Finally, the meal and drinks arrived. "Mmm...Rice and beans again," observed the BigGuy, trying to sound enthusiastic.
"This beer's not as good, not even near as good," Nuco said, holding up a bottle of Toña, one of two Nicaraguan-brewed cervezas.
The group ate silently for a while, the clacking of silverware against plates the only sound in the backyard breakfast nook. Before long, however, the irrepressible BigGuy was at it again. "What happens?" he began, "Here's a question. What happens when you come across a case of diarrhea while you're on a bus ride like that?"
"Let's not talk about it while we're eating," Capn said.
"How can I help not talking about it while I'm looking at this stuff?" the BigGuy responded, pointing to his plate of refried beans.
"Take Lomotil," Nuco said, referring to the antidiuretic the group had brought with them. "Don't risk it. Take it just for the hell of it."
"I've never been so concerned about bodily functions," the BigGuy continued. "I mean, at work, who cares? You go to the bathroom every half hour or you go home early. However, when you're on a bus with...how many people, Capn?"
"Too many to count," Capn responded.
"Too many," the BigGuy agreed.
"Here's a guy who wanted to run for mayor of Somoto and now look at him," said Medio, going on the offensive. "I mean, what happened on the bus? Do you want to talk about it? Was it so painful?"
The group dynamics were diverted as the cook and apparent owner of the restaurant took off her belt and start chasing her son around the back yard.
"Here comes a whipping," Nuco said. His prediction was premature, however, as the kid escaped his mother. They continued eating.
"Not as many beggars as usual," the BigGuy observed. "Maybe we're not hitting the major cities. Also, I noticed that there are not as many Mercedes here as there were in Tegucigalpa. I wonder, Capn, do they have public assistance here? How about food stamps, any food stamps here?"
"No," Capn replied.
"So if those kids don't producethose kids running around beggingthey starve. If they don't produce."
"Look at that blonde-haired kid," Medio observed, pointing toward the youngster who had just escaped his mother's belt.
"Some fat-neck must have come through town," the BigGuy said. The travelers laughed, and continued eating.