Our island paradise may be sublime but it's also ridiculous.

Example: Today we learned that the son of Don Carlos (Palmetto's foreman) accidentally shot the wife of Don Oscar (Palmetto's gardener) in the foot. Aiming for a bird. Now how do you mistake a foot for a bird? And just what was Don Carlos' son doing with Don Oscar's wife? Apparently they haven't been able to remove the bullet because the doctors at the public hospital have been on strike.

Example: My friend and neighbor Heather has discovered a hair salon in French Harbor that will do color. This is a big deal for me. Returning to the U.S. every six weeks to get my roots done doesn't seem to be an option. Bernard, my Swiss-born stylist who lives in First Bight, only does the hair cut. Not even the shampoo or blow dry, just the cut. (But the view from his porch while he's cutting is great.)

Unfortunately, Heather's salon has no running water. This, alas, is a deal breaker. How do you have a beauty salon with no running water? Then again, the aforementioned public hospital is also rumored to lack running water. Forget the salon: How do you function as a hospital without water???

This afternoon I must go foraging for food. This will involve a stop at The House of Meat, which sells California eggs and frozen pizza, and the Poison Meat Market, which sells, well, poison and meat. Mike needs some malathion for the coconut trees and I could use some hamburger.

It may also mean a stop at Eldon's for imported broccoli and milk in a box. Milk from Florida costs $8 a gallon! We'll stick to the box, thank you, and the occasional road-side cow (just kidding).

While I'm at The House of Meat, I'll make a desperate appearance at The New York Bakery & Deli. There I will beg for bread. Which they won't have (and bagels? forget about it), because it's after noon. They will only have cake. But since I'm not Marie Antoinette that just won't work. I want the country wheat. When I am so lucky as to arrive before noon, and buy up their last two or three loaves, Janet the Baker glares at me and says, "What, are you shopping for the entire neighborhood?" If hers wasn't the only bakery on the island that bakes something appromixating a La Brea Bread loaf, I'd boycott.

My foraging will conclude with a poke into the Tommy Bahama furniture store, next to House of Meat and the Bakery. Turns out Tommy Bahama manufactures his stuff in Honduras, so it's immensely popular on the island. Used to be a bargain (factory-direct), but the Honduran store owners have gotten smart and marked everything up U.S.-style. So my dreams of Tommy Bahama furniture slowly replacing my Connecticut antiques are fading. But I will still poke. I know, this has nothing to do with food foraging, but everything to do with keeping my spirits high above the ridiculous.