I was well into one of my hammock dreams -- wooing some beauty with crocodile shoes -- when the telephone rang.
I almost didn't answer it -- because I knew what would happen.
I had to swing out of the hammock, run across the patio and into the house, only to experience what happens with at least 90% of my telephone calls -- silence or a quick click.
In my wilder fantasies, the prior owner of the telephone number was a Mexican superhero who was repeatedly called upon to save the Republic from the forces of corruption. Murciélago-man. If so, my callers are obviously disappointed in their ersatz hero with his chirpy: "Steve Cotton. Good day."
I had lunch last week with an older woman from Ontario. Let's call her Marge -- because it is not her name. But she will immediately recognize herself in any event.
She has been coming to Melaque for over ten years -- staying between three to six months each visit. In that time, she has learned very little Spanish. Her reason is the same as most self-satisfied tourists: "I can get by without it."
I laughingly told her about the ten or so quick-hangup telephone calls I receive each day. Just as a matter of conversation. But she took it as a complaint.
"I know what you mean. I get them, too. What is wrong with them?"
I was a bit confused by her response. And offered: "Maybe they don't speak English."
Without missing a beat, she raised her voice in that I'm-British-and-I-am-morally-offended tone: "If they can't speak English, why are they calling me?"
I could hear Noel Coward giggling in the middle distance. One of his better lines was "If I have the wrong number, why did you answer the telephone?" A line I always imagined being delivered by Gracie Allen.
But I doubt Gracie could have delivered it with any better timing than Marge -- who was offended that I could not continue eating because I was laughing so hard.
Most of the tourists are leaving Melaque for their trek north. And it is too bad because some of them are a wealth of material for this blog.
I wish them a happy journey. But I want them to hurry back. There is writing to be done.