Sometime in 2002, The Little Orphan Granny and The Boot were making plans for new adventures. The Orphan asked The Boot if she had any interest in visiting an island in the Caribbean Sea and received a resounding,
“…Yes – which one…?”
Since the world was in turmoil, security at airports was horrendous and terrorists were loose on the world, The Orphan and The Boot researched the situation to ascertain the risks. The Orphan and the Boot decided that life was not without risk and that all nettles should be grasped firmly -- so they decided to proceed -- at
least with a plan. The Orphan was more nettle-grasping than the somewhat conservative Boot.
A “search” was initiated using Recreation Condominiums International (RCI) to find what was available for a two-week stay. Two available weeks appeared -- and were booked -- at The Green Blue Houses in St. François, Guadeloupe, Fickle France, for May 24 to June 7, 2003. The French Guadeloupeans were not sure of the color of
this timeshare so they covered all bases.
Following the September 11, 2001, Awful Al Qaeda sneak attack on the New York Trade Towers, the Pentagon and the White House, the thoroughly pissed-off-at-terrorism Yankees had taken a few weeks to capture Arrogant Afghanistan and destroy the Treacherous Taliban while running Bestial bin-Laden and the Awful Al Qaeda out of
The Orphan and The Boot decided that, by 2003, the world would be an even safer place in which to travel again so far away. The duo then purchased air travel from airlines not yet in bankruptcy.
At that time the duo obviously did not know that the Yankees, led by a smart, focused Texan named Brash Bush -- and in league with their Limey buddies, led by Brave Blair -- would again go to war in 2003 against the evil forces in Infernal Iraq -- led by the Dictator Sadistic Saddam and his gang of cutthroats -- to continue to
The nefarious quartet of Grumpy Germany, Fickle France, Rancorous Russia and Cheating China had decided -- before the war -- that the Infernal Iraqi pillage led by Sadistic Saddam -- should continue so that all of their Infernal Iraqi oil investments would be protected.
Such an attitude from any member of this nefarious quartet was not particularly surprising.
Rationality was not available from the quartet ever since the Grumpy Germans had their butts kicked in two wars (and then wrote the Holocaust and the Nasty Nazis out of their history), the Fickle French killed all intelligence during their revolution and became the world leaders in surrendering, crummy communism fell on its
own incompetent butt and the USSR dissolved into a pitiable poor country named Rancorous Russia, and Cheating China sent all of the people who knew how to do anything to Taiwan.
The Orphan recommends that, at the end of the next war, the loser must keep Grumpy Germany, Fickle France, Rancorous Russia and/or Cheating China.
However, the Yankees and the Limeys took only a little over a month to win the war and run Sadistic Saddam and the “…evil Infernal Iraqi deck of cards…” out of town. As could be expected, as soon as the Yankees and the Limeys did all of the work, the nefarious quartet enthusiastically volunteered to “manage” the peacekeeping
process. The Yankees and Limeys did not deign to notice these offers, so more blustering, lies and bullshit emanated from the quartet.
The Yankees and the Fickle French, in particular, engaged in a bitter “war-of-words” (the only kind of war the Fickle French were capable of). Guadeloupe is a Department of France. Under these circumstances, The Orphan and The Boot asked themselves if they should continue to plan an adventure out of their safe haven in
Soggy Seattle to travel so far to a Fickle French place.
The Orphan, having dealt with the Fickle French while chained to the oars of The Mighty Boeing slave galley, knew that the Fickle French would only bluster, bullshit and lie but never really do anything -- in the open -- so the duo continued their plans for the adventure in Guadeloupe. The Boot, however, continued to have
The mass-hysteria media had been predicting mile-long lines, great havoc and long delays at airports for that Memorial Day weekend. But -- as The Orphan had once observed (see page 157 of Dave English’s book, Slipping the Surly Bonds), the mass-hysteria media continued to be all wrong -- and probably didn’t even sell
any more newspapers or attract any more viewers because of their hysteria.
Therefore, on the evening of May 23, 2003, the duo braved the publicized vehicle roadblocks and searches and proceeded in their hired limousine to the Soggy Seattle-Terrible Tacoma Airport to arrive the recommended two hours before their departure.
