(Rechtal begins)

I should have known that things couldn’t be going as smoothly as they were.

You did not, thankfully, bring along that pair of patchwork Bermudas that would have upset any legal deliberations. And you did see to it that no drinks topped with very small umbrellas came my way. Both of these caveats, of course, among my instructions to you.

And you did not fall asleep during the rather tedious testimony on the authenticity of the perforations used in the legal stamps in question. You were even successful in holding the exhibit of the paper used in the documents with other papers of the period without a noticeable tremor, which given the quantity of your luncheon libations, was remarkable.

In short, we won the day for family, if not for island architecture.

It was in the evening that the short sharp shock arrived.

I had not noticed at first that you brought with you your collection of vintage Hawaiian shirts until the second evening when you were a vision in eucalyptus leaves. It also dawned on me that while no miniature bumbershoots were coming to me, your own end of the mess was turning into a remarkable collection of paper paraphernalia in a rainbow of colours.

“Fine”, I thought, “it will keep you occupied”. How wrong I was. Little did I suspect that in the alcoholic haze of your version of reality you were somewhere with Maggio and Robert E Lee Prewitt preparing to ask Ernest Borgnine “If its’ fighin’ you want, Fatso …”. The first time this happened Fatso Judson was the maitre ‘d. The next few occasions involved a Matson executive, a Japanese tourist who, fortunately, had seen the movie, a surfer who had spent the day at Jaws but who was not familiar with the movie and thought you were in a remake of “Point Break”, and the wife of a distant cousin, who in fairness to you, did bear a remarkable resemblance to Margaret Dumont.

Happily, your supply of shirts was exhausted midway through the second week. I was exhausted somewhat closer to the mid point of the first week.

However, you are now safely returned and will I hope stay away from the products of sugar cane which have not boded well since the days of the Triangle Trade.

Rechtal Turgidley Jr
Quark Island, Maine

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