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The Perils of Going Topless

The bright sunshine, turquoise waters and gentle breezes of the laid-back Florida Keys are a great place to go topless. It allows us to relish the sunshine. We drove south from Fort Lauderdale and couldn’t wait to reach Key Largo to take our top off. The Overseas Highway is a narrow ribbon of road that connects the Florida Keys crossing over water that seems to stretch endlessly on both sides. It is the perfect place for a convertible.

Being topless is a novelty for us, so we take every opportunity to pop the top. Running to the grocery store, driving to the ATM or heading to a nearby beach are all good excuses to put the top down. After a ride to a neighboring island to watch kite boarders, we returned to our resort to spend the rest of the warm, cloudless afternoon on the beach. We left the top down in anticipation of going out to dinner at our favorite Cuban restaurant.

After watching a colorful sunset, we came back to our cottage to shower off a day’s worth of sunscreen and sand. While we were getting ready for dinner we tuned in to the South Florida local news. We find the frequent weather reports particularly amusing. On the night we were watching, the meteorologist and newscasters were complaining about the unseasonably warm temperatures – the low 80’s. They were eagerly anticipating a cold front that would come through the region and cause the temperatures to tumble all the way down to the high 70’s. They even recommended people get their sweaters and fleece jackets ready to prepare for overnight temperatures in the high 60’s.

Oregano sat on the couch reading while I was showering.  Moments after I turned off the water, I heard Oregano say, “Oh shit!” I saw him jump off the couch and run out the door without shoes. Dripping wet from my shower, I had no idea what was happening and was in no position to run after him to find out what was going on. Despite the nearly incessant weather reports, the irony was that the meteorologist neglected to mention the showers passing over the Middle Keys; information that would have alerted us to put the top back on the convertible. Instead, Oregano heard the rain, but mistook it for the water running in the shower. When I turned off the water, but the sound continued, he realized what was going on and dashed out the door holding the car keys.

As quickly as he could, Oregano put the key in the ignition and hit the button to put the top back up. He sat in the car being rained upon waiting for what seemed to be an interminable amount of time while the top leisurely fell back into place. The top closed mere moments before the deluge ended, but it was too late, the interior of the car was wet. A soaked Oregano gingerly walked barefoot back to the cottage across the gravel parking lot. As he sat on the floor picking small stones from between his toes he said, “The weather report was on 15 times in the last hour. Do you think they could have mentioned that there were showers in the area? Don’t tell me they didn’t see it coming on the radar!”

His toes now gravel free, he put shoes on, grabbed beach towels then went back to the car to attempt to dry the dashboard and seats. There was only so much he could do. What we really needed was time and sunshine to dry things out; two things we didn’t have at the moment.

Oregano returned to the cottage and changed into dry clothes. We grabbed another set of towels to sit on as we drove to dinner. Before the door to the cottage closed, I turned to him and asked, “Do you have the keys?”

He said he had them in his hand. Not five minutes later, as we were slipcovering the damp car upholstery with beach towels, he said, “Give me the keys and I’ll go get more towels for us to sit on.”

I looked up at him and replied, “I don’t have the keys. You said you had the keys.”

“I had the keys to the car, not the keys to the cottage. Crap! Now what do we do?”

“Go to the office and ask for another set,” I said calmly. I watched him walk to the office then turn around and dejectedly walk back towards me empty-handed.

“The office is closed. Now what?”

“Well, I have a number to call the manager, but it’s locked in the cottage along with the keys,” I said, noting the irony of the situation.

What we attempted to do next was not our finest moment as a married couple. We’ve seen criminals in movies break into houses using credit cards, so we tried to jimmy the lock. We didn’t want to damage our credit cards so we decided to use my library card. Not usually the first choice of burglars, but it’s the same size as a credit card so we thought it might work. After a few unsuccessful and clueless attempts, we decided that we’d never make it as criminals and stopped our endeavors before we made our situation worse by breaking the lock, my library card or both.

The thought of spending the night sleeping in the soggy back seat of a convertible was completely unappealing. There had to be a way to get the after-hours number for the manager. I walked up to the office and found a number listed on the late check-in box. Oregano called it and thankfully the manager answered and told us she was on the way. We stood outside on the now cloudless evening admiring the constellations, waiting to be rescued from our own stupidity. Of course, Oregano lightened the mood by making numerous puns about leaving the keys in our cottage in the Keys. I laughed as I swatted away the mosquitoes that were feasting on my repellant-free flesh. Fifteen minutes later, the manager arrived. We apologized profusely for disturbing her evening, but true to Southern hospitality she was gracious and said it wasn’t a problem.

With two sets of keys in our hands, we climbed into our moist ride and headed off to the Cuban restaurant looking forward to a great meal and a big glass of sangria. As we walked across the parking lot with damp backsides, we were supremely disappointed to find that the Cuban restaurant had gone out of business.

About Paprika Furstenburg

I was born with an overly developed sense of humor and poor coordination. The combination of these two character traits has taught me humility and given me the perspective to find the funny in everyday experiences.

56 responses »

  1. Pingback: The Gifts That Keep On Giving – Search Terms | Good Humored

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  3. Oh man! What a bitter disappointment! I’ve been locked out of two different homes- both extremely funny experiences (it’s been long enough for em to laugh about it!) And I also know the feeling of strolling up to a favourite restuarant and it being closed. Great post!

    Reply
    • That whole evening was the true definition of a comedy of errors. I’m sure if anyone saw us trying to use my library card to jimmy the lock would have gotten quite a laugh at our ineptitude. Glad to see you back again 🙂

      Reply
  4. We went to Miami last summer, although it wasn’t our intended destination. We were on standby to go to Canada to see my family, at the airport at 4am we produced our passports and passport cards for the kids. “You can’t fly wih those.” Oh crap! “Do you have booklets?” No, oh crap! So we changed our standby to a domestic and ended up at the beach with long pants and sweaters. Oh, plus they lost our luggage… Not a fun vacation.

