My Trip to Mexico: Fish, Beer and V.D.
Art by Paul Rios
You know your Mexico fishing trip is off to a great start when as soon as you walk out of the airport, you look down and you’re standing on a sign that reads ‘V.D.’ Now I understand how some might get discouraged at this point, but we weren’t quite there yet. Our trip had just begun. I don’t know what the sign was truly trying to tell me, but at that point I was leaning towards ‘Very Delighted’. Mexico was very delighted to have myself and 24 other scholarly gentlemen take full advantage of its many glorious offerings only to go home 5 days later completely hung-over, sunburnt and broke with a wicked case of Montezuma’s revenge and an ailing case of blue balls. Ok, ok, I seem to be getting ahead of myself here. Don’t let me fool you, in the beginning it was pure delight from all parties involved whom were about to embark upon this wonderful annual charity billfish tournament.
First off, let me tell you something about this group of guys. If I could sum the group up in two words, they would be ‘Very Dedicated’. This group is very dedicated toward getting together once a year in honor of an amazing brother, uncle, father, friend and man – Dave Harris. To each person on the trip Dave was someone different, to me, he was my larger than life and extremely fun uncle. Each year we raise money to go toward Dave’s 2 kid’s college fund. Not only do we give back to our own, we extend our reach toward the community that oddly enough keeps welcoming us back – Puerto Aventuras. We have brought clothes for the youth, provided money for school desks and equipment, playground structures and dental care for children to name a few. I only name these generous heart felt offerings, not to brag, but to explain to you how great a group of guys this tournament actually brings in before I reluctantly move on to the rest of the story.
Humans are competitive in nature; so naturally this competitive nature makes us all ‘Very Determined’. For me, each year I’ve gone to Mexico, I’ve been very determined to win the bragging rights of the illustrious top podium spotlight known as first place and for me each year I’ve been left looking up from the first losers post known as second place. With my failing luck on the fishing side, my determination in beer pong stays ever strong, even with each year’s unforeseen setbacks – aka my teammate always loses because obviously it can’t be me. As we are all determined to win the top spot, others have seemed to find many different avenues to exude their colorful determination toward winning. Some are determined to eat the best fresh fish around; others are determined not to chum the waters with that same fresh fish they ate the night before. In certain cases people seem hell bent on drinking every drink that is shoved in front of their faces, but for whatever reason I can’t seem to remember who all those people are at the moment. There are also those suave few that seem very very determined to get shot down by any and every lovely lady their eyes creepily assault, (FYI – Lovely is used extremely loose here, due to the scalability of possible intoxication – too each their own).
Determination can lead to many great things such as:
Being the first team eliminated in the beer pong tournament due to your foreign partner (He obviously had to be the issue).
Being able to observe cougars in their natural habitat (Dirty tattoos and all).
Wrestling a half-naked man into bed that you didn’t pay for (Intoxication scale does apply here – and once again, too each their own).
Being an excellent wingman on many cancelled flights (Lead piloting errors).
Lying flat on your back passed out in front of an outside bar in extended snow angel ready position and waking up to a dog licking your face, then proceed to cuddle said dog (I don’t want to know what one had to do for that lick).
Ok, so with those examples maybe I meant that certain side effects of determination can sometimes be, ‘Very Discouraging’. I mean very discouraging in the sense that your boat loses the white marlin for the win in the fleeting moments of the last day on the sea – “NO SLACKA THE LINE!” Oh well, you can’t reel them all. Another side effect of blind determination can be the discouraging loss of or temporary misplacement of that little thing representing your dignity. We all do things or act in ways that some might call foolish, although we might just call them a good time. There are varying degrees of dignity and unfortunately or fortunately, Mexico seems to offer many ways for these varying degrees to become skewed. With the amount of drinking, sun exposure and the beautiful scenery all around 24/7 it is very easy to misplace one’s dignity.
Places where your dignity might be:
Omni pool bar (Either at the bottom or floating on the surface – just ask Miguel. Could also be in many forms, i.e. a thong).
In the bottom of a glass or bottle at Mango’s or Gringo Cantina (There are many glasses and bottles to check, so you might want to get started – the dumpsters out back, watch out for needles).
Somewhere out to sea (It will definitely be hanging out with a fish with a hook in its mouth and a cocky smile).
With a dog named “Duke” (Watch out, I hear he’s a biter).
The filthy sticky floor of Chilly Willy’s (It’s a safe bet that it’s been used over and over again without your permission – you might want to get it checked out for diseases).
With an unsatisfied nanny from Indiana (You most likely can’t get this one back along with all the other stuff she probably stole – mainly because you didn’t get her number).
This discouragement leads one to be ‘Very Disappointed’. We are all very disappointed that once again the boat with Tres Hermanos has come out victorious. Being away for several years, the point system must have changed in my absence. Unfortunately, I wasn’t under the impression that points are now based on the average shirt size of all the men on your boat. Apparently this is now the case. So with disappointment I must accept that I may never win unless we go back to the old scoring system. We all joke and we all give each other shit, but when all is said and done everything mainly leads to disappointment that another trip has come to an end. Disappointed we will be leaving behind good drinks, great food, amazing experiences, awesome stories and wonderful people. With our heads hung low and our tails between our legs, we stagger off to the airport to find our way home and back to our normal everyday lives. Only to fast forward, hit play and repeat again next year. With confidence, I’m certain we are all looking forward to the next trip bringing on the excitement of the unexpected, creating its own unique stories and bringing its own flair of something ‘Very Different’.