My wife, Michelle, is a softy. Upon further examination, she is was not entirely convinced it was the â€œSouthern Livingâ€ group who descended upon the chaise lounge chairs like a swarm of locusts. I, on the other hand, am thoroughly convinced. If I were a lawyer, this would be the classic open and shut case. In fact, let me present the facts to you now and let you be the judge. But one thing firstâ€¦
We met some very fun people from the Southern Living
army, oops, I mean, tribe, no, no, clanâ€”well, whatever. We even scuba dived with several of them. They are a blast. And they know parties. I mean, thatâ€™s their thing. They are party planners. So, if you ladies want to throw a little (or big) shindig, might I suggest the Southern Living party consultants? You wonâ€™t be disappointedâ€”unless itâ€™s an outdoor party and there are a limited number of chaise lounges!
But I digress. Back to the post. Laws of etiquette were breached and must be dealt with.
So, our last day (yesterday) was also the last day for nearly all ofÂ the Southern Living folks. Easy case, right? If there are chairs available and they (the S&L group) are goneâ€”case closed! Letâ€™s cruise on out to the pool and beach and see if the chaise lounge universe is back in alignment. And, just to be fair, I will provide photographic evidence for you all to be the judge. Sorry that I do not have it in the form of â€œBefore and After,â€ but I do value my life, and wasnâ€™t about to photograph one of the chairs in question during the actual time the locusts were descending. I was tooÂ concerned thatÂ one of the families would have had my camera seized as evidence in future litigation. So, alas, I only have the ‘after‘ for youâ€”and one single photo from the day before that I quickly snapped after shouting out, â€œLook! Isnâ€™t that Martha Stewart over there?!â€ and pointing in the opposite direction). However, I am convinced that you will find it quite persuasive in and of itself.
Rant: Another secondary reason for not tampering with the evidence was that many of these people got pretty creative with the territory project and piled things of great value on to the chaise lounge—I’m sure that in many cases the stuff on top was worth at least 10 chaise lounge chairs! In a few instances you couldn’t even see the chaise lounge underneath. I merely assumed there was a chaise lounge there. I half expected these people to back up their rented SUV’s and hook them up to the chaise-shaped U-Hauls in order to get the stuff back to the airport.
-End of Rant-
So, here are several shots on our last morning at 9:00 am (Remember, the day before this late a time would have put you right in the heart of the battleâ€”far too late to even consider getting a chair).
Look at this next one. Thatâ€™s me way back there. I could have sat anywhere!!
Okay, so wouldnâ€™t you agree that Michelleâ€™s case is growing weaker with each line you read? But I am not one to leave things dangling. Just like Tom Cruise in, â€œThe Firm,â€ I will save the most damaging evidence (the final nail in the proverbial coffin) for last. First I have a few parting comments.
Iâ€™m a very competitive person (Duh). So, it was disheartening to be outmaneuvered by the party planners (however, â€˜technicallyâ€™ it was my slightly less competitive wife who was outmaneuvered, so I really didnâ€™t lose!). But now, looking back I see several ways we could have had a fighting chance. It all did not have to end on that fateful Sunday at the battle of Punta Canaberg.
For one, (as I tried to explain to Michelle on the flight home) there were other large groups there at the resort. I mean, that’s why this trip was so cheap–this place caters mostly to large groups. Sure, these other groups were not the juggernaut that Southern Living was, but they were large enough (and disillusioned enough by having to put their towels on concrete) that we could have gathered the â€œEdward Jonesâ€ Financial folks (numbering close to 100) and the loosely affiliated computer consultant groups (maybe 50), and finally, the single family units and honeymooners (at least 400) <â€”admittedly the honeymooners might have taken some extra persuading but I think we could have convinced at least half of them that ours was a just revolution. And, as I went on enlightening Michelle, â€œWe could have formed an alliance! We would then have had the numbers to mount an unstoppable counter-strike!â€
She just rolled her eyes and returned to her book.
But it doesnâ€™t matter, because I will now present the surprise evidence–the ‘smoking gun‘ if you will. This is the picture that very nearly cost me my lifeâ€”taken in true â€œTime Magazineâ€ journalistic fashionâ€”right from the front lines where the fighting was fiercest. When you see this, please keep in mind that this is the ONE CHAIR I was able to get a photo of—a single chaise in a virtual sea of chaises. What you are about to see was actually on chair after chair after chair after chair afterâ€¦
I rest my case.