On her second day on Grand Cayman, Laetitia noticed posters inviting all of the hotel guests to a party given in honor of a flotilla of American destroyers that were arriving that afternoon in the main harbor as part of a midshipman cruise. The purpose of such cruises is to give officer candidates some seagoing experience and create an illusion of life as a junior officer far more glamorous than it actually is. The hotel had invited all of the ships’ officers to attend the party, with the provision that they had to come in uniform.
A waiter handed Laetitia a piña colada as she arrived at the ballroom, and she stood near the bar, observing the sea of white uniforms and colorful tropical party clothes. She was about to mingle with the crowd when Reginald Prickett walked up, drink in hand. She was certain that Reginald wasn’t a hotel guest, but she thought party crashing was likely a necessary skill for someone in his profession. Since he had given her yesterday’s limerick and might provide another for today, she stayed to talk to him. They resumed their conversation of yesterday, with Reginald talking about his favorite subject: himself.
Earlier in the day he had gone to a society wedding on the Island as the escort of one of his ladies, a wealthy widow named Monica Beard. They were supposed to go to this evening’s hotel party as well. Unfortunately she had become ill during the wedding, so he came alone. Reginald introduced Laetitia to an acquaintance, Celeste, before going off to join the party crowd in the center of the ballroom.
Celeste was a good-looking woman, older than Laetitia with signs of aging deftly covered with makeup. She was supposed to meet a friend named Damon who had a party invitation, but when he didn’t show, up she came alone. She confessed that she crashed the party by whispering the promise of a future favor in Adam, the bouncer’s, ear and he let her pass into the ballroom. As they talked they found that they shared an interest in Agatha Christie, and Laetitia was surprised to learn that the fully clothed woman on the beach under the palm tree had been Celeste. At the end of their lengthy conversation, Laetitia thanked her and later recounted the stories that emerged from both Reginald and Celeste in multiple-verse limericks.
I live my life in the fast lane
And the wedding for Darcy and Dane
Was where a man single
Could meet and commingle
With the ladies who live on champagne.
I went to it as the escort
Of a widow of wealth and import
Whose body’s well-toned
And well siliconed
As befits one whose home’s a resort.
She’s the widow of Oliver Beard,
An old fellow both hated and feared
Whose holdings substantial
From dealings financial
Weren’t as clean as they might have appeared.
On the day that I met his wife, Monica
She’d finished her tenth gin and tonic, a
Sensation in hose
And chic mourning clothes
Whom I soon took behind the Japonica.
On the day of this great celebration
We started out with a libation
And then several more
Before we reached the door
Of the church that would host this occasion.
Celebrating’s what wedding’s about
But she drank too much, there is no doubt
She passed out in the pew
And was sick in her shoe
‘Fore her nurse came to carry her out.
So I’m at this fine party alone
Is it champagne and beef Bourguignon?
An occasion like this
I did not want to miss
Though for me it’s a kind of work zone.
Hey look! There’s Celeste by herself
Is Damon, her beau, on the shelf?
She’s full of surprises
And herself she disguises
As she gathers her intel by stealth.
She’s writing a book that exposes
The elites in unflattering poses
Like a wife in flagrante
In her beau’s Escalante
While her husband’s out buying her roses.
If you see an old dame with white hair
Fully clothed on the beach in a chair
It’s likely Celeste
Who as Jane Marple dressed
Knits and listens to folks unaware.
She’s a big fan of Agatha Christie
A best-selling author in history
Whose spinster reclusive
Finds her lifestyle conducive
To the solving of many a mystery.
As Miss Marple she looks very frail
But you find when she takes off her veil
That she’s shapely and cute
And of life quite astute
But she can tell you her own tale.
I’m all by myself; I just came on
An invite from my good friend Damon
But wouldn’t you know
The jerk didn’t show
Don’t ya love parties here on Grand Cayman?
I go by the name of Celeste
And I come from America’s west
And here’s my confession
I had a profession
That some scorn, but I thought the best.
For my annual six-figure take
Was a lot more than most women make
Doing cooking and cleaning
Things I find demeaning
That for me would have been a mistake.
There is no doubt I worked for my pay
Seeing forty or more johns a day
Sometimes six an hour
With no time to shower
And no time at all for foreplay.
So night after night I gave solace
To men in the small town of Wallace
In Ginger’s Oasis,
That kind of a place is
For fellows like Speedy Gonzales.
Such men find their love-life’s sublimer
When it’s timed by a plastic egg timer
Since they have to climax
In eight minutes max
It’s not a place for an old-timer.
We’d a posted exchange rate in order
That cowboys from north of the border
From the Alberta boonies
Could pay us in loonies
For whichever service they order.
My hero is witty Nell Gwynne
For whom King Charles Two had a yen
Was her great skill at acting
What made her attracting
To the king and to most other men?
Sometimes the girls thought I was dyin’
When I was just playing Meg Ryan
From Harry Met Sally
It increased my tally
When I made each john feel like a lion.
One day in nineteen eighty eight
We were told that we had to vacate
To take all our cash
And leave in a flash
For there was no time to hesitate.
When I left Oasis I’d enough
Long nights on a bed in the buff
And so to retire
Was my ardent desire
As I aged that lifestyle got more tough.
But I had to consider the facts
I had cash on which I’d paid no tax
When a helpful tax maven
Said find a tax haven
I came here to have fun and relax.
Back then there was no body scan
Showing things once viewed by Superman
So that what’s ‘neath the bodice
Of ladies who’re modest
Can be seen by the airport scan-man.
So I made trips to a Caymans spa
With cash hid ‘neath my corset and bra
And put each amount
In a numbered account
And then had fun in Shangri-La.
At last when the cash was all moved
I decided that now it behoved
Me to come here to stay
And play every day
‘Twas a lifestyle of which I approved.
I am skilled at the theater art
And wear costumes that go with each part
Like when I dress and warble
Like that old dame, Jane Marple
Or deck out like some painted young tart.
A boyfriend I have now and then
And some are quite generous men
Who ply me with jewels
And condos with pools
If I only will see them again.
But the moment I cherish with glee
Was when Prickett tried to hustle me
When I dressed like old Jane
And proceeded to feign
I was wealthy and relative-free.
And as that rare evening unfurled
Into stark disbelief he was hurled
When this naive old matron
He sought as a patron
Disrobed and took him ‘round the world.’
To be at this fine party I glad am
For it sure does beat being a madame
And I may meet a beau
And have champagne although
I now owe a favor to Adam.