Blog: A Vegetative Trip

Burt Ross

Those of you who know me well understand I am not a high-energy person. If the truth be told, I fluctuate somewhere between a semi-comatose and a full blown vegetative state. When I go on vacation, I prefer the latter state, and the less I do, the happier I am. I have friends who go on trips. They are up at sunrise, run the marathon, then visit a museum, hear a lecture on the War of the Roses, and end the day by attending a four-hour Wagnerian opera. That kind of day for me is not purgatory, but hell.

If you think I am overstating my desire to do nothing, let me illustrate by telling you about a recent trip my bride and I took to Cabo, Mexico. I think we were in Mexico. Because we drove directly from the airport to the hotel resort and then back again when our stay was finished, we could have been almost anywhere.

In the five days I was there, the most rigorous thing I did was shake salt onto my eggs at breakfast. My wrist is still tired but I have confidence it will fully recover. Of course, the hotel did offer many activities, but none that even remotely tickled my fancy. For instance, for a small fortune, I could go on a camel safari, which is referred to as an “unforgettable experience.” I can assure you that had I gone, it would have been something I would forever try to forget.

Had God issued an 11th commandment, it most assuredly would have been, “Jews shall not under any circumstance ride a camel.” I don’t care whether it is a one-hump or two-hump camel; my behind is not sitting on either. If I have a need (which I don’t) to see the outback of Mexico, it will be in a four-wheel vehicle, preferably with a/c, not on the backside of some ugly animal that is best known for holding its water and spitting.

Another so-called fun activity is called “outdoor adventure.” Here I quote: “Enjoy Mexico’s longest, highest, and fastest zip line–as well as many other … fun activities such as climbing, hanging and racing.” Let me be perfectly clear when I say that one person’s pleasure is another person’s torture. Words like “climbing, hanging and racing” are an immediate turn-off. If I want to experience an outdoor adventure, I will turn on my TV and switch to the “Discovery Channel.”

There was one activity the hotel offered which immediately appealed to me—an herbal essence massage. Now that is more like it. I signed up and all was proceeding beautifully. I was lying on my stomach and had the energy of a wet noodle when my masseur asked me to roll over. “Are you kidding?” I asked. “Get a backhoe. Otherwise I am not going anywhere.”

And so my vegetative trip ended with me thoroughly exhausted from doing nothing, and I was forced to return to the blistering pace of Malibu.