Wasting Away

Ed. note: I scribbled the following on Ritz Carlton stationary as Abbi and waited out our six hour delay in the Montego Bay airport. Somehow, when I was re-telling the tale of our engagement here in The Daily Journal, it didn’t seem to fit. So I share it with you here now.

If there’s a Tenth Circle of Hell, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaretville (“Where the fun never ends!” Or, apparently, starts.) in Montego Bay’s Sangster Airport has to be a contender.

The place sounds like a grammar school gymnasium or, worse, a hurricane evacuation center during a category six. The tile floors and curved ceiling are ideal for assuring that no racket goes unheard.

And so the blender, the tin-speaker reggae, the UNC Duke basketball game, the TNT movie, jet engines, and general banter — patois, German, English, and otherwise — create a maddening cacophony.

There’s not a shred of sunlight within eyeshot, despite the fact that Jamaica’s got plenty. Instead, there are green fluorescent lights, the kind they use in K-Mart. The walls are some sort of sponged turquoise. Coupled with the flicker of Jimmy Buffet performing silently on the big screen, it’s enough to drive a man to drink. Which bodes well, because I’m on my third Red Stripe and, really, just warming up.

Luckily, I’m with Abbigail, and I continue to dominate Crazy Eights, despite the fact that I’ve lost our Third Bi-Annual Caribbean Crazy Eights Tournament.

Sitting here in the wicker chairs (from which my ass is sure to be waffled well into Thursday), I can’t help but realize that I’ve become something of an elitist. In my jeans, suede Chucks, blue oxford and sport coat, I feel entitled to ridicule every NASCAR hat wearing, fraternity letter sporting, overweight golf shirt in the place. And believe me, there are plenty. Which says nothing of mullets.

My running commentary goes from imagining the actual lives of those around us (“His name is James ‘Squeaky’ McDonald. In South Boston, where he runs a super-local numbers racket, they call him ‘Jimmy The Squeak”) to straight up mockery (“Yunno what’s worse than a white, blonde, American woman in cornrows? A white, blonde, overweight American woman in cornrows”). I would probably feel more ashamed of myself if it weren’t all so entertaining, and we still have five hours of entertaining ourselves before our much-delayed flight departs.

And frankly, my fiance and I would have fun wasting away again in Margaretville watching Pat O’Brien host another “Exclusive!” installment of “The Insider.”

Which is fortunate, because that’s exactly what we’re doing.


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