For The Love of Beer, Episode 66, Odysseys in Paradise

Another island appeared on the eastern horizon. Rich checked the map and it appeared to be Nairai Island. Like so many of the islands, it appeared as a risen patch of green on a blue blanket of sea.

Circling the island counterclockwise, Rich spied a small village on the northern shores. He dropped the sails and cast the anchor a quarter mile from shore. It was near sunset and again Rich rested on the deck to enjoy it.

Rich prepared and dined to the dim glow of the cabin lights. While he finished washing the dishes he heard the hum of an outboard engine growing louder. Rich climbed on the deck just as a skiff with four men approached. A man at the front held a kerosene lantern.

“Hello,” Rich said.

“Hello,” came the reply from the man with the lantern.

The engine slowed the skiff to a crawl and it quietly drifted toward The Odyssey.

“Can I help you?” Rich said.

“Do you have some beer?”

Their tone seemed to be a feigned friendliness; dripping with honey as he once heard an aunt describe it.

“Do you have some money?” Rich said.

“What is money between friends?”

“We are not friends,” Rich said.

“If that is so, it will not go good with you. So are we friends?”

The driver of the skiff began to slowly circle The Odyssey.

“Crap,” Rich whispered to himself. He positioned himself on the roof of the cabin and watched the boat circle.

The pilot killed the engine as it reached the stern. The man on the front of the skiff grabbed the back rail.

“Get your hand off my boat,” Rich said climbing into the cockpit. “It is customary to ask permission first.”

“I am sorry,” the man said. “May I have permission to come aboard?”

“No,” Rich said, “Now shove off.”

“We only wish to be hospitable,” the man said.

“You only wish my beer,” Rich said, but thought beer would only be the beginning.

“Give us beer and then we go,” the man said.

“How ‘bout if you shove off and I leave your island,” Rich said.

“You give us beer and you can leave,” the man said.

Rich opened the bench seat. Before grabbing hold of the AK 47 the man said, “Ahhh, now the beer. Let me help you get it.”

“Stop,” Rich said. “Allow me to ask a question; when you woke up this morning did you think it would be a good day or bad day.”

“Why?” the man said.

“Just curious,” Rich said.

“Everyday a man wakes on our island is a good day,” the man said.

“I’m going to make sure it stays that way,” Rich said.

“He has our beer,” the man said to the rest of the men on the skiff.

“You didn’t understand my meaning of a good day,” Rich said and removed the AK 47 from the bench. He slid back the lever and fired one round over the head of the men. “What I mean is if I don’t shoot you, that’s a good day.”

The man fell back into the boat. “Go go go go go go!”

“Have a good evening,” Rich said.

The motor accelerated and the boat sped away.

Rich pulled the anchor and set the sails. Once clear of the reefs, The Odyssey settled into glorious and easy sailing. Rich went below to chart a course to the next island.



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