Day 4: I Dream of Haleem. Baji begins the day with a cup of hot coffee, three of Dr. Praeger’s Potato Pancakes and cinnamon french toast. Gojira wakes up to discover that she has contracted meat face, a condition that results from the overconsumption of meat and manifests itself in red splotches upon one’s face. (Meat face is commonly accompanied by meat body, also contracted during this vacation.) A failed attempt to go beachcombing at Manasota Beach due to high winds and cold temps nevertheless results in a handful of shark’s teeth for Gojira to use to replace her own teeth when the time comes. We seek warmth in the form of mochas at neighboring Venice Beach.
Throwing caution to the wind, we try out a strip mall Thai restaurant, where Gojira politely excuses herself before spitting out a dumpling not to her liking. Just to be bossy, Baji insists on following tradition and makes Gojira pick out her own mug at the Goodwill store and makes TP pay for it. Back home, TP exercises, Baji naps and Gojira downloads Scottish-accented apps.
The kids are afforded an opportunity to participate in the $2 per bag bonanza at the library but instead hit the computers for some game time. Baji and Gojira carefully select another bag’s worth of books to donate to the retirement community’s clubhouse library and include an inscription in each one.
Baji makes black bean soup which nicely complements the meat dish Nani made for us. ZP asks, “Auntie Gojira, can we play hide and seek ten times?” Gojira assents and ZP counts them off, telling Gojira where to hide each time and squealing in terror each time Auntie Gojira finds him (even though she is the one hiding). After the tenth time, ZP asks, “Auntie Gojira, can we play hide and seek twelve times?” Gojira suggests lounging time instead and is rebuffed. Baji remains safely hidden for the duration. After the kids and grandparents are asleep, we netflix. We have our doubts while watching I Am Alan Partridge, but then the references to 20-foot chickens and ladyboys cocktails win us over.
You farmers, you have great big sheds that no-one’s allowed to go in, and inside those sheds you have 20 foot chickens! And the chickens are scared because they’re so enormous, and they say “why am I so big?” and they look down and see all the other normal-sized chickens, and they think they’re in an airplane.
Day 5: Meat Face Flies Away. Baji starts the day scrounging around for the amazing cream-filled Italian doughnuts Gojira brought over but forgets that she gobbled those things up ages ago. Gojira starts the day with 12 pieces of french toast or thereabouts, one piece of banana bread, one potato pancake, and half a paratha. A light breakfast (and totally vegetarian!). She scares the children one last time, then Baji and TP take her to the airport. TP and Baji morosely find ways to fill their Gojira-less time by buying some car seats, going to Jummah/napping respectively, and playing tennis/watching tennis respectively. Gojira has developed Meat Scalp and has not eaten since. TP and Baji are eating broth for the next ninety days (depending on what your definition of “broth” and “ninety” is).
Did Bajira! turn their award–winning blog into a BBC miniseries starring Colin Firth and a cheeky monkey? Did Baji finish writing Good Fishing in Florida: The Musical? Did Gojira drive off a cliff? We’ll never know, because we’ve reached the end of our travelogue (though most of you know that Gojira can’t drive, on or off cliffs, and that Baji refuses to write any musicals without assistance from Joss Whedon).