Inevitably, the conversation returned to Lomotil, the antidiuretic that had assumed its rightful position as the voyage's miracle drug. "The problem is that it makes you constipated," Medio said.
"You gotta stop yourself up, though," Nuco said. "You don't want to be on one of those buses having to shit."
"I'd just shit in my pants until I got there," the BigGuy said. "You wouldn't have any choice." He took a drink from his Coke, then turned to Medio. "I'd make a hell of an impression on the Good Sister, wouldn't I?" he said, referring to the nun they were going to visit. A friend of Medio's, the Good Sister was working in Leon, helping people reestablish themselves after the Revolution.
"With shit in your pants, shit dripping down your leg. You shake your leg and a big glob of shit falls outoops, what do we have here?" Medio said.
"I'm going to check out the local baño," the BigGuy said, reminded of his bodily functions.
"You're a little stiff, there, Señor," Medio observed as the BigGuy limped away from the table.
"Baño," the BigGuy repeated and wandered off toward the restaurant owner, who had begun sweeping the sand in the back yard.
Unfortunately, the BigGuy's Spanish failed him and instead of finding a toilet, he ended up under a shower head. Seconds later, he emerged and started to search for a toilet. "He's the same guy that last night wanted to be mayor of Somoto," Medio commented. "He almost had a breakdown coming off the bus. He almost had a frickin' breakdown. When he thinks he has the shits, he retreats back into his memory. It haunts him, what happened in Skopje."
"We were on a bus trip through Yugoslavia and he came down with a bad case of diarrhea," Medio explained. "There he was, trapped between his bowels and an Australian who kept falling asleep on his shoulder. It was a traumatic experience for him."
The BigGuy finally discovered the outhouse and disappeared into it. Medio's attention was diverted to the kid who had skillfully avoided his mother's belt earlier. He was refusing to obey her again. "The kid did not get a whipping," Medio said. "He needs a whipping."
"Latin American males are spoiled," Nuco said.
"What's the problem?" Capn asked.
"He took a shit in the yard and now he refuses to clean it up," Nuco said.
The group continued to watch until the boy decided to obey his mother, and shovel up the little pile. "Maybe he'll give the shovel to the BigGuy," Nuco said.
The BigGuy exited the outhouse and returned to the table. "I feel much better since I took a dump."
"Good enough to run for mayor?" Medio asked.
"How are the facilities?" Nuco asked.
"Fine," the BigGuy responded. "I lined the hole with toilet paper, of course. A sanitary technique."
"I think the barracuda got more than we think," Capn said, referring to the fierce fish that had chased the BigGuy out of the ocean earlier in the voyage.
"The barracuda could have been down there in the shit," Nuco concluded, "and the BigGuy was waving the white flag with his toilet paper."
Next issue, Nicaraguan beer, meeting the Good Sister and the birth of Los Testigos de Cerveza.