Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Coconut Bra Dance Invite

As my faithful, vast worldwide readership well knows, I never exaggerate. You may rest assured that the following story is entirely accurate and would meet the Paul H. Dunn veracity test for inclusion in any Sunday talk or gospel discussion. Sheila and I were enjoying a Polynesian dinner show on the final night of our stay in Bora Bora when the hotties in coconut bras decided to get a little crazy and invite dinner guests to join them. Even though I am mostly reticent to draw attention to myself via public exhibitions of self expression, I was nevertheless silently screaming, "Pick Me! Pick Me!" Unfortunately, I was afraid of appearing a little too enthusiastic in front of my bride. The Polynesian dancer closest to us, asked some very soft looking, self-absorbed French guy with a protuberant belly who declined her invitation and instead chose to nurse his red dinner wine. She then asked another skinny and self-important Frenchman with a toucan sized beak who apparently would rather continue to suck on his entirely offensive dinner cigar as opposed to dance with a Polynesian hottie in a coconut bra. Say What?! Fortunately, I was the next closest male in the crowd. I'm sure she couldn't have missed the eager look in my face, essentially begging to be embarrassed in front of total strangers. Yes, I was chosen to dance with a Polynesian hottie in a coconut bra. Woohoo! What a way to end a most excellent trip to French Tahiti. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but a Japanese friend, we met on the trip, Hirofumi Nakatsuji had a camera and kindly took a picture of Sheila and I after we danced with our Polynesian friends. It's an axiom of life that if you are asked by a hottie in a coconut bra, "Would you like to dance with me?" the only acceptable answer is: "Woohoo! I'd love to!"? For the life of me, I will never figure out the French.
Above is a picture of the legendary dance troupe and our friends from Japan, the Nakatsujis.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"What am I doing?"

I wrestled in the Greco Tournament this past Friday Night in the Chehalis Triple Crown, where they wrestle Greco on Friday night, Freestyle on Saturday and Folkstyle on Sunday. This year it was a monster tournament with wrestlers from Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Alaska. We wrestled on 14 mats spread out in the main gym, upper gym, cafeteria and wrestling room. It was a nightmare trying to keep track of wrestlers and when and where they were wrestling. I have wrestled in this tournament on a number of occasions (mostly with Shea), but as the years have passed I have wondered to myself, "What am I doing?" It was late in the evening, the crowd had thinned and the only wrestlers still in the gym were wrestlers who were competing for medals. I was on the side of the mat lacing up my shoes and trying to stretch and warm up muscles and ligaments that felt more like dried out gelfite fish than living tissue when a little smart-alecky, young wrestler with dyed red hair asked with a look of total bewilderment on his face,

"What are you doing?"

"What do you mean what am I doing? I'm trying to warm up. What are you doing?"

He replied, "I'm wrestling, but what are you doing?"

"Indeed," I smiled and thought to myself.

As I continued to warm up, he persisted,"Can people who you, can they still wrestle?"

"You mean can old, fat guys still wrestle?"

"Well, I didn't say old and fat. But you know, can guys like you still wrestle?"

As I reflected on how badly I had wrestled in my last match, I had to agree, his question was entirely legit.

I responded, "Not really."

"Then what are you doing?" Another excellent question. However, I was getting ticked. Couldn't this punk kid see that I was trying to get in the zone mentally and that he was messing with my mojo, so I just replied, "OK little man, why are you wrestling?"

He confidently crowed, "I'm here to win!"

"Well then that makes two of us," I replied. I then went out on the mat and beat up a young wrestler who was maybe a year out of high school and had never wrestled Greco. Did I feel bad? Heck no!

Later in the night (close to midnight), as I was getting "ash canned" in the finals by a very young, and very athletic coach from the Westside of the state, that most excellent question kept bouncing around in my head, "What AM I doing?"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

$5 Lobster

Several years ago while vacationing in Costa Rica with our kids, Sheila and I had a chance to enjoy a dinner out with her brother Daryl and his wife Annie. We were at a restaurant and I ordered lobster. It was the largest, most succulent lobster I had ever eaten. After the first bite, I felt compelled to review the currency exchange rate in my head and realized that this most delicious culinary experience was not only heavenly, but cheap--dirt cheap. My lobster dinner was a mere $5. I immediately ordered two more lobsters. With some embarrassment, our waiter apologized and explained that he would have to charge me for the entire lobster dinner even though I only wanted the lobster. If you were a certified Lobster Lover and rarely ordered it because it almost always costs twice as much as everything else on the menu, what would you have done when faced with the opportunity to order three delectable lobsters for only $15? That's right...I pulled the trigger on the three crustaceans and enjoyed what has become known in the Smart Family as "Lobster Mania."

Now fast forward several years, I am in Moorea, Tahiti with Sheila celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and enjoying a romantic evening at a little French restaurant on the water. On the menu I find myself tempted to order "Lobster Flambeau." What is served dusts the flavor and intensity of my experience in Costa Rica. The French truly know how to cook. It was buttery, yes; but there was something more, much more. Something sweet and spicy. I couldn't quite put my head around all of the flavors. Out of curiosity I inquired with the Matre d' what it would cost if I ordered just the lobster and not the rice and veggies. With some embarrassment the Matre d' apologized and explained that it would be the same $85 as the entire entre "Lobster Flambeau." Lobster Lovers what would you have done?...OK, so it wasn't "Lobster Mania" like in Costa Rica, but it was pretty amazing just the same.

In short, a single crustacean was ample. The view and the ambience were something altogether out of this world. As you can imagine, the view across the water as we dined on the bay was heavenly, but the view across the table of my most delicious bride was, well, simply celestial.