Opinion Under the Palapa
chris dalton, under the palapa

The worst job in PV? Dancing pharmacist

Others are dressing up as an ape, balancing rocks on one's feet

Last week I told you about my attempts to find a way to earn a living in Puerto Vallarta. Here are more jobs I cannot do.

For instance, those two guys who spray wet sand on themselves then wait for it to dry before sitting in the sun at a table with a chess board, to the delight of tourists. People pay money to sit beside them and have their pictures taken.

As an experiment I tried to replicate the sand thing with a few friends in the privacy of our balcony. It was not a success.

I swallowed many granules and have been using enormous amounts of face lotion ever since. I am not sure if one sandy wrinkle isn’t permanent.

There is someone dressed as an ape outside the Zoo club on the malecón who, by the afternoon, looks as if he or she will be a dead chimp. I don’t know how he – for the purposes of this column — does it.

He stands stoically in the sun but then jumps around if you look at him.

What about the guy who balances rocks on the beach? He let me have a go a while back, and I damn near broke my foot. I mean they are bloody heavy and I could find no hooks on them, so I guess he actually balances the stones after all, and I cannot do that.

But the one who really blows my mind is the dancing pharmacist. He appears mostly in the summer, which would give Hades a run for its money as far as heat is concerned.

Because he pops up in the July-August period, the tourists miss his antics, which is a pity because whoever is inside that rubber suit deserves applause.

Here is a man in an eight-foot-high foam rubber cartoon suit that is supposed to represent your local druggist writ large. The character is a huge bald man with wire glasses wearing a white coat above enormous trousers.

There he stands at a farmacia on Allende, dancing madly to music from a giant speaker. By the early afternoon, there are pools of sweat where his feet stamp the blistering hot sidewalk, and he is clearly becoming crazed.

One particularly warm day I saw him collapse and bounce into the traffic as a result. He reminded me of a large sponge lying face down, clinging to a curb, as a bus swerved to avoid the apparition.

I looked through the face-screen in the middle of the stomach only to see bug eyes looking back as if he was taking confession at a church. My hat is off to that man, but I can’t do that either.

On a different subject altogether, I love this late April-early May time of year. It is not overly warm and we get our city back. By that I mean we are once again recognized at out favorite restaurants after the high spenders of the season have gone home to their mansions in the U.S. and Canada.

Most of us who remain are on draconian budgets because our spouses have just figured out that we could possibly live well into our 70s and not die the snappy deaths our wives had once thought, either this year or next.

It appears that Mexico agrees with us old duffers – all the fruit and veggies, and we have no intention of popping off for the foreseeable. Hence the small budgets. We have to stretch the funds.

The restaurants pick up on these signs of the lower middle class quickly, as we have no starters or desserts and only a lowly Spanish wine that is shipped by tanker. In short, they don’t want our sort in high season.

However, it is a different scenario at this time of the year as they “fireman lift” us to our tables for a complimentary salad and margarita. Suddenly I am Señor Dalton again who is kind enough to visit their restaurant once more. They wonder aloud why they have not seen us for months and allow that their life is better now for our presence.

They never had a free table for us in the last six months. Now they guide us to our seats in the mostly empty rooms with tears in their eyes and welcome us back, perhaps with a local discount. Hooray.

Christopher Dalton has produced multitudes of commercials as well as 14 movies in Canada and the U.S. He was expelled from every institute of higher learning, forcing him hide out in advertising and movies until popping up in Puerto Vallarta with his long-suffering wife Michelle. Visit his web site www.majorscorner.com.

© Christopher Dalton 2016

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