I’ll start with the funny.
Like it has for the past three, it rained today – hard, buckets, to the point where I saw a group of tourists contemplating plans for an Ark. The Caribbean’s thatched roofs offer about the same protection as a thong. People walk around with this awkward shoulder shrug and when you ask them questions you’re unsure whether they are indicating they don’t know or just trying to keep from getting water down their neck.
Then the power went out, which means, after an hour, folks in the buffet lines carry these fist-like faces of concerned diners who worry Montezuma’s Revenge is only a forkful away, followed by the panicked expression of “Oh my God is that a stomach cramp or am I going to crap my pants in front of a hundred strangers.” It’s not pretty.
Now add in the slip factor. Whoever was the genius who decided marble floors would be appropriate for tropical climates, should be removed from the gene pool for lack of adequate intelligence. People are slipping and sliding like penguins at play. There is a Bambi-like splaying of old people and young children and, as they go down, their hands open up to release knives and forks, which zoom and spin such that it looks like some appalling magic act gone haywire. Glasses and plates shatter with a regularity that the day’s diarrhea victims would empathize with. Frequently, a shout will ring out with words like “Look out” or “Whooooa” or “Hiiiiyaa” and always followed by “sorry”, as they attempt to lift themselves from the wet floor. Aside from one glass shard that nicked my leg, I emerge from breakfast unscathed.
Now, the not funny.
Back in my room, I’m five minutes from giving my player an 8:00 a.m. wake up call when the phone rings.
“Craig, this is Doctor Ramirez. We have your student here and she has fainted several times and we’d like you to come immediately.”
Quickly, I review last night’s dinner and wonder whether Montezuma took revenge upon the poor girl to the point of de-hydration. On a full sprint, beneath a virtual monsoon falling upon ridiculously slippery floors, I make my way to the medical office to find my charge laid out on stretcher, in a full neck brace, shaking and crying. Compared to our usual morning greeting of witty banter and grand smiles, this sucks.
She’d slipped on the marble floor, landed on the back of her head and fell unconscious. Then, holding on to the wall to get up, she fell again, this time face first, onto the cement, and blacked out again. One of the players staying in the hotel said they heard a scream like someone was being murdered and called security. My girl though, is tough. When she awoke, she had no idea where she was, but found a way to crawl and stagger through the lobby to the front desk clerk who immediately took her into the medical facility.
It is now 6:20 p.m. and it’s been a day of cervical X-rays, Cat-Scans, IV drips with painkillers and anti-inflammatories. They will keep her here overnight for observation and I’ll be crashing on the plush chaise lounge built for hobbits. Her opponent tomorrow is going to have a short vacation as I try to pull this one from the depths of hell into something more promising. Alas, this is tour life. Wanna join us?