A sleepy yawning policeman who didn’t even glance at them waved the limousine of the duo through the “roadblock.” The duo then arrived at the terminal the recommended two hours early to go through the awful airport security checks. The awful security checks are known as “…locking the barn after all livestock has escaped…” --
which were increasingly awful because of an American Nazi system engendered by “…Patriot Act I…”
The duo went through the whole airport process in a little over 15 minutes, walked to the gate and had to drink $40 worth of ethanol while waiting for an hour and a quarter for the airplane to board. Sigh for the mass-hysteria media and The Orphan who should certainly know better.
The duo flew overnight on a Delta 767 (smile from heaven, Everette Webb) to Atlanta (located in the American Georgia) and on to Sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico -- a Yankee holding. The duo then did a short Ambitious American Eagle flight (aptly called a “hop”) in a small propjet piloted by an adventurer who obviously was trained
for carrier landings. This travel from Soggy Seattle to Guadeloupe was a long arduous trip so the duo decided to upgrade part of the Delta Airlines portion of the flight to First Class (using cheapo upgrades). Thus they could sleep without contortions and abrasions.
Finally the duo was completely transported to Guadeloupe, a Department of Fickle France -- where there was no English or even Yankee spoken. They were immigrated, released to find their luggage -- which miraculously was all there, and customed.
Fortunately, since The Boot had arranged a car and driver to meet the duo for transport to the Green Blue Houses, they saw a tall man holding a FRAZIER sign and knew he was waiting for them. The man did not understand The Orphan’s question,
“…where is the bathroom…?”
The Orphan then tried,
So The Boot tried her very first conversational French and asked,
“...ou est la salle de bain…?” and was directed to the correct place.
And -- as quickly became apparent -- The Orphan and The Boot were to experience “…Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride…” firsthand.
The duo, with their driver, Mr. Toad, motored along narrow winding roads up and down hills and around blind curves using either or both sides of the road -- as were the approaching cars. Goats and cows grazed on both sides within inches of this winding road with its zippy tiny cars. All cars were zippy and tiny in
Guadeloupe, even the minivan from the Green Blue Houses -- which, based on the width of the roads, was a good thing.
The duo arrived in the St. François marina in front of the Green Blue Houses and checked into their timeshare condo which had a lot of blue in it. It had two floors and was on the top floor on the marina side. It was large and comfortable and was equipped with a spacious deck that looked out over a gorgeous quiet marina at
the green Caribbean Sea.
There were no other Yankees in St. François the whole first week so the duo were the token Yankee tourists. The Boot became ever more fluent as she practiced her French in every restaurant and shop in St. François.
The Boot had striven mightily studying French in high school and college so the Fickle Frenchless Orphan was at her mercy as she curved her pretty lips around:
“…merci beaucoup, bonjour, au revoir, parlez-vous anglais?…” and
“…combien de l’argent? acceptez-vous les cartes bancaires?…” (how much money? do you accept bankcards?)
The Boot’s communication process seemed to be best performed with the almost continuous use of Euros from ATMs and with a VISA card in dozens of small shops.
There was a restaurant named La Chaloupe ("The Rowboat") attached to the Green Blue Houses -- but not a part of them -- that was to play a major role in this adventure as well as keeping the VISA swiping continuously. After unpacking -- and still somewhat shaky from “...Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride…” -- the duo wandered down to La
Chaloupe for ethanol.
The Chaloupe so resembled Rick’s Café in Casablanca in atmosphere, appearance, music and personnel -- but with no villains -- that The Orphan and The Boot were entranced.
