All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Honduras and the Shirt on My Back

Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan

Ok maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. In 1990 I was working in Honduras. I was with a group that was building schools, bridges and teaching kids about health and nutrition. We were up in the mountains of Olancho province.

Our little group was staying on a cattle ranch and we would go out into the surrounding countryside to work on projects for the villages. We had some native kids from university acting as translators. One of which was a beautiful young lady of 16 or 17. She had about 15 names, all of which she could rattle off in one breath. We’ll call her, HYHC, for short.

HYHC had a problem, she hated gringos repeating “como say desay” and pointing at stuff. One offender with a shaved head, particularly caught her eye/ear. Something was said about Spanish lessons. I promised to be a good student. So at night after supper I was tutored by starlight on the porch.

Two days before I was to go back to the states, I found HYHC in a hammock outside the girl’s bunkhouse. She was looking sad. I stopped to talk. She was upset that she was getting old and no one would marry her. I consoled her that she was very beautiful and that any man would want her as his wife. I might have said that if no men in Honduras wanted her, I would marry her, to keep her from being an old maid.

She laughed, I laughed and I thought all was well with HYHC. At breakfast one of the guy translators took me aside to congratulate me. HYHC, had made him take her to town to call her brother in Teguci to have him come meet her fiancée.

Knowing how badly HYHC wanted to get married he thought something was up, but he thought she was talking about one of the vanquero’s that had the hots for her. Unknown to me, he made arraignments for me to help him get supplies in La Ceiba.

I tried talking to HYHC to convince her that I was joking. She didn’t buy it. She said I made an offer of marriage and had ruined her prospects with anyone else by breaking it.

The next day I was asked to make a trip to get supplies, I said yes and hopped in the truck. My translator had grabbed my backpack and hid it under a tarp in the bed of the truck. Unfortunately he forgot to put my cloths or sleeping bag in it. We got out of dodge six hours before my brother-in-law to be made it to the ranch. I ended up buying a large number of beers at a cantina just down the street from Le Grande Hotel as well as dinner. Fortunately the Limpe was something like 20 to 1 on the dollar. From La Ceiba I made it to Rotan for a few days R&R and the euro-sunbathing Norwegians, from there to Belize and a plane back to Dallas.

That is the story of how I made it out of Honduras with literally the shirt on my back and my swim trunks.

Now as Paul Harvey would say: the rest of the story.

A few years latter my little brother was staying in Honduras for the summer. He just so happened to be living with HYHC’s cousin. My brother got to be friends with several people related to or friends with HYHC, including her brother. Apparently no one was the wiser about me and my brother being related and me being the guy who didn't marry HYHC.

Skip forward a few more years. My brother is in law school, HYHC’s brother is working for the Honduran government and he’s coming to the states on business. I’ve been married to Mrs Ipsa for 6 months or so. My brother asks if I can meet a friend of his coming in from Honduras, I say yes.

After making small talk for a few minutes HYHC’s brother informs me that HYHC is single. She fell in love for an American and no one else will do. It is at that exact moment I remembered the Spanish phrase HYHC insisted I learn first. I turned to Mrs Ipsa and said, to HYHC’s brother; “let me introduce my esposa es bonito.”

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