.
"The whole beach?" Sweetie asks.
"For as far as the eye can see," the guy says, waving his little paper
umbrella across the horizon like Mary Poppins.
They call Barbados the air-conditioned island because a constant 10 mph
breeze blows across your cocoa-buttered body like a GE fan. For the
next four days, Hurricane Andrew couldn't blow me out of my beach
chair. My only concern is, how much do you tip a porter for bringing
you a bedpan?
"Totally topless?" Sweetie says.
"Some of them wear sunglasses," the guy says.
And the next thing I know, Sweetie is pushing me onto a plane the size
of a hummingbird bound for the French Island of Martinique.
As a rule, I try not to board airplanes where, prior to takeoff, the
pilots are crouched under the wing sharing a funny little cigarette.
"Sweetie," I say, nose pressed against the airplane window, "are they
doing what I think they're doing?"
"Totally topless," Sweetie says, his pupils shaped into silhouettes of
nude women, like you see on the mud flaps of an 18-wheeler.
When our pilots finally stumble onto the plane, they're one toke over
the line and suffering from a severe case of the munchies. Other than
almost mowing down a couple of ground crew guys, takeoff went much
smoother than I anticipated. But then one would expect pilots who wear
Grateful Dead T-shirts to be adept at getting high. It's the coming
down part that makes you worry.
It's supposed to be around a one-hour hop from Barbados to Martinique.
After two hours in the air, Cheech and Chong start flying in a circle
and stretching their necks to scan the horizon.
"What are they doing?" I whisper.
"They can't find the island," Sweetie says, suddenly fully alert and
leaning forward in his seat. About this time, Cheech taps on the fuel
I've never been a whiz at geography, but since we're flying due east
into the Atlantic -- and there's no sign of Africa -- I reason we're
about to meet our maker.
"Sweetie," I say, taking his hand, "I just want you to know that I love
you more than life, and I wouldn't change a thing."
Cupping his hand over mine, Sweetie stares me in the eyes and says, "Our
bloodsucking relatives are going to blow every last dime of our money."
On that note, Sweetie and I start tearing the plane apart looking for
anything and everything that will float. We almost have the cushions
torn out of the seats when Chong jumps up and points out the window.
"Voila!!! Martinique!!!" he cries.
While I'm down on my hands and knees French-kissing the runway, Sweetie
flags down an airport security guard.
"Oui?" the guard asks, running up to us.
"Ou est le topless beach?" Sweetie demands. The guard points with his
umbrella and Sweetie takes off.
Glistening with oil -- and totally topless -- French women stretch for
as far as the eye can see. It's like looking at a griddle full of
sunny-side up eggs at the International House of Pancakes.
No sooner do Sweetie's toes touch sand than a bolt of lightning streaks
across the sky. And before you can say "greased lightning," the entire
beach packs up and is gone.
Rain beating down on us like a typhoon, Sweetie and I stare at the empty
"Sweetie," I say, "would it help if I took my shirt off and ran around a
"Not totally," Sweetie says, "but it wouldn't hurt."
Copyright 1998 P.S. Wall. All rights reserved.
© 2000 Peter Langston