But I digress.
These are some of the things I learned on my trip to The Islands:
There are lots of iguanas in the Caribbean. They come in all sizes and are rumored to be herbivores. However, I heard from a golf partner that he saw one devouring a bird, which made me re-think the "Iguanas Are Harmless" line of thinking that I was using to calm my long-standing fear of the reptile. That said, the gentleman who told me of the bloodthirsty bird-killer was also from the States and by the look in his eyes, I got the inkling his fear of the reptile eclipsed my own.
Herbivore, or bloodthirsty killer?
I found that the simplest way to find out the location and severity of a sunburn is to take a hot shower. You're welcome.
Announcements on an aircraft are disseminated precisely to the time required for a human being to nearly reach REM-level sleep. Well played, airline industry - nice passive/aggressive manner in which to act out on your secret hatred of those who fly.
There is very little difference between "Jungle" and "Woods". St. Thomas could be West Virginia with all its inherent thickets and trees and hills. Only the disparate accents of the two and the endlessly pleasant disposition of the Island locals provide a clue as to which offensively humid mountain location one has been delivered.
There is a reason it's called "Sandpaper". Sand is an excellent abrasive - this was proven by walking back from the beach without adequate rinsing. A hot shower will also help one discover precisely where one's body has been rubbed clean of its protective epidermis.
Sea urchins are not to be trifled with. A young, drunken, thrill-seeking salesperson decided it would be a good idea to wander down to the pier on his first night at the resort and jump into the water. Scampering up the rocks on his way back to the pier, he stepped on a sea urchin. Not to be put off, he jumped in the water again and stepped on a second sea urchin on his way out that time as well. Much time was spent pulling sea urchin quills out of his foot, which turned an ugly color, forced him to walk with a limp and made him miserable for the rest of the trip.
Not to be trifled with.
My daughter informed him that if he had peed on the foot, it would have soothed his pain. Once this advise had been delivered, folks were offering to piss on the salesman all weekend. I offered myself and told him that he could have the asparagus variety for no extra charge. My daughter must be some kind of savant - she knows all kinds of weird stuff and once told me when she was five or six that an animal I mentioned in passing (most likely in fear) was not "indigenous to this part of the country". It probably made me feel better.
My daughter, Allie - the savant.
In spite of all the things I learned on my trip, there was still enough fear and paranoia to get me through. A lively conversation ensued at dinner one evening about the reliability of the seat cushions of the airplane as a flotation device. I immediately pointed out that dying on impact would be much more preferable to floating in the water clinging to my seat cushion, since my seat cushion would most likely smell of human feces born of fear. I also wondered aloud if it would be bad form to shed my soiled pants in the water and if human feces attracted sharks. While it might seem like tremendous good-fortune to survive an airliner crash into the sea, it appears that there is a fear and paranoia that can be attached to even the purest of good fortune. Some hope for survival; I dread floating, sans pants, in shark-infested waters, smelling my own fear-poo on a seat cushion/flotation device and hoping that the sharks don't bite my dingle off. These are the thoughts that haunt my dreams.
Dreaming of sharks, sea urchins and iguanas is hard work.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to simply bury my head in the sand...