The Orphan immediately went up to the bar -- which was “…womaned…” by Longtime Louisette -- playing the role of Sascha -- and ordered a martini. The Orphan, experienced in the way of the Fickle French, watched Longtime Louisette reach for the dry and sweet Martini Vermouth and yelled,
“…Non! Non! Gin, Gin…”
There was a Longtime Louisette scowl as The Orphan let Longtime Louisette pour the gin but insisted on pouring the one drop of dry vermouth himself. This martini was shaken -- not stirred – and served to The Orphan by The Orphan. The Orphan -- now that Longtime Louisette was trained (or so thought The Orphan) -- said,
“…Now, make another one just like the other one…”
Longtime Louisette reached for the gin and dry vermouth, carefully turned her back and mixed a martini two parts gin and one part dry vermouth -- a Fickle French dry martini. The Orphan unknowingly delivered this odious concoction to The Boot, who, after one sip, said, while reaching for The Orphan’s perfectly dry
“…This ain’t mine. That one is mine…”
The Orphan then took this horrible yellow pseudo-martini concoction back to Longtime Louisette and bade her to pour it out. Longtime Louisette loudly banged the martini glass on the counter, sullenly poured it out and slammed new ice in a shaker, while staring fixedly into the eyes of The Orphan. Longtime Louisette said
“…You should be drinking rum…”
The Orphan then mixed the next one, shook it, poured it and returned with it to rejoin The Boot.
Longtime Louisette and The Orphan were now formally introduced (The Orphan and Longtime Louisette were to become close friends!). Longtime Louisette made drinks perfectly from then on -- perhaps because The Orphan subsequently only ordered either rum or scotch -- and occasionally, when undeterred by The Boot, a “Granny
Manhattan” -- but only later and always only from Super Mario.
La Chaloupe was owned by a young French Canadian couple but was managed by the feminine half, Intelligent Isabelle. The male half, Occasional Olivier, occasionally appeared fleetingly -- with their two children, Evasive Emilie and Coy Camille -- but mostly remained invisible. Intelligent Isabelle was educated in Canadian law
but had decided to pursue an honorable profession instead. Intelligent Isabelle was very intelligent.
In Intelligent Isabelle’s La Chaloupe, in addition to Longtime Louisette, there were also Harmonious Hervé -- playing the role of Sam, Super Mario -- playing the role of Carl, Massive Moise -- playing the dual role of Chef and Signor Ferrari, and Crisp Christianne -- playing herself. There were no Ugarte or Strasser roles. It
became standard for Harmonious Hervé, when espying The Orphan and The Boot, to commence playing “As Time Goes By” and The Orphan didn’t even need to say,
“…play it, Sam, play it again…”
Intelligent Isabelle had to play the dual roles of Ilsa Laszlo and of Rick Blaine. Intelligent Isabelle was just as pretty in the Ilsa role as Ingrid Bergman, and as one can see from the photo of The Orphan hugging her, MUCH prettier in the Rick role than Humphrey Bogart.
Each member of this fine team -- except Massive Moise -- took turns at caring for The Orphan’s VISA.
The Orphan and The Boot ate Fickle French and Creole food for fourteen days -- Spaghetti Bolognaise, Spaghetti Langouste, Grilled Langouste (clawless lobster), grilled prawns, raw fish in lime juice, a bony whole fish served complete with head and tail, coconut mahi mahi, Chicken Colombo, turkey curry and even raw beef. The
Orphan had forgotten the Fickle French meaning for “…medium rare…” until Super Mario and Intelligent Isabelle led a cow to the table and said,
“…Here is a knife. Cut off the piece that you like…”
When cooking beef, it is clear that both Fickle France and Massive Moise are conserving energy.
The Orphan lost it only once. When passing a small deli, The Orphan deciphered a sign that said,
“…Hot dogs and Milkshakes…”
After a careful examination of the meaning of the sign (remember the rare-beef incident), and assured that the “dog” was really a wiener, The Orphan consumed an entire foot-long hot dog in panini bread with onions, pickles and mustard while sipping a coconut milkshake as a crowd watched the Yankee eat.
Real food at last! There is no risk that The Orphan will ever emigrate from Soggy Seattle to Fickle France! The Orphan is not sure about The Boot, who “…ooohed and aahhed…” a lot about the food.
The Orphan and The Boot spent much of their time walking through the town buying and looking at things. They went to the Match Supermarket for Italian salami and Creole spices and Fickle French cheese and Chilean wines and Guadeloupean Rum and Bombay Sapphire and Gordon’s Gin. They went to the photo shop and galleries and
gift shops and many boutiques. The Orphan only looked while in the galleries and boutiques -- but The Boot both looked and bought.
