She was serious. For some bizarre reason, all forms of pornography are illegal in Costa Rica, so even sex toys are hard….err…difficult to get (though prostitution is perfectly legal—figure that one out!) She needed me to order it and then she’d pay me back once I got down there.
First off, I wasn’t sure if people called them vibrators or if the correct term was dildos. I’m not sure I even wanted to know, but sheepishly I logged on to Drugstore.com and placed an order for the “Pipedreams Multi-Speed Deluxe Rabbit Pearl” while looking over my shoulder. In Pink. It cost $29.99 and would be delivered in three to five business days. Super.
I was staying at my mom’s house in Connecticut for a month before heading down south, so I watched the mail intently and avoided eye contact with the postman. Then one day the package came. I whisked it into the basement before it could be discovered, like a grade school kid hiding a bad report card.
I reported back to Tania that “the eagle had landed.” She emailed back that her best girl friend found out I was bringing a dildo and desperately wanted one, too. Could I find it in my heart to bring another one down? If it was a hardcover book, I’d have to put my foot down, but there was something dashing and risqué about being an international dildo smuggler, like a sexual secret agent. Bondage, James Bondage. I emailed Tania back and told her that would be fine because, like I always say, what’s one more dildo among friends who you’ve never even met before?
I was becoming a connoisseur in ordering sex toys, so I logged on and ordered another Pearl Rabbit, but this time in a lovely lavender shade. My order of two dildos within a week must have triggered some Drugstore.com auto-preference because all of a sudden I was getting emails advertising all sorts of new freaky stuff, