Daily Prompt: A Bend in Time

My hectic Thursdays are by no means your hectic Thursdays or Tuesdays or Mondays. But this Thursday was a particularly stressful sea of excitement.

Ran two miles at 11. Showered at 12. Lost my key and ID somewhere in between.

Here’s how it played out: “Shelly wait, I don’t have my key,” I say to her as she left the dormitory.

“Sorry, I gotta go.” She was probably late for class or something. Understandable.

I couldn’t do anything about the situation now because I had two classes stacked right on top of each other like flapjacks. I stressed and fretted and had Shelly look around the room with me for the ID and key when she returned.  She even texted me during one of my breaks. Mind you, she texted me in Espanol: “No esta en tu mochila.” Great, it wasn’t in my bag from Mexico.

I returned to Academic Commons to find my T.A., who greeted me with a smile and said that he returned the ID and key to the front desk. Now I was off to concert band!

Then Shelly and I went to CVS and Subway. But the real excitement hadn’t happened until somewhere after 9:00. A friend of mine came running and screaming down the hall, her heart pounding with anticipation: “Guess what? Klaine is getting back together!”

Yes, my weekly excitement is the Glee update.


Trix are for Kids

Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs

“Can someone get me on the Firefox?” Senor Thomas would routinely ask the class, as if knowledge on this subject were as crucial as uno and dos. Sometimes he would even comment, “I can’t get on the lappy toppy.”

I wish I was in his homeroom, but I got stuck with the French teacher. There was nothing horribly wrong with the French teacher. She was fluent in French, which is both good and unnecessary for handling a herd of eighth graders. She knew how to teach, but she didn’t have that flare that Senor Thomas just seemed to possess without trying.

So he didn’t know how to get on the internet or use email. But he did know how to show us commercials from the 1980’s that just happened to be in Spanish. Commercials with Hispanic race car drivers smiling that charismatic smile and singing, “Drink, PEPSI!” Then there were the Lucky Charms renditions, back when Lucky Charms were cool. And let’s not forget the Trix are for Kids! The rabbit would dance on the TV screen his little Mexican dance. Not the Mexican hat dance. It was more the shake your tail feather. Or in this case, rabbit tail.

What happened was, I guess he recorded a half hour’s worth of television commercials in the Spanish language one afternoon when he was bored and then decided thirty years later, “I can use these with both Spanish 1 and Spanish II!”

Which was the case.

I guess he did know how to work a computer because he got ants on it. In fact, that’s why he got in trouble. One of those stupid Laptop Initiative  rules. “Don’t eat over your computer!”

I don’t think the eating was the problem. He liked ants. In fact, he fed his ants.

Just like kids these days sing that song, “Pants on the ground,” Senor Thomas had ants on the ground of his classroom. He collected them in a big container of Double Bubble and fed them. I’m not sure what he fed them. Everyone, myself included, seems to remember that he fed his ants. I think he declared that he fed his ants or waved some “I feed my ants” flag at a pride parade, invisible among all those rainbows, just to prove his point.

Speaking of pride, we never really knew about his marriage situation. Apparently, he still lives with the woman he was married to. Only the two have been separated or divorced.

This does not mean, however, that we must exclude the existence of the lady being crushed to death in the pool. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. The lady being crushed to death in the pool.

It was a picture that hung on his classroom wall. Looking back, I wonder how he ever got away with it. But here’s the story regardless:

So there’s a picture of two ladies in swimsuits in a swimming pool. That’s not the weird part. One of these women is morbidly obese. The morbidly obese woman is diving into the water and lands in the lap of the skinny woman, only the skinny woman is being crushed to death because she’s defying physics and supporting a morbidly obese woman in a pool. Cool story, bro?

The picture was a lot cooler.

We were addressed by our last names. But not really our last names. Versions of our last names. For example, a kid with the last name Sherwin was called Williams. Maybe Senor Thomas liked to paint.

Every Fridays were BINGO days. We were awarded candy and Double Bubble. The other days were spent hitting the blackboard with fly swatters. (It was part of a vocabulary game. If only you’d been there.)

Senor Thomas is a cool man. I haven’t met many who say they will go to Mexico to study French and Paris to study espanol. But I guess he’s an exception.


Strangers on a Plane

Daily Prompt: Stranger in a Strange Land

On a plane I met a stranger.

Here’s a short list of some of the things he did during the plane ride:

1. Took my water bottle out of my backpack when Mom complained she was thirsty.

2. Unbuckled his seat belt when we were descending. “If we crash, we crash.”

3. Ate an entire family size bag of potato chips.

4. Showed me pictures on his iPhone of his trip in Mexico.

5. Played Sudoku out of Sky Mall Magazine.

I think we can stop right there. We hold these truths to be self-evident that this guy needed a book.

Scammed in Mexico (Part II)

Daily Prompt: Far from Home

The afternoon that we exchanged an “Adios” and a “Gracias” was not the same afternoon that we exchanged “Distrust” and “Hatred.” That would come in a few days.

What we didn’t realize until later was that Mustachio the “Travel Agent” was not putting down our money for a free trip to Tulum. He was putting down our money for a timeshare. Naturally, we complained to guest services at our hotel. What we didn’t realize even then was that there was another hula hoop we had to go through before we could retrieve our $60.

“Oh, we can give you the $60 back at our hotel. No es necesario que ustedes vayan a otro hotel. (It’s unnecessary that you come to another hotel to do it.)”

The expression “Yay!’ seemed appropriate. It wasn’t.

