INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 93: Don't touch the ocean.


INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 93: Don't touch the ocean.

MR WRONG: Tourist Trapped

¡HOLA, AMIGOS! I am enjoying a well-deserved vacation in Mexico at an “All-Inclusive” resort, and the Mr. Wrong Column’s ethos of Always Be Columning (ABC) means you get to enjoy some of my vacation along with me, or something mildly vicarious like that. Here we go!

I bought the vacation from Costco, and it is not a Sammy Hagar vacation, that was just a sign I saw on the way out of the airport. The trip includes the hotel, plane ride, and shuttle bus to the resort. The resort itself is very much like a Gated Community, so that’s kinda creepy, but once you’ve had a couple-three glasses of mezcal, it all seems to make sense. I mean, it’s a Disneyland kind of thing, you are in an environment set up to feed, water, and entertain its patrons, and of course to suck out any and all possible extra dollars from said patrons' wallets, purses, and Rick Steves-branded money belts, although Rick Steves probably wouldn’t go to a Costco vacation.

The first hustle was an offer of free breakfast, which on the face of it makes zero sense at this place, because all the meals (they’re good) are included all the time, but the guy was trying to get us to listen to a sales pitch for some other resorts related to the one we’re at. The bait was a deal on massages in the fancy Spa, but I am determined to experience only the Inclusive parts of my All-Inclusive trip, so even though the massages were marked down about 90 percent, we declined. It wasn’t a high-pressure sale, but it was still a li’l bit annoying on my well-deserved vacation, you know? I don’t want to get sold on anything, I just want to drink a buncha beers and try not to get a sunburn.

The food here is really good, especially the breakfast buffet. The breakfast baked goods are crazy-good. I am really packin’ on the carbs on my well-deserved vacation!

Speaking of which, the sun here is powerful! It’s real easy to get roasted if you do not take the proper Precautions. I took the trouble to buy a bunch of Airline Compliant containers to put my sun goop in so I wouldn’t have to buy anything at the location, and wowzers, am I glad I took the time to put my big tube of sunblock into three 100ml containers; they are getting $USD 30 and up for sunblock at the gift shop, ouch. I still don’t understand why I couldn’t bring one container of sunblock onto the plane in my carry-on bag but I could totally bring the same amount of sun gunk in smaller tubes.

I am going to post a TRIGGER WARNING for the next paragraph because I am going to discuss poop. You have been warned.

When you use the baño here, you don’t flush your toilet paper. You put it in a little basket next to the crapper. It’s a little odd at first because I have a well-established Poop Style, and this is a completely novel move, in terms of where the TP goes. However, I’m starting to think it doesn’t really make a lotta sense to put paper in the toilet, you know? Then it goes in the sewer and to a Treatment Center and stuff, and shouldn’t it just be water and poops? Why are we taxing our sewers with all this extra paper? OK, that’s enough, let’s go to the beach!

It turns out we can’t swim in the ocean or even go on the beach for a walk at this resort because they are completely terraforming the shoreline. This is when I start to feel bad and selfish about my vacation, even though it is well-deserved, because beach construction, to make or preserve a beach, seems like it’s against Nature, you know? The tide here is big, the waves crash down on the shore and it’s like a thunderclap every time.

We got a regular “ocean view” room,” where you can see the ocean, but it’s beyond the swimming pool and golf course. There are Premium rooms on a cliff overlooking the shore, and I don’t think I’d be able to relax in one of those rooms, it’s weird, when you’re at the bar near the shore the surf is loud and seems appropriate, but if I was in my room trying to sleep and kept hearing WHOOOSH! BAM! BA-BAM! WHOOOSH!!! I think I’d be nervous.

Also, the whole area the resort is in seems against Nature in general. We drove miles and miles from the airport to this resort area, and along the way, everything was desert-like, with those big goofy cactuses that look like people holding their arms up, I thought they’re called Saguaro, but the variety here in Baja Mexico is the Cardón. Anyway, we get to the resort and there’s all kinds of flowering plants and palm trees and greenery and stuff. It’s all super lovely to look at, but it’s not really in keeping with what the area is like naturally. I mean, there’s a golf course, a giant lawn, in the desert.

Another thing to feel bad about is being an Ugly American. I’m trying real hard to not be a dumbass Tourist, even though I am a big giant dumbass Tourist. Everyone who works here is super-friendly, because they’re in the Hospitality Industry, they project this aura of how everything they do for you is a delight, it gives them the greatest satisfaction to get you another bucket of ice or whatever. I have concluded that this resort is Classy, because they don’t have ice machines in the hallway. You want ice, you gotta order it.

Anyway, my plan to not be a bad Tourist is to tip everybody. You are not obligated to, under the Rules of All-Inclusive, but c’mon, right? So if somebody on staff even looks at me I give ‘em a coupla bucks. I know, I’m a fucking Hero. I’m just trying to not be bad! Time for a drink by the pool! Several drinks!


New York City, June 7, 2023

[NO STARS] The disc of the sun was orange when it had just cleared the buildings and it stayed orange as it climbed. The bedroom sunbeam remained pumpkin-colored as it descended the wall. The smell of smoke was gone, at first, and the air nearby wasn't visibly polluted with it. Still, outside, in the coral-tinted morning light, people were walking around in masks again. The light kept its color even as the sun went higher, and by early afternoon it was all back and even more ghastly: the smoke smell leaked in through closed windows and the sky was simply glowing orange. The dogwood blossoms spread open to the sky were orange too. The forecast had been suitable for a t-shirt and shorts, but the forecast had assumed the warmth of the sun, and under the orange pall it was a chilly 66 degrees. Lights in the scaffolding were on, and no buildings at all were visible below the Park. Smoke had sunk down into the subway tunnels, making a bright blur around the lights there. One or two people went to the trouble of taking off their masks when they got onto the train, apparently to establish what they were and weren't afraid of. The sun was an appallingly flat circle overhead. Gradually the orange faded toward gray and brown, but when the 11-year-old sat down by the window, the patch of sunlight falling on his feet was still coppery. Reflected in the top of a car, the sun looked like a sodium streetlamp. Later in the afternoon it expanded a little and grew yellowish to the eye, yet the light it cast remained ruddy, and the streets running west filled with pink haze.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 84: Doug Burgum.

Tom Scocca • Jun 8, 2023

Listen now (5 min) | The Indignity Morning Podcast is also available via the Apple and Spotify platforms.

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Indignity Morning Podcast No. 84 Update: BREAKING NEWS.

Tom Scocca • Jun 8, 2023

Listen now (2 min) | The Indignity Morning Podcast is also available via the Apple and Spotify platforms.

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WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of a sandwich from One Thousand Favorite Recipes, by Seattle, Washington’s Congregation Temple de Hirsch, Ladies' Auxiliary, compiled by Mrs. Sigismund Aronson and Mrs. William Gottstein, published in 1908, found in the public domain and available at for the delectation of all.

SHRIMP SANDWICHES. Pick half pint shrimps, put them in a mortar with two or three ounces butter, season with salt and cayenne pepper, and pound them to a paste; moisten it with a few drops of tarragon vinegar. Cut some rather thin slices of bread and butter, spread half of them with paste, fold the remaining half over these and press lightly together. Cut sandwiches into fingers or quarters; garnish with parsley and serve. —MRS. WM. GOTTSTEIN.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, kindly send a picture to us at


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