Friday, December 24, 2021

2021 Card-vent Calendar: December 23

December 23, 2021:
1995 Island Vibes Bob Marley: The Legend #8 Bob in Concert
Plucked straight off a freshman's dorm wall and repackaged into collectable card form, it's Bob Marley.
You guys ever been to Jamaica?  Twenty-four years ago exactly, my dad took us on what we pretty much knew would be our last family vacation.  It was the first time we had been away from home on Christmas, and it was awesome.  I had just finished my first semester of college, and I had my last exam during the very latest exam period on the schedule, and there was nothing any of us could say to the professor to bump the time slot up at all.  My dad picked me up in Madison and we drove back home to get ready for an early-morning flight.  The story of the trip is best expressed in easy-to-read list form.
Here are my top five memories of my 1997 Christmas trip to Jamaica.

5. Because the cheapo hotel we had arranged our stay at had recently had a water main break, our accommodations were switched to a much nicer hotel.  As part of this improvised package, we were comped only one meal per day, so we would load up at the buffet between breakfast and lunch, then improvise for dinner.  One night we called out for pizza delivery.  It was kind of an unorthodox move, but the hotel allowed it.  The pizza itself was, to be generous, not great.
4. It was a family hotel, and the beach was definitely not clothing optional.  That didn't stop one unashamed German tourist lady from going topless one morning.  And yeah, I took a nice long look.

3. Dunn's River Falls
A gently sloping waterfall where you start at the bottom and trek up to the top.  If you ever visit Jamaica, this is a must-do.

2. One day we went souvenir hunting.  I'm not sure how things are now, but back then most of the workers at the gift shops were Pakistani.  We had a few things picked out at one store (including a Jamaica soccer team Reggae Boyz t-shirt following their recent World Cup qualification), and one of the proprietors gave me the hard sell on a music cassette.  The artist: the reggae/dancehall DJ kown as Bounty Killer.  The album: "Down in the Ghetto."  And that's how I became Wisconsin's foremost expert on the ongoing Bounty Killer/Beenie Man beef.

1. Our flight home experienced significant delays, so we spent a great deal of time in the Jamaica airport.  This was fine for us, no hurry to return to Milwaukee.  One other passenger, however, had a different perspective.  Upon hearing the announcement that we had to endure yet another delay, this guy took his boarding pass, which was made of some sort of material that was not quite paper and not quite plastic, and tried in vain to ball it up, then threw it to the ground with great force.  When we finally got the call to board the plane, he handed the disheveled pass to the gate worker, who told him, "That's not necessary sir."  It's so great to experience someone melting down in public, so long as there's no threat to anyone else.  His tantrum is used by my brother and me to this day as a rage measuring stick, as in, "I am almost as angry as that guy with the boarding pass in Jamaica."


  1. All I want for Christmas is more posts like this from you in 2022. Thanks for the entertaining advent calendar!

  2. Never been to Jamaica but I have “broken my neck” on many a Caribbean beach due to unashamed European tourists.

  3. Lol. I've had a jacked up stomach the entire afternoon which kinda ruined the 2nd half of my Christmas. But reading about the tantrum at the airport turned my mood around. Merry Christmas!