We didn’t realize that what we also had to do in order to get our dough back was to go through the timeshare presentation at our hotel. Here’s what happened from my perspective:

First thing’s first. Register for courses and meeting with summer advisor via Skype at 6 AM. Then go back to sleep.

While I’m drifting off, Mom and Dad decide they will suffer through the presentation because two hour’s worth of boredom is worth $60, exactly. I can figure that out mathematically!

The thunder woke me. So did the lightning. And Mom and Dad reappearing in the room in the middle of it telling me to get dressed because I needed to speak Spanish because they couldn’t understand the timeshare lady’s English? Something’s up.

So, braless and in exercise shorts, I scatter down the stairs to meet this lady. She asked me questions about jazz band and instruments because I was wearing the state festival shirt. I still hadn’t had breakfast, and by this point it was close to 12:30.

She toured us different timeshare levels. Apparently there’s a hierarchy.

We explained somewhere down the line that we were in a rush to get some food in my tummy. Poor girl. Hadn’t had a bite to eat all day.

But no! Es terrible!

Or something along those lines. That’s what she said. And by she I mean the timeshare lady.

Apparently she wasted a half hour making conversation with my parents. She couldn’t interrupt them, which was why it took longer. She was on a schedule. It had to take precisely two hours. We were now in overtime.

So we wimp out and agree. So she takes us to her lair. And by lair I mean timeshare office.

Each of us, Mom, Dad, and I, get a glass of wine. I’m eighteen and am in Mexico, so technically it was legal.

She flips through so many books. She draws primeval houses with price tags. But there’s one thing she fails to address–the cost.

We hear clapping. Another timeshare sold. Another crony wins another medal.

When she continues her hard sell, we again explain we have to go. It’s been hours. I was dragged out of bed on an empty stomach, braless. And the last thing I want to do is scroll through the numbers and buy a timeshare at another resort just like this one.

But we could not leave.

She insisted she get her manager.

He would not let us leave.

“You know the prices. Why not make a decision?”

Mom explained, “We’d be happy to take your card and discuss this, but we have always, Howard and I, for thirty years, have discussed decisions before making them.”

The manager had to leave to get something. Meanwhile we had our lady holding us down. So we got up and left. I was first. I couldn’t help laughing and charging like it was the Greek Olympics. I looked behind me. Dad was still in there. Why? I asked myself. Why would you ever stay?

Dad met us at the restaurant, the fact in of itself something I never thought would happen. Any guesses as to what was with him?

$60 and free t-shirts. Beach ball and something my parents really needed…a bottle of Tequila!


Scammed in Mexico (Part I)

Daily Prompt: Far from Home

My parents are always wrong and I am always right. Want proof? Let me explain. Buckle your seat belts, cause we were scammed in Mexico!

From the moment I saw his mustache, I knew we were in trouble. It was exacerbated by his calling me young for my age. I’ll stop right there. I have to edit this. It sounds sexual and sketchy, but really it’s only sketchy. Let me provide setting and background information.

We were at the airport in Mexico. We had just arrived. We see a travel agent selling us a trip to Tulum for only $60. But wait, we could have it for free! Just give him the 60 and we’ll get it back later.

Stop right there.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Here’s how it went down.

“Oh, and my daughter speaks Spanish!” Mom exclaimed.

We exchanged “Holas” with complimentary smirks. At least on my side. He was the charlatan and I was the student. Only I caught on.

Actually, I didn’t. I didn’t understand what was happening, only that we had put down $60 to a stranger we didn’t know, and now we were leaving him and the money. I clearly remember asking both the quack and my mother, “So we just leave the money here? Are you sure?”

They thought I was just anxious. Don’t give $60 to a stranger  before you get what you asked for.

But it didn’t end there.


Daily Prompt: Opposite Day

Real photo! I actually took this! From Chicken Pizza, Mexico! Otherwise known as Chichen Itza!


Chicken Pizza

Just a head’s up. I’m blogging at 11:44 PM in Mexico right now. It’s been a long day. This might end up being my worst blog post ever, or it might end up being so stream-of-consciousy that it becomes genius. I’m betting on the first.

Did you know that Nigel Thornberry was Mexican? You remember The Wild Thornberrys, right? Just incase you didn’t, I thought I’d include a picture of Nigel, the dad.

All the bellhops wear safari garb, plus the safari hat. I think Nigel’s missing the safari hat. Maybe I should buy him one at the gift shop.

It’s been a long couple of days. So I thought I’d take a break from my ritual Daily Prompt post and update y’all on mi vida en Mexico.

I promise I’m going to include pictures in future blog posts from my trip. Maybe even a real bellhop. I think you’re beyond animation, right? I’m just too tired now and it’s too late to work on details that to me seem superfluous but are probably essential to everybody else. Maybe I’m just selfish. Or tired.

Today we woke up at 7? I’m not sure exactly. The whole time thing has been shifted. Let’s just call it 7 and if there are any changes we’ll edit.

Why did these weary tourists wake up so goddamn early? And by weary tourists, I mean my mom, my dad, and me?

We were taking a bus tour to Chicken Pizza. I know that’s not the real name of the area, but I’m not Mexican and Spanish isn’t my first language and it’s too late and you wouldn’t be able to pronounce it anyways. So let’s just settle on Chicken Pizza.

I guess I shouldn’t assume you wouldn’t be able to pronounce it. You’re probably smart. But at this hour, Chicken Pizza just makes sense.

Does that look like chicken? I’m not sure exactly. At least it’s pizza.

So we explored the Mayan Ruins and sweat like butter. We being the butter.

I think I’m too tired to finish this blog post. Time zone difference, ustedes.

I’m gonna drift off and watch Friends with Spanish subtitles. Adios!

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