Saturday, August 9, 2008


Gordon is the one on the left, if you can't tell.
Kids on the street in Mexico.

Gordon is working hard but having a good time. Today was a rest day. They had a nice dinner and he ordered fried octopus. I don't share Gordon's need to eat like the locals.

There is a book by Frank Schaeffer called Portofino. It's one of my all time favorites. Don't rush out and buy it because I think only someone who grew up in a fundamentalist home could love it like I did. Stacie and I both absolutely loved it and laughed so hard we couldn't talk. I read some pieces to the girls and even they laughed.

Anyway in Portofino the young boy Calvin (named after John Calvin) caught an octopus. The chef at the hotel cooked the octopus and made a huge deal out of Calvin's catch. Calvin was pressured into eating it as was his fundamentalist Bible-teaching dad. The mother feigned allergies to seafood or something like that, but commented on how slighted she was because "there's nothing like fresh seafood." In reality she knew she couldn't stomach octopus.

The mother always prayed before supper. She insisted on long prayers that called attention to them. This was part of being "light" in the darkness around them. According to her, the unregenerate would see their long prayers, feel convicted of their sins, and turn to God who had preordained that he/she would come to him. Wherever the family went, they looked weird and wacky, mostly because the mother was terribly determined to be "set-apart."

After their standard long and drawn out prayer Dad and Calvin hesitantly began to eat. As they ate, the chef, so very pleased with Calvin's catch and the meal he'd prepared, kept bringing octopus insisting they enjoy their fill. Calvin and his dad found octopus sickening but didn't have the heart to tell the chef. They willed themselves to swallow, Calvin to avoid offending the chef, Dad in effort to commend Calvin for his mighty catch. Calvin started feeling sick but squelched his body's signals and kept eating to avoid offending the chef. The dad too found octopus revolting. In silence they gnawed on the octopus that seemed to grow tougher and bigger as they chewed. As the chef brought more octopus, Calvin could stand no more. He projectile vomited across the table. As he's vomiting, the Bible-thumping dad jumped up to avoid the flying vomit and yelled, "Damn that octopus."

It was an hilarious scene and one that still makes me laugh out loud to recall.

When I learned that Gordon had octopus for supper, my first thought was, "Damn that octopus."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Babe! I am so looking forward to coming home, but this has been a great trip. Just to you know, if you look closely you can see a cement wall in the sand beneath my feet - well, I had to smash it into pieces with a sledgehammer before we carted truckloads of it to the dump. The blisters will be almost healed by the time I get home. One the other hand, ordinary Mexican food never tasted so good as after doing that kind of work.

I love you,

August 15, 2008 at 11:10 PM  

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