Monday, January 5, 2009

The Valiant French Canadian, Part II

I frantically spewed out my predicament for a second time, and then paused to catch my breath. Alarm flooded the young French Canadian's face, and in that instant I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Not the romantic kind of hunk that would sweep me off my feet and whisk me into the Costa Rican sunset, but the type of man who would fly into a maniacal panic when necessary. Like that night.

Without hesitating (and shoeless, I might add), he did fly out the door in a frenzied panic, yelling something in French (or was it English?) that I still haven't figured out. I followed him down the steps and back toward the main lodge, a warm feeling of peace flooding my body as I watched his bedraggled hair flap over his frazzled countenance.

Breathless, he burst through the front door of the lobby and began pounding on the office door. "'Ello?!!! 'Eello?!!!" No answer. He ran up the stairs to the darkened cafeteria. No one was in sight. He ran back outside and began turning in circles, surveying the cabins surrounding the main lodge.

This feels vaguely familiar, I thought as I thanked the Lord for our rescuer. He may not have done a thing to change our situation yet, but at least he was running to and fro, shouting like a maniac, and panting loudly. There's nothing more comforting than rescuer who is a blur of movement and oozes determination.

"Eez your friend 'aving an allergic reaction?" The French Canadian stopped in his frantic tracks with a concerned look on his face. "Oh shoot." I took off running up the hill, yelling a warbled , "I don't think so!" over my shoulder as I ran.

I shoved through our little cabin door and looked at Megan, relieved to see that she hadn't blown up into a giant, bumpy blimp. Closing the door, I ran back down to the French Canadian who was hopping down the hill toward town while he tried to put his shoes on. "I think she's OK!" I shouted.

"Good. I am going to town for 'elp. You run around and look for the secureety guard," he grunted as he continued to hop downhill and pulled on his left shoe. I sprinted off in the opposite direction and then froze. I spun around and yelled, "Wait! Do you speak Spanish?"

"No." A new realization dawned on his valiant face. "Do yoo?"
"Yes. I'd better come with you."
"Gude zinking."

Together we hopped/sprinted down the hill and almost ran full throttle into the security guard. In a hodgepodge of Spanish/French/English/Pig Latin we urgently filled the security officer in on our dilemma.

I will fast-forward at this point esteemed reader, only to spare you the painfully dull details regarding the reaction of Mr. Security Guard/Sloth-in-human-form. Suffice it to say that, after ages of very slow ambling, our "heroic" security guard managed to make it up the hill to Megan and produce: (drum roll please....) half a lemon. He asked Megan to rub it up and down her arm to sooth the pain. He also, after some superfluous comments and unnecessary laughter, found the scorpion, which he promptly declared the "good" type of scorpion (do try to get stung by this type, if you must), and then fed it to his dog.

Meanwhile, the French Canadian sprinted down to his cabin and back up to ours 4 times. He brought with him Benadryl, a flashlight to search for the scorpion in dark corners, and the results of some internet research on Costa Rican scorpions he was conducting down in the lobby. Each of his trips ushered a little beacon of light and hope into our dark cabin.

It was at this point in the saga, dear friends, that I realized a true hero doesn't necessarily save the day. A true hero is the very definition of empathy and concern. A true hero forgets that you are complete strangers and treats you like family. A true hero moves quickly, even if he is shoeless and has no clue where he is going. A true hero does not crack pointless jokes poking fun at the damsels in distress. A true hero usually has some sort of mysterious accent. And a true hero produces more than a half a lemon in a time of dire need.

Thank you, dearest French Canadian (wherever you are) for being a true hero.
We will remember your kindness forever and ever.

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