Again, I was trying to write – trying to get something of a productive nature done when The Philosopher Red burst through my door, interrupting my solitude once again. The red-hooded one had two Nicaraguans with him, men he met during his harrowing escape from the Killer Figs of Costa Rica. He told me they had been working on a coffee plantation he passed through as he made his desperate escape from the valley of death. He has now committed himself to becoming a full-time revolutionary, which I find alarming. The Nicaraguan workers are his first two followers. They are both armed with machetes, which they liberated from their employer, soon after The Philosopher Red told them he was liberating them from the bondage of labor. Now there are three unemployed men sitting around the small living room of my condo. The Nicaraguans have discovered my refrigerator, and they are busy liberating my food supply. I feel like a soon-to-be ruined renter.
The Philosopher Red is trying to rough out a philosophically sound campaign of terror to inflict on Tamarindo, then Costa Rica, then the world. The Nicaraguans are busy eating what little they found in my refrigerator. One of them spits out a chunk of coconut meat, complaining in rapid-fire Spanish and jabbing a dirty, calloused finger at one of his teeth. Dental problems. My red-hooded friend is ready for such opportunities.
The Philosopher Red has always taken an undue pleasure in practicing dentistry, and I know well enough to guard against the slightest indication of tooth pain. His forceps are always at hand, beneath his red philosopher‘s robe. This fascination with pulling teeth came about back when The Philosopher Red was married. His version of the tragedy he called a marriage is that his wife was refusing him the consolations of marriage, complaining of a aching tooth. He presumed she was pretending, produced a set of gritty pliers, and forcibly extracted a sound tooth, then let her know that similar procedures would be forthcoming if she continued with silly ideas of celibacy. His first experience with amateur dentistry grew into a lifelong fascination, one his wife chose not to share. She took him for everything except his two red philosopher’s robes and a growing array of dental tools. He blames her for his affection for drink, among other intoxicants.
The Philosopher Red has always thought intoxication a reasonable vacation from reality. His pair of Nicaraguan revolutionaries seem to share this opinion. They have discovered the beers I hid in the crisper of my refrigerator, and now one of the Nicaraguans is babbling like a chicken on methamphetamine. Something about pay scale, or prostitutes…I can’t get a handle on his gibberish. I have to try and interpret this for the newly minted revolutionary commander who occupies my couch, and it’s not working.
I had been waiting all morning for a plumber who said he’d be here last Monday. He arrived with his teenaged daughter. He introduced her as Maria, and told me she was too hotheaded to leave at home alone. I introduced him to my ever-leaking sink, and offered Maria a glass of water with fresh lemon and lime pieces. She refused the water, and helped herself to two of my bottles of Imperial beer, popped the cap off one using a disposable lighter, and emptied most of the bottle with one guzzle. The plumber rolled his eyes, shrugged his shoulders, and disappeared under the sink with a wrench and some tape.
The four revolutionaries busied themselves trying to come up with a catchy name for their organization – one that would strike fear into the hearts of the leisure classes and inspire workers to join in with activities that would risk their lives and probably their credit ratings. The philosopher Red suggested the Revolutionary Army of Tamarindo Solidarity. I suggested he consider the acronym R.A.T.S.. He grunted his reluctant agreement and asked for any suggestions. Maria stood up and announced that the creatures of this earth were the truly deserving of any of the small band’s efforts at liberation.
She suggested the moniker Feminists United to Suppress the Slaughter.
“F-U-S-S? That’s sounds fearsome to me,” I said, looking to my red-hooded revolutionary friend for his reaction.
The Philosopher Red objected, but Maria was not to be denied. She told him that she had started a similarly named movement in Santa Cruz, but she had reluctantly given it up when it was co-opted by two retired male ex-patriots, a retired funeral director from the United States and a 23 year-old internet financial guru from Calgary, Canada.
“Those two did nothing but complain that there were no organizations for frustrated white men to join, and they felt left out,” she explained. “The whole thing fell apart when they ignored my planning sessions for eco-terrorist acts to discuss tax shelters and investment strategies. The funeral guy even suggested killing off the last of the Pandas so we could use it as an example of how badly the world was treating endangered species. Bastard gringo users, they both need live Iguanas shoved up their -”
I decided that retreat was my only sane option, and moved my laptop out to the table on my balcony to finish the piece I was working on. When I returned an hour later The Philosopher Red and one of the Nicaraguans were passed out, my plumber had abandoned my leaking sink, and Maria was calling for a vote on the first of her suggestions. She and her father voted for F.U.S.S., and the last Nicaraguan standing didn’t know enough English to understand what was going on, or protest if he did. The motion was passed. Maria’s Revolution was re-born in Tamarindo. The Philosopher Red snored through the major defeat his attempt at revolution had suffered. He would eventually sober up, and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I began considering the advantages of abandoning my condo to the competing factions.
I settled for taking the plumber’s wrench and tape and worming my way under the sink to try and fix something in this broken world. An accomplishment would soothe my tortured soul…even if it was stopping that infernal leak.