The other night we had paella with prawns. It sure was good. Then a couple of days went by and we realized that something was rotten in the state of Denmark because we had dumped the prawn heads in the trash and left them to mature with the other garbage in a 7-foot mountain piled up against the kitchen wall.
If you have ever wondered how much trash people generate I can assure you that it is an inconceivable amount. In six days we were awash in everything except feminine hygiene products and since it was all in the kitchen the stench got us to thinking it might be a good idea to throw it away.
Unlike America, where you dig a giant hole next to some poor people and bury all your trash, in Spain the garbage is separated and collected in a complex ritual that none of us cared to learn.
“Dude,” said Shit in the Lane, “this is the nastiest smell ever. It’s those fucking prawn heads.”
“Let’s go put all this shit in the dumpster,” said Brian.
“Be sure all that rotten prawn head juice leaks into our OK Rental,” said Ol’ Grizzles, who was still pissed about the $30 “handling fee” for gasoline.
We loaded up the cargo area but the stench was so bad we had to leave the hatch open with all the windows down and it was still so terrible we all got nosebleeds. The rotten prawn head juice overpowered all else.
“At least we don’t have to touch it,” said SITL.
“Hurry up and get to the dumpster,” said Brian, who was in the back seat. “I’m about to pass out.”
Shit in the Lane promptly got lost and since we had the hatch open everyone was honking and pointing and yelling, “Your hatch is open!” Then they would get a whiff of the trailing fumes and quit shouting, kind of like if you were driving a door-to-door shit sandwich truck. By this time the bag with the rotten heads had split and on the downhills it created a rivulet of rotted prawn that drained into the driver’s floorboard.
“What the fuck is that?” SITL said as the heel of his sock soaked up a few tablespoons of disgusting juice.
We kept not finding the dumpsters until, what was worse, we did and learned that all the garbage had to be separated. “Separated?” Said SITL. “I’m not opening up that shit.”
“Have to,” I said. “The prawn heads are mixed up with all the bottles and plastic. Says right there you have to separate it all out.”
“Fuck that. I ain’t touching that shit.”
Brian and I got out the bags and started pulling out the bottles which were dripping and stinking and it drizzled all over our hands and down our elbows until we actually smelled worse than the stuff we were throwing away.
SITL was adamant. “Don’t touch me!”
Of course that was exactly the wrong thing to say so we put our arms around him and tousled his hair. Back at the villa we bathed in turpentine and got ready to do the Monastery Ride. This was an easy short recovery ride designed by Munch, whose easy short recovery rides were not noticeably different from his hard long competitive rides.
The ride went up to a 16th Century monastery called Santuari de Cura which was pretty and all that but after we lunched on rabbit and got back on our bikes the road descended into a gently curving downhill tailwind slalom course on wheels that kicked our speed up to 42 where it stayed for five solid miles, the most amazing, whipping, brakeless free fall on a bike I’ve ever even imagined possible.
This ride was also different because the day before Team Norway had stolen a march on Team America, with Chef Leiv winning the lighthouse climb to Cap Tormentor, and Munch throttling everyone on the way back. These two powerful performances were enough to get Team Losingourpensionsnothankstoimmigrants out of negative digits and back to 0, meaning that with a bit of luck they might get to within a few thousand points by century’s end.
Consequently the ride was declared an official rest day of 95 miles and only 8,000 feet of climbing. Although we hadn’t been rained on once, this was the first truly spectacularly sunny day, Mallorca in her most fetching colors. The combination of cobalt sky, green mountains, luscious olive groves, and bleating goats humping in every field was unforgettable, and made us all think lovingly and longingly of our waiting wives back home.