    😛

    Reply
  5. Glad you got home to NJ safely

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  6. I was kind of relieved that you didn’t find breaking in too easy. If you had, would you have slept well knowing how easy it was to get in without a key? Very funny.

    Reply
    • Excellent point! I didn’t even think about how unsettling it would be to know that any fool with a library card could break in while I was sleeping. Thanks for helping me find the bright side 🙂

      Reply
  7. Paprika,
    It was hard, but I found some awards that you HADN’T won, so I gave them to you. Can you even stand it — you will have to read it to see what it is! http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2012/01/02/the-envelope-please-part-ii/

    Happy New Year.

    Reply
  8. Hahahaha. I don’t mean to laugh at you two but my nasty Jersey cold weather jealousy makes me do it. Actually I’m laughing first, bc I thought I was the only person things like that happen to. And secondly, I consider you two a smart couple… Oregano!! Everyone knows Florida has surprise showers.
    Glad you guys can laugh about it, a lesser couple would have fought.

    Reply
    • By all means, go ahead and laugh at how ridiculous we were. Trying to break into the room with the library card was when the absurdity of the situation hit us and we started laughing about it. Everyone has their moments of stupidity. I just choose to share ours with anyone willing to read about them.

      Reply
  9. I’m laughing! It sounds like something we would have done! Did you find another Cuban restaurant?

    Reply
    • That was the first time we have ever locked ourselves out of a hotel room. We did some research online the next day and found a Cuban restaurant 11 miles north of our resort. I only had to delay my craving for sweet plaintains for 24 hours.

      Reply
  10. I was searching Boobie for a topless article, l came across your blog. Thought it was funny even though it was not what i was looking for!

    Reply
  11. As usual it is like adventures of Tin tin with you two. See if you traveled with an overly cautious senior citizenesk husband like mine you would never had the top down to begin with. Hope you enjoyed the remainder of your trip

    Reply
  12. This was hilarious! Thanks for the laughs.

    Reply
  13. Oh my. This brought back memories for me of a camping trip in the pouring rain, inside a soaking wet sleeping bag. But you did get a hilarious post out of it.

    Reply
    • When you said this post brought back memories, you didn’t mention those were happy memories or not. You were definitely a trooper for toughing it out in the rain with a wet sleeping bag. I’d have found the nearest Holiday Inn.

      Reply
  14. Wet clothing — worst feeling! And then to get hit with a closed restaurant you’re craving. Double whammy!

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t have minded the damp pants so much if I’d been able to console myself with sangria, plaintains and flan. The next day we found a different Cuban restaurant. I was able to satisfy my craving while wearing dry clothes so it all worked out in the end. Thanks for coming back to read and comment again.

      Reply
  15. I can’t wait to hear more about this from Oregano at work!
    So did you find a good restaurant close by!?
    Oh… almost forgot….I love your writing. 😉

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment and for joining in the conversation, Pat! I’m sure Oregano will have a few tales about our adventures kayaking in the ocean that he can share with you at work. To answer your question…yes, we found a different Cuban restaurant, Habanos, about 11 miles away on Islamorada.

      Reply
  16. Sounds more like an episode befitting Lucy and Desi rather than Paprika and Oregano. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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  17. Breaking in with a library card. Priceless!

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  18. Thank you . Thank you . We now know how to make it rain around here when we need it: all the convertible drivers have to leave their roofs open! (But will it work if you 2 aren’t here in person? Have to check on that….) really funny post.

    Reply
  19. Your vacations are never boring!! Keep having fun! It’s cold up here, but another beautiful sunny day. Best of all, no snow!! xoxox

    Reply
  20. These are the moments that make vacations unforgettable! 🙂

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  21. Ahh, another “key” to happiness – reading one of your blogs. This one may “top” them all! Glad you’re able to keep your sense of humor. Safe trip home.

    Reply
  22. Sounds like Florida is having the kind of holiday weather we are having in Southern California! It was cold(for us) in the weeks before Christmas and then, on December 24th, the weather changed on a dime and it got warm. So it was shot sleeves on Christmas as we all looked longingly at the new cold weather clothes we received as presents and my Hubby joked about having a barbeque for Christmas dinner. No mosquitoes, though!

    Reply
  23. Thank you for this laugh 🙂 Funnily enough it took me about half ways through to realize that the topless wasn’t referring to you, but your ride (I’m slow sometimes) – so I actually thought it was histerical that you would pop your top for a grocery run – Had this weird image in my mind of you weighing cantelopes at the grocery store -l topless – Ah the weird way my brain works 😉

    Reply
    • Your comment made me laugh out loud. Thank you for the disturbing mental image of me topless in a grocery store. Yikes! Glad you enjoyed the story and finally figured out I wasn’t the one who was topless.

      Reply
  24. What an adventure! Next thing you know you’ll be going topless at the library 🙂

    Reply
  25. This is one of those vacations that are a lot more amusing now than it was in real time!

    Reply
  26. As my husband likes to say. . .”If you don’t like the weather in Fl, wait 5 minutes.” Hope you guys found another good place to eat! We love going to the Fish House in Key Largo!

    Reply
  27. Hilarious! Good thing you have a sense of humor and more importantly, good thing you were in the Keys. I don’t think any reasonable person could pass up a pun opportunity like that.

    Reply
  28. You always have adventures don’t you! Hysterical when it’s someone else going through it though I’m sure you guys weren’t laughing! LOL at first when I read the title I thought you were going to go topless yourself!!!! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

    Reply
  29. That has got to be one of your funniest posts! I laughed out loud all by myself!

    Reply

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