speed bump? all you gotta do is jump!

last year i visited 292 of my then 325 facebook friends.   i went to thirteen countries, the four tips of the united states.  i visited a strip club in cincinnati because my facebook friend owned it.  i went hiking in the topanga mountains because a facebook friend persuaded me that the mountain lion warnings were just for show.  i had dinner in a home in calabassas that is in the same gated community that has within it a gated community that britney spears lives in!  i went fishing, golfing, to a casino, to dinner at everything from the chili’s in morgantown, pa to the pizza place in nome whose delivery team uses planes. i wore out the tires on my car and my patience with airlines and the transportation security administration.  two hundred and ninety two out of 325 is 90% and the remaining ten percent were dead, spambots, ignored my invitations, or declined my conditions.

in the albany, new york apartment i was told by a t.s.a. agent that she would put her hands on my ankles and feel me up until she “reached resistance”. like a good catholic girl, i put my knees together. in her own little braille, she was able to establish that i was wearing a tanga panty and that it had been several weeks since i had brazilianized myself.  everybody stopped to watch.  i was chagrined but i think anything a t.s.a. agent is going to do to you in their offer of a “private” room is going to be much worse.


my passport has a lot of stamps and looks like i’m either a terrorist, a drug mule, or  a war criminal who is confused about which countries have extradition policies.  most countries, i got off the plane, paid a customs official some money, got that magic stamp on the passport and went on my way.  the exception was india which required three weeks notice, a money order and an appointment at the consulate.

this coming week was set aside for brazil.  i had managed the visa application.  no problems.  but then my two chaperones had their visas denied.

captain reginald gholston was the 32d facebook friend i visited last year. he also chaperoned me on two facebook trips. i was planning to go to brazil with him and last year’s facebook friend #57 vince peters.  it’s important in meeting any new friends that you have safeguards:  for instance, take a trusted friend, meet in public, and NEVER agree to meet someone in their home or to invite them into yours.  out of the ten percent of facebook friends with whom i didn’t meet, two were gentlemen who would only meet me in my house or theirs.  so i didn’t. but i would have if i could have brought a chaperone.


a week before a scheduled trip, a brazilian visa speed bump.   reggie and vince can’t get visas.  i’ve got one.

my choices:  go it alone, reschedule, go to the next place on the agenda and come back to brazil another time, or cry.  i did the cry thing.

reggie is being deployed to afghanistan next month.  he has been deployed to iraq twice.  i feel like he’s a son–er, younger brother–to me.  i had hoped he would have fun in brazil.

in mexico city, reggie and i met my facebook friend #79 yoshi maeshiro whom i knew because he admires my grandfather fritz leiber, jr.’s science fiction novels. long after i was asleep at the hotel, reggie went out to a samba bar. it was a photo finish getting to the airport for an eight a.m. flight back to the states. reggie was smiling. i wanted him to smile after he had seen brazil!


after the nice, long cry, i remembered what one has to do when there’s a speed bump —

we strike west for los angeles and las vegas.  this is going to be like a combination of three musketeers, driving miss daisie and the hangover. except i don’t want to be the dude who loses a tooth!



obrigada brazil–i will reschedule and be there soon!


4 responses to “speed bump? all you gotta do is jump!

  • Smiley

    Not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up or is it the other way around? Good going Arlynn insert keep on truckin art here.

  • Julia Kovach

    When life throws you a curve….you curve! lol The visual of you locking your knees together at the airport, just made me grin…lol. And your new trip sounds like a great adventure and a lot of fun. I’ll bet you end up exactly where you’re meant to be! Have fun and safe travels, Arlynn! xoxo Julia

  • howardlovelyjr

    Don’t forget to clear-cut that jungle next time….!!!

    Howard Lovely, Jr.

  • Telha

    Aww so sorry to hear their visas were denied. Are they trying again? Do they have to wait some time to apply again? I’ll see if I have any contacts here that could help. Maybe if u reschedule u can fit Vitoria in ur trip. Im sure u would love my little town and it would be an honor to meet u! 🙂

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