Tortilla Toss

Our first day in Rosarito Beach we held the tortilla toss. This being the group's 32nd annual party, bragging rights were at stake. Bragging rights and a cheesy trophy -- a guy throwing a discus. Another prize was a nude woman painted on velvet. Watching the lady who crossed the border holding that prize was amusing. While in a gift shop earlier in the day, I thought about buying a Frisbee to place underneath my tortilla. As we were handed our three tortillas for practice throws, I asked Larry if he thought it was bad that children were starving in the world while we tossed perfectly good tortillas off the pier. A guy who overheard me said that one year he put butter on his and ate them. I ripped mouth and eye holes out of one of my tortillas and walked around with it on my face saying, "Silence of the lambs." Someone asked, "Why did you put holes in yours? Does that make them more aerodynamic?"

Before my throw, I stuck my finger in my mouth and placed it in the air, checking wind strength and direction. For my throw, I spun as one would while throwing a discus and stumbled on one of the boards on the pier. I decided that wasn't the best technique.

I was satisfied with the distance of my tortilla toss, but the wind took it off in another direction. Seeing seagulls fly down to eat the tortillas from the water, I claimed that a seagull knocked my toss out of the air. One guy heard me say this and added, "There is the possibility of a seagull catching it mid-flight and carrying it farther, too."

The lady who threw her tortilla the furthest kept complaining about something. She ended up winning, and I joked that the judges awarded her so she'd stop complaining.

The winner in the men's competition was a former Olympic athlete, a bobsledder who missed the bronze medal by a thousandth of a second. His brother suggested that we should've tested him for steroids. I said we should've done a Tonya Harding on him and bashed his elbow on the bus.

A guy told me that in previous years people heated the tortillas so they would flop less when thrown. He told me that he used lids from cans to practice. This competition was serious business.

I was told that the pier we were on was originally built for cruise ships, but the water was too shallow and the ships that docked here got stuck.

We went to the resort for dinner. Security was having problems with a group of guys in the Jacuzzi who had taken off their clothes. One guy said, "Why is it always guys doing that and never the women?"

Larry got back before us and was seated at the piano playing.

I talked with Kelly and her date. They were seated in front of me on the bus ride down. They're neighbors and met when he had his truck broken into. When he told me that he was a dance teacher, I said, "Women like guys who can dance. Is that how you scored Kelly?" He looked surprised. "I didn't score with her yet." He told amusing stories about dance instruction, and Kelly talked about the jewelry business she's in.

The dinner buffet at the hotel offered several choices. The meat in the fajitas I chose was disappointing. It's said for the best Italian food, go to Italy. I guess that doesn't apply to Mexico and Mexican food.

There was a floor show with dancing and traditional costumes. It was entertaining, and the show's host urged the crowd to join them. Many did. I went back to my room with stomach problems. The view of the beach wasn't as nice at night. I couldn't see a thing. I heard kids in the distance and someone was lighting firecrackers.

When I went back to watch the dancing, the group had moved to the bar for karaoke. I was looking forward to watching Charles, the Elvis impersonator, perform. In 1989, Charles won a contest impersonating Elvis at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza downtown. He won an all-expense paid trip to Graceland. I didn't get to see Charles perform, but did watch a guy who looked as if he could've been David Bowie's illegitimate son. He was a lawyer from San Diego who told me he performs at the Lamplighter in Mission Hills as a character called Moondoggie.

When the conga line started, my stomach pain returned, and I went back to my room. I had avoided drinking water, but was wondering about the ice in my margaritas.

I didn't want to stay in my room so early in the evening, so I walked around the hotel. Someone asked, "Is that why they call you the crasher? Because you went back to your room to crash?" Across the street there was a dive bar with a band playing "Good Golly Miss Molly."

The next morning at breakfast, the women were talking about a guy at karaoke who had muscular arms and looked like a pirate. Larry told me he played Stanley in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

We boarded the bus back to San Diego in a hurry. It was Super Bowl Sunday. One person started knitting, and a guy said, "You better not have a sweater done by the time we cross the border." A pretty blonde was standing up talking to someone and a guy said, "Are you going to pole dance on that thing?" She said, "I have to pee, so the answer is no."

When we found out that there was a two-hour wait at the border, our driver decided to go another route. We were told we'd have to get off the bus and wait in a long line. At this point, we realized that we were going to miss the beginning of the game. The woman who won the painting of the nude didn't want to carry it, so Mary McDonald volunteered. People honked their car horns as they drove by. As a joke, McDonald walked up to cars waiting to cross the border and asked if anyone was interested in purchasing the painting.

We made it across the border, and tensions over the tortilla toss resurfaced -- Olympic athletes should've been barred from competition, urine tests, peeing over the pier.... One woman said, "This is getting gross. Can we talk about something else?"

Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.

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