I’m watching a scene from that classic movie Yucatecan Chicken, which is based on the Neil Simon play. Walter Matthau plays the free-wheeling expat and a young Jesse Tyler Ferguson is his uptight protégé and I realize one scene is almost a direct ripoff of something I saw in Mel Brooks’ The Producers. I notice the clever play on words in the title, as well. Ferguson is the chicken! How stupid of me not to get that earlier.
Later, a modern opera, Yucatán!, is in rehearsal. I glimpse the poster, in which mad vikings, who discovered Yucatán in the 1300s, are featured. Also waiters in white jackets and someone in a pith helmet, so I assume the production addresses England’s colonization of this lush Caribbean island.
On opening night, I realize how crowded the parking lot outside the red brick opera house is. I volunteer to keep my car at my beach house, a 10-minute walk away, to free up parking for others. There are so many trees and vines on the compound of my beach community, it’s actually tricky making it through to my jungle shack, which is built of cedar (I suppose that’s the typical Yucatecan building material). Lots of people milling about, too. Is that Norman Lloyd?
You know how you dream of your house, but in your dream everything is different, sort of mixed up? In your dream you live on a cul-de-sac and have a sunken living room, neither of which exist in real life? The furniture and landscaping are unfamiliar, but the dream just goes on and on? That also happens when you’re back in Connecticut but dreaming of faraway Yucatán. I’m almost afraid of going back to sleep. I couldn’t make this stuff up when I’m awake.