Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Shoes to Fill

Unflappable Australian grandfather, known to all in the family as “The Digger”, perpetually in shorts, smoking, drinking, mustache, and famous for yelling, “What the hell is going on in here?” when in fact, nothing at all, in the name of hell or otherwise, is going on here.

Grandpa: What in the hell are you going to Central America for?

Me: Uh. It’s the only place where the dollar still means something?

Grandpa: Well, don’t get the fever. I had Malaria and Dengue, and Dengue is far worse.

Me: You had Dengue? What? When?

Grandpa: It must have been, oh, 1942.

Grandpa, you’re flipping awesome. Was this when you were a tween and enlisted in the Australian army and got shot in the leg?

If I ever sell this book of mine, the next one will be dedicated to you, all travel stories like when I broke into that amusement park, drove a tractor and swung a machete on a banana farm in Australia, thought I’d die at sea in the Dominican Republic, saw those neon toilets in Japan, got spat at by an old woman in Italy, and nearly crashed a golf cart on the highway in Uruguay. And whatever else may come from the next six weeks…

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