Ocean Park, San Juan, P.R.
Walking into their newly re-decorated ocean-front house, M is excited to show us the changes he and F have recently made. Our first stop is right next to the entrance: a shrine, covered with mexican-hand-painted miniature skulls, each with a name enscribed on the forehead... Nadia, Jose, Manuelo, Alberto, Berta, Porfina. Immediately, I see a photo of Freida Kahlo, along with another contemporay photograph of a woman in her early sixties. M says that this shrine is dedicated to Frida Kahlo and also to his mother, who died just a few weeks earlier. Meanwhile, Lydia has followed her friend Victoria into the center of the house, setting off some kind of motion detector, which chirps in the background.
I am just offering M my condolences, when Lydia walks up to us saying "Who croaked?"
We all act like we didn't hear her correctly; so she says it again: "Who croaked?"
Lillian pulls Lydia aside to explain to her that she shouldn't talk that way. Lydia has a puzzled expression, matched by M's look of chagrin and annoyance. M says to Lydia, "That's not a very nice thing to say." As I'm trying to figure a delicate way out of this dilemma, Lydia obviously is not making sense of Lillian's exhortation to be more polite and understanding.
Lydia says, "When I walked into the room, something croaked at me. I'm just want to know who croaked; you know, like a frog."
Looking down, next to where she was standing across the room, Lillian and I both see a large green plastic frog next to one of the arm chairs. M's one-year old walks past, and it gives out a loud "Burp!". We both point at the blurping device.
"What's that thing?" I ask,
"Oh," he says, "that's our motion-detecting-green-frog-burglar- alarm."
"Croak! Croak! Croak!" chirps the frog.
Next: Angelo Emanuel
All Rights Reserved
Last modified Aug. 10, 1998