Buster was washing margarita glasses when his buddy Giles strolled in with his little partner Tito, looking tired and worn. Giles sported a nice case of bed head and both were covered in mosquito bites and in need of a shower.
“Damn, dude. “ Buster said to Giles, trying hard to ignore Tito. He hated a queen with an attitude and Tito was the worst. A few too many tequilas, something that happened all too often, and the little fella, like most Latinas, would break everything in the room. He once had a drunken tantrum that left his and Giles’ entire inventory of coral jewelry broken in the middle of the malecon, much to the amusement of the hundred or so people who witnesses the entire spectacle.
“You guys really look bad. Que pasa?” asked the amused Buster.
“We had to sleep in the back yard last night. Our landlord wanted to let his family from Veracruz use the place and he just came in and kicked us out for two nights. Just like that. We slept in hammocks out back last night, without insect nets. The good thing was the dogs and drunks kept us awake so we could swat the mosquitos all night. It was awful!” said Giles. “We only sold two bracelets this week so a hotel is out. Kinda looking like eating might be out too at this point.”
Buster could see where this was going, and as much as he hated to do it, he felt so bad for his friend Giles, before he could stop himself, he said, “One night! No more. I’m not kidding Giles. One night and after that, I’m throwing the princess there out no matter what.” He knew if he threatened Tito, Giles would always leave too, saving his rum, tequila and all the food in the refrigerator as well.
Tito quickly went for the apartment upstairs to hit the badly needed shower but Giles hung around, knowing he still had a rum and coke left from Buster before he wore out his welcome. While Buster poured the drink, Giles noticed Buster’s spear gun sitting on the counter. Now Giles was not a terribly feminine gay man most of the time, although after a few rums, he could go Liberace on you pretty quick. That’s why Buster liked him though. Buster always liked characters. However, since the rum had not yet taken affect, his more masculine “hunter/gatherer” side kicked in and he asked, “can I take this out and shoot Tito and me some lunch?”
“Are you a good swimmer?” asked Buster. “That water looks a little rough right now. Might want to just go down to the co-op and buy to a couple filets. Just cost you a couple bucks. Besides, I was having trouble with my gun yesterday but I think I have it working now, just not sure. Trigger was sticking.”
“I’m a great swimmer,” Giles said as he grabbed the gun, swallowed the last of his rum and coke, and headed out the door.
Buster shook his head and watched him swim out into the rough ocean and he soon became just a small dot on the far away water. He was concerned so he checked the water every few minutes as he stocked the beer into the cooler and squeezed limes for the day’s margaritas and lemonade, to make sure he still could see the head of Giles bobbing up and down in the rolling waves. Finally, after about a half hour, he emerged from the water, cuts and burns from crashing into the coral had covered his arms, as he tossed down the spear gun and cried, “this piece of crap doesn’t work. The trigger is stuck!”
Buster looked at the gun, noticed the safety was still in the “on” position, turned it off and fired the spear into the sand. “Seems to work fine when the safety is off you dumb bitch!”
He reloaded the gun and told Giles, “I really don’t think you should go back out there. The waves beat you up pretty good man. Just go buy the filets.”
Giles grabbed the gun, and looked Buster right in the eye and said in his most “manish” voice, “I got this.”
He stormed back into the water and again was bobbing up and down in the coral and the waves for another half hour. Finally he emerged, this time with cuts on his face, chest and legs and coral burns from head to toe. However this time, on the end of his spear was a single little blue fish. It was not a big fish, and certainly not one anyone would ever want to eat, but it was pretty and a shame it did not end up in an aquarium instead of on Giles spear. Very pretty fish but not one for eating.
As he passed by without a word, Buster said, “Giles, you can’t eat that thing, and are you okay. You look beat to crap. Maybe you should get the first aid kit and put something on some of those cuts. That’s gotta hurt! You want me to go get you a couple filets, I’ll buy.”
“No actually. I’m very far from okay Buster. I do not find it funny either. I damn near died getting this little blue fish and I am by God going to eat it. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go cook mine and Tito’s lunch.”
With that he whirled away and within a few minutes, a smell similar to a burning landfill began to emit from the kitchen as Giles began to cook his catch. After a few minutes, a small explosion sound came from the kitchen, followed by screams of pain, as Giles emerged covered in fish parts. Seems his fishing skills were limited to the hunting portion and he did not know that a fish needed to be properly prepared before cooking. An important part of this process is of course removing the insides of the fish, something that if not done can cause many problems, not the least of which is that the fish will fill with gas and explode from the inside out. This is exactly what had caused the explosion and Giles came from the kitchen with fish intestines splattered on his shirt, eggs in his hair and an eyeball dangling from his ear like a reasonably attractive ear ring.
“Giles, did you not clean the fish before you cooked it?” asked Buster, roaring in laughter. “You’re cleaning that up, not me. Ohhh, that is so nasty!”
“Might be, but we are eating this fish damn it!” said Giles as he went back into the kitchen to finish his masterpiece. Ten minutes later, he emerged from the kitchen with the plattered pathetic little blue fish, now black, surrounded by a beautiful bouquet of salad, fried rice and pico de gallo. He marched past Buster carrying the platter and two cold corona beers, all compliments of Buster, and announced proudly, the fish eyeball still dangling from his ear, “lunch is served”.
He carried the platter out to the eager Tito who was waiting on the balcony. Buster listened, hoping to hear just what a little blue fish actually taste like. After a few minutes, Giles walked past, belched and said softly, “don’t eat the blue fish.“
Buster roared with laughter, “Let me get a pencil, I want to write that down so I don’t forget. Don’t eat the blue fish!”