O.K. Axl, I’ll take Rock & Roll Bands of the ‘80’s for $1,000.
I’m starting to wonder if the purpose of this multi-media, global adventure humor website, or “blooogggg…ack, ack, cough, cough, as the wife-person says it, like she’s trying to clear a hairball from her throat, is primarily to provide a historical perspective for my younger reader.
Some of us are looking at the far side of sextdecades; that’s (kind of) Latin for six decades, or 60 years; NOT six decades of sex.
(Old people having sex…that’s just gross, as my daughters keep telling me.)
Anyway, our generations have a completely different point of reference for historical events. We lived it, while you may have happened to stumble onto it while exploring the World of Google.
That brilliant and perceptive concept came to mind as I was thinking of my recent—albeit, short-lived—trip to Panama. My early exit had nothing to do with the psychological warfare waged against a CIA-trained, Medellin Cartel member named Manuel Noriega, which took place some 25 years ago.
That operation was not the nifty package that the Navy Seal team was hoping to wrap up. After 10 days of blasting, heavy metal Guns and Roses, and other earsplitting rock music, the notorious drug dealer—and ex-BFF of the United States—finally raised the white earplugs and gave himself up.
"Reportedly the song "I Fought The Law" by The Clash was played repeatedly along with "Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses; another song in the line-up was "Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die" by Jethro Tull.”
Without providing exceedingly boring and excessively graphic details on the physical deterioration of my current travel adventures into the advanced latter years of middle age, I will just say that this is my Official Year of The Wheels Beginning to Fall off the Bus.
The gist of this inevitable human condition is that my planned two-week sailing and snorkeling sojourn along the Caribbean coast of Panama, turned into a one-day, welcome to the world of airline change fees and astronomical increased, last minute flight and hotel costs.
My immediate alternatives were either a visit to a local clinic, which even the locals recommended I avoid, or a 40 minute panga voyage over rough seas, to some unknown medical facility. Plus, the fact that the extent of my limited Spanish and poor pronunciation, was an ability to order more beer or inquire as to the location of the nearest toilet, I was worried they might think I was saying,
Creo que voy a tener un bebe.”
So, I opted to fly back to Panama City, and then home to the states, a two-day trek.
So, what in holy hell does this have to do with some two-and-a-half decades-old military event, dealing with a drug dealing dictator dude you likely have never heard of?
Well, my only Panamanian point of reference were either some gigantic ditch that crosses the country, or the story of the rock music-driven eviction of an infamous, poor acne-pitted, pineapple-faced, ex-dictator.
As the latter occurred at the exact moment in time I was experiencing the most significant emotional event of my life¹—albeit, mine was in the middle of the Sea of Cortez of Mexico—the two events are inexorably linked in whatever remaining gray matter of mine, which has not yet turned to mush.
(¹ See previously published reports of my famous Stuck At Sea story.
To reiterate, ignore the oft-repeated, misstated account that I was “lost at sea.” I knew EXACTLY where I was and where I wanted to go; I just couldn’t get there from there. Although, ironically, the epic north winds were blowing me towards Panama.)
Back to my recent ill-fated adventure: Happily, I made it back home, and with certain medical treatments administered, and particular excess body parts soon-to-be excised, I soon hope to be able to quote Noriega in the letter he wrote to his wife, just before giving into the ten days of aural abuse, and once again say,
"I go now on an adventure."
Personally, I can’t blame old Manuel for surrendering. My parents expressed the same sentiment during my high school and early college years with what was blaring from my bedroom stereo.