A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean

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By Gary Buslik
May 2008
ISBN 9781932361582 256 pages

A Grprump in Paradise discovers that anyplace it’s legal to carry a machete is comedy just waiting to happen

In A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean, Gary Buslik roams from one topic to another, only a few of which have anything to do with travel. Whether depicting the foibles of human nature or dispensing pearls of wisdom on marriage, his stream-of-consciousness narrative takes us well beyond Montego Bay. And on those occasions when he waxes poetic about the natural beauty of the islands, his language is downright lyrical, a surprising counterpoint to the candid commentary and spicy observations sprinkled liberally throughout his book.

On marriage:
“In any argument in which your spouse has to choose between your welfare and the welfare of a house plant, it’s always better to be the plant.”

On being a Republican married to a Democrat:
“…she was a Republican, too, until George W. Bush got elected, at which time she became a communist, and now she blames me for everything that comes out of his mouth, including the hay. Somehow or other it was my fault that we didn’t find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that the levees failed in New Orleans…and that Karl Rove is the moral equivalent of smog.”

On politics:
“Whoever Ozzie Osborne endorses, I’ll go with…As long as I don’t have to stand in line to vote. I’d rather not cut into quality Oprah time.”

On his religious beliefs:
“I guess I do believe in something, at that. Babbsyism…after my cat, Babs. She doesn’t care if there’s a God either…. If there’s a God, I’m jake with it. If not, c’est la vie.”

On “progress” in the Caribbean:
“Some of the old places—Stanley’s Drug Store, Miss Lil’s Patty House, Sheep and Goat Rum Shop—are gone…and more disappear with each new season ….Whiling away torpid afternoons, folks can now browse air-conditioned jewelry stores, liquor-cigar stores, high-fashion apparel stores, crystal stores, and even art galleries. Trendy restaurants with French names have sprouted between the airport and jetty like mushrooms after rain.”

On fishing as a sport:
“When fishermen are sporting enough to hook the other end of the line to their own damn lip, I’ll reconsider that fishing is a sport.”

On his teaching career:
“Being a professor at a state university is as close to being your own boss without a shred of the responsibility as you can get in this life. As long as you fork over an A, you can pretty much tell your students to go screw themselves, and they won’t complain.”

On his idiosyncratic style of writing:
“…if you want to get to what in freshman composition we call the ‘topic sentence,’ you should just start reading on page 6.”

On punctuation (he is a writing instructor, after all):

“Although looking identical to an apostrophe and just as confusing, commas are nowhere near as jolly. Airborne and graceful, apostrophes are like mallard ducks, tails down, about to land on a placid mountain lake, whereas commas resemble the proboscises of encephalitis-carrying mosquitoes, sucking the blood of unwary line spaces.”

On the natural beauty of Jamaica:
“The sea was a cauldron of molten gold, but the veranda was shady and cooled by ceiling fans and Calvin’s lush garden. Iridescent hummingbirds zipped between clusters of oleander and lantana, bullfinches and bananaquits flitted from the railing to our honey bowls, and a nimbus of bees hovered over a koi-speckled lily pond.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2018-03-16T12:05:00+00:00