The Orphan made a friend at Laurel B Mme.’s boutique. A tiny eight-year-old Yorkshire Terrier-type dog named Cerise (“Cherry”) brought her tiny toy bone to The Orphan for him to throw -- or so The Orphan thought. After The Orphan threw the toy bone and said “fetch” in Yankee, Tiny Cerise made a frantic dash to retrieve the
bone and after that would protect it every time The Orphan approached her tiny bed underneath a row of hanging dresses in the boutique.
Ever after, when The Orphan was anywhere near Laurel B Mme.’s boutique, he would pay a visit to Tiny Cerise, and the owner would tell Tiny Cerise (in French) that she had a visitor and Tiny Cerise would vigilantly guard her tiny bone but never growl or bite.
There were sights to see and things to learn. The Boot marveled at a signpost that had one arrow pointing to the right with the words “Marina -- Hotels” and another arrow pointing to the left that said “Other Directions.” The Guadeloupeans were obviously very careful to be accurate in all things -- much like naming the
timeshare condos the Green Blue Houses.
The Boot also wandered nearby, scouring the village and marina and roadsides and golf course for native flora and fauna with her camera, and once tripped over an unnoticed road barrier trying to approach birds in the trees. This wandering usually happened when The Orphan had his morning, afternoon, pre-happy hour and
post-happy hour naps.
Soon The Boot said she wished to view more birds and an iguana so she booked (in her struggling French) a cruise to a really small island that had more birds and an iguana.
The boat was a catamaran named “Tip Top Two” with both sails and a real propulsion system. Tip Top Two was powered by wind and diesel fuel and the passengers were fueled by a rum concoction named ”Planter’s Punch” -- the “punch” part was very accurate and it was clear that fruit juice in Guadeloupe was scarce and rum was not.
There was also Ti’Punch, with Guadeloupean white rum, cane sugar syrup and a wedge of lime. Ti’Punch also was full of the “punch” part.
After a nature walk around one end of one island, The Orphan took a significant nap on the white sand under the coconut trees. The Boot and The Orphan had seen coral reefs and two iguanas and many hermit crabs and many, many birds and Century Plants in bloom twenty feet tall. The duo played in the warm Caribbean Sea and dried
off quickly in the warm Caribbean sun. Tiny small yellow and black birds called Bananaquits or Sugarbirds landed on The Boot’s hat and nearly landed on her finger, and hermit crabs in shells of many sizes dashed across the sand around the feet of the duo.
After lunch on the Tip Top Two, the crew threw food scraps and leftovers into the sea. An enormous endangered Green Sea Turtle accompanied by huge black blowfish swam back and forth until they had eaten it all. However, the crew did not share the Planter’s Punch or Ti’Punch with the creatures of the sea -- or with any other
non-human creatures. The return trip was accompanied by more of the “punch.”
The Orphan and The Boot whiled away much of the remainder of the fourteen days recouping their energy as they thought of the rain in Soggy Seattle, State of Taxes. The duo took many walks in the marina and the village where they espied mighty caterpillars, huge soaring birds, little birds and many flowers, and visited Tiny
The duo relaxed on the deck of their condo and watched sailboarders and parasurfers and sailboats around the marina, and knew when to expect the daily inter-island ferry “Colibri” (“Hummingbird”) and the boat “Iguane Beach.” They exercised happy hour faithfully and The Boot enjoyed her Ti’Punch while The Orphan drank Yankee
dry martinis that he made himself. And most evenings the duo then ate and partied with their friends at La Chaloupe.
The last evening in Saint François the duo arrived early for dinner at La Chaloupe and drank two gargantuan daiquiris each before their special fondue dinner of beef, chicken, mahi mahi and prawns cooked at the table in a tasty broth, which was later eaten as soup. They finished the feast with Half Moons and French Cognac and
foggily returned to the nearby Green Blue Houses.
The departure-from-Guadeloupe-day arrived and The Orphan and The Boot experienced a repeat of “…Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride…” back to the airport but on a different and much less winding route and with a different and much calmer Mr. Toad named Freddy.
