No.1 Sis and I walked down to the main road, merely yards from our houses, to wait for the bus into The Big City. There was already a man standing there. He was tall and scruffy and had no teeth.
We nodded politely to Mr. No Teeth and wished him a good morning. He realized he was among fellow Americans, and started to tell us his Costa Rica story.
Mr. No Teeth had arrived in C.R. about the same time we did, seven weeks ago. He spent the first week at motel on the Caribbean coast.
I felt some stinging sensations on my feet.
As he was leaving the motel to catch the bus to San Luis, he locked the keys in his room, as per the landlord’s instructions. Unfortunately, he realized too late that he had locked his only suitcase in the motel room, too.
The feet-stinging was getting more frequent. I looked down, and saw that my feet were swarming with fire ants. I shook and stamped my feet to try to dislodge the little buggers.
Mr. No Teeth continued his story without interruption. He narrated how, even though he had locked all his worldly possessions in his motel room, he didn’t want to miss the bus. He left the bag inside and got on the bus, which took him hundreds of miles away.
Meanwhile, the ants were stinging me like crazy. I bent over in half, a feat I can only accomplish in the most dire of emergencies, and started picking ants off my feet and crushing them, one at a time. My alarmed No.1 Sis dug through her backpack and found some bug spray.
Mr. No Teeth continued his story, oblivious to all the panicked gyrations occurring a few feet in front of him.
He indicated the outfit he was wearing. It was, he said, a thirty year old tee shirt given to him by his wife (now ex-wife) and warm-up pants loaned to him by his neighbor.
The ants coughed a little at the the bug spray, and then laughed, crawling deeper into my shoes. I took off my shoes and beat my own feet with them.
Mr. No Teeth called the motel after arriving here in San Luis. He asked the landlord to mail his suitcase to him. It’s been six weeks now, and he still hasn’t received his bag. Imagine that.
I wanted to go up to him, grab him by the thirty year old tee shirt and scream in his face, “You don’t knowingly drive hundreds of miles from everything you own, then ask for it to be mailed to you IN A COUNTRY WITHOUT MAIL SERVICE, YOU STUPID GIT!”
He was fortunate that I was still preoccupied with doing the roadside Hokey Pokey.
The Hokey Pokey. It really is what it’s all about.