The BigGuy had spent much of his youth in a gender-segregated parochial school system in New York City. This limited amount of time withand increased level of competition formembers of the opposite sex had sharpened his ability to recognize and act upon situations with amazing alacrity.
When a group of girls strolled freely by the schooyard, a grade school BigGuy would be among the first to notice and race to the fence, uniform flashing, to gaze at the possibilities outside. Thus it was no surprise that he was the first of the Central American vacationers to enact what would eventually become known as "The Jettison Clause". He made his move shortly after the group had left the pirate island of Utila...
Medicine vs. local remedies
"This is the last frontier!" Medio exulted, enthusiastically digging into the plate of rice and beans in front of him. "I've beaten the flu, dysentery, the sun and now, the local bacteria!" Medio continued eating, no longer afraid that what entered his mouth one minute would exit his anus the next.
"You gotta go with local remedies," said Nuco, who had spent years in the Third World. "The shits are milder."
"The best way to fight the shits is not with pharmaceuticals, but with cerveza and chile," Medio pronounced. "The alcohol in the cerveza and the heat in the chile will kill anything the local food can throw at us."
"It is good to have the drug," the BigGuy said.
"The drug" the BigGuy referred to was Lomotil, an antidiuretic that by this point in the voyage had gained the status of miracle cure. Nuco had obtained a healthy supply of the prescription drug before they departed the US, and the investment had been used to prevent diarrheal disaster in a variety of buses, planes, trains, and horse carts over the past several days. Since arriving, however, no one had bothered to visit a local pharmacy, and the law of supply and demand was about to take over.
"How much Lomotil do we have left?" Nuco asked.
Medio dug through his money pouch and pulled out one small rectangle of tin foil. The foil had a tiny pocket for each tablet. Most of the pockets were empty. "A half dozen tablets," he said.
"Mmm," the BigGuy said, acting as quickly as if each tablet was the last female on earth and he had just discovered a gaping hole in the schoolyard fence. "I think it's time to strike for Tegucigalpa."
"I thought we were staying in Puerto Cortes another day," Nuco replied. "I want you to see the beaches."
The BigGuy set down his fork, wiped some bean dribble from his chin and stepped away from the playground, the tails of his white button down shirt hanging loosely in defiance of the dress code and the harsh eyes of the Brother who had been assigned recess duty since time immemorial. "Just thought we should get moving," he said. "We've still got two countries to visit."
"I'm staying in Puerto Cortes," Nuco said, his hormones still charged from the previous night's cellblock reunion with Daisy. "What about you, Medio?"
"Uh...I uh...think I'll uh...head for uh...uh...Tegucilago," Medio replied, mispronouncing the name of Honduras' capital as well as he mispronounced any foreign word.
"Capn?" Nuco asked. "You want to get back on the road, or spend a day on the beach?"
"Do we have to sleep in the Hotel Formosa?" Capn asked, remembering his experience in cell block number four.
"No, we'll get a big ole house on the beach," Nuco said. "Sun, sand and cerveza!"
"Puerto Cortes," Capn said, linking himself to Nuco. After a brief farewell, Medio and the BigGuy departed, the Jettison leader wearing a larger version of his school uniform with the addition of a campesino hat perched jauntily on his head.