Upon arriving at the Guadeloupe Airport for their flight on an Ambitious American Eagle, The Orphan and The Boot experienced another example of why the Fickle French will never regain greatness. The Guadeloupe Airport security inspectors had decided that they were insufficiently paid and that all of the world must suffer.
The security inspectors carefully staged a “slowdown” -- so they would lose no pay -- and every five or ten minutes they would frisk another person and inspect another bag in slow motion, carefully reading the contents of each passport and moving around each object in each bag. This slowdown continued until a line was formed
that extended even outside of the Guadeloupe Airport.
This delay was exacerbated each time a group of non-Yankees was brought to the head of the line in front of any Yankees. Flights on a company named Ambitious American Airlines were targeted as last priority, until finally the Yankees were inspected and sent on their way because no one else was left in the airport.
The Orphan was darkly, loudly and vociferously suspicious that Crummy Chirac and the Fickle French were using this slowdown and line-hopping ploy as a way to show disrespect for Brash Bush.
The Boot, who was quietly (somewhat) surly from the long and rum-filled departure party the previous night, semiconscious and afflicted with a queasy stomach, combined with having to arise at 5:00 that morning to go on “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” now had to endure not only The Orphan's vociferous suspicions but also his
repetitious joke monologue regaling the entire airport (see The Orphan’s Joke Page for all of these many-told jokes).
The Boot said,
“…Sshhhssshhhs… – I have heard Fickle French prisons are even worse than Morbid Mexican prisons…”
So the Orphan somewhat
“…Sshhhssshhhsed…” but The Orphan’s dark suspicions remained! So did the jokes.
Finally, after over two hours, the Guadeloupe security guards tired of their game -- but only after all connections for all of the Yankee passengers were missed -- and waved every remaining Yankee on while yawning and ignoring their bags.
The duo arrived in Sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, with no flight connections remaining. After being waved through customs, they arrived at the Ambitious American Airlines counter and tried pleading for any flight that would get The Orphan and The Boot to their own bed in Bellevue, State of Taxes, for the night, but they had
only the choice of staying overnight in either Sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, or Dreary Dallas, State of Texas. The Orphan and The Boot chose Dreary Dallas, State of Texas, so they would be half way home the next morning.
It had rained in Soggy Seattle, State of Taxes, the day the duo left. Imagine their astonishment when the duo learned from another traveler that the day after departure, the Soggy Seattle, State of Taxes, skies cleared and the sun shone continuously for the full fourteen days – with temperatures as high as 95° Fahrenheit.
Such is the irony of life!
The Orphan and The Boot were re-routed on Ambitious American Airlines to Dreary Dallas, State of Texas, where they had to spend the night in a nearby Holiday Inn paid for by Ambitious American Airlines -- and there were many lunch and dinner and breakfast chits provided -- but no ethanol included (however $20 does
not buy a sumptuous dinner!)
The shuttle to the Holiday Inn part of the journey would have been horrible but for the very alert Boot who ambushed a nearly-full Holiday Inn van at an unscheduled stop and boarded with The Orphan and their bags. When the Holiday Inn van reached the next terminal with the only remaining seat filled with the duo’s luggage, an
irate redneck leading a group of five went into a rage after espying that no seats were available after waiting forty-five minutes. His screamed threats were ever fading as the van drove away. The van driver radioed back to the hotel to bring another van and to look for “a grumpy redneck.”
The whole world knows that when high-pressure areas push Soggy Seattle, State of Taxes, weather out so there can be local sunshine, the whole of the remaining world cannot handle this weather. So there was significant rain in Dallas, State of Texas, during the night and the following morning.
In the morning The Orphan and The Boot departed the Holiday Inn for The Dreary Dallas airport. One bright moment was riding in the van with Sergio Sanchez, a very nice Spanish-speaking gentleman whom they had met the night before, who aided the duo in finding the correct terminal -- and who laughed at The Orphan’s jokes.
The Orphan and The Boot, refreshed from the night’s sleep and rest in the Holiday Inn, departed in an Ambitious American Airlines 757 (thank you then budding Giant of Industry) for Soggy Seattle.
Finally, after 31 hours of traveling, The Orphan and The Boot de-planed in Soggy Seattle and returned to their home to await their next adventures.