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Berger’s Burg: Columnist must come to terms with past Aruba trip

Secret: To conceal or keep hidden — Webster’s Dictionary

I am thinking about that day next month when I will drag myself away from my computer, deadlines and telephones and pack my bathing suit, No. 30 sunscreen and pinpoint eyeglasses and aim them southward toward Aruba, my vacation home away from home.

But before I do, you may be interested in learning about the !@#$ I kept secret since my vacation last year.

Visualize the sight of bikini-clad young ladies lying on the beach and the mosquitoes exclaiming, “Oh, boy, curvy barbecues!” Scandalous, I say, but that is not the !@#$.

Two weeks before Gloria and I depart for Aruba, we practice the meringue, the universal dance of the Caribbean. But, unbeknownst to her, I will sneak out to visit my optometrist. I need the acuity of 20-20 vision to avoid the bikini-clad girls frolicking on the beaches before my very eyes. Shocking!

I remember our preparation last year. We packed very sparingly — five suitcases, four carry-ons, Gloria’s three purses and high-powered binoculars for early warning purposes — and hustled to the airport. We arrived four hours early so we could be the first to know if our flight was cancelled. It was not.

Do not go away, readers. You will soon read about the !@#$.

I fervently pray this year the bikinis would not be as prevalent as they were last year. I know it is a girl’s way to air her differences, but why must she do it in front of mei The !@#$ is coming.

I felt a little squeamish when the couple in front of us requested two tickets to wherever their baggage was going. I figured out why it is always such a long walk to the gate: It gives our luggage a head start.

I was pulled out of the security check line and told to remove my belt, shoes and dignity. They scanned, frisked and patted my entire body to determine I was not Osama bin Laden and allowed me to continue barely five minutes before departure. It was a good thing they let me keep my binoculars.

A bikini is the closest thing to a barbed wire fence — it protects the property without obstructing the view.

The !@#$ is just ahead.

The clerk studied my passport and asked whether I was sick when the picture was taken. She said, “I hope you get better,” and waved me on.

The only place where figures do not lie is in a bikini. I would rather be doing my income tax than viewing a distaff’s obvious proneness for self-complacency by displaying her body parts in full public view.

Just wait for the !@#$.

We boarded a no-frills plane. Twenty minutes before departure, the passengers had to get together to elect a pilot. The airline could not show movies, so they asked the passengers to pass around pictures of their grandchildren. The plane finally lifted off, two hours late — the flight controller was out to lunch.

On the bikini-populated beach, I gaped so much I got eye sore.

The stewardess crackled, “In the seat pocket in front of you, you will find your life jackets and a complimentary rabbit’s foot. In the event you must put the life jacket on, wear it in good health.” I cannot wait to tell you what happened to me.

I remember accidentally staring at a topless girl on the beach with my new prescription eyeglasses. “What’s the big deali” Gloria asked. “Once you’ve seen two, you’ve seen them all!”

The !@#$ is on the horizon.

When we arrived in Aruba, I immediately ripped off my clothes, cleaned my eyeglasses and ran to the door with visions of cool cascading waves dancing around my head as I tried averting my eyes away from the cluster of beach ladies skimpily adorned, lying all around me. Gloria blocked me. I had forgotten to put my bathing suit on.

On the second day, I was bitten by a mosquito in an area where a mosquito ought not bite. And the worst part was not being able to scratch it in public. I did a whole lot of merengue-ing around throughout the day.

It was difficult to cover my eyes whenever I happened to stroll by a bikini area — simply by chance, of course — where the shameless girls congregated. And I am still blushing to this very day. I suffered through it all and left Aruba with a clandestine smile on my lips.

Readers, it is time now to divulge the secret I alone have been carrying around in my heart these past 12 months:

On a dark and dreary night in Aruba, I noticed a strange looking blo —

I am out of space. Readers, you will have to wait until my Aruba column next year.

Contact Alex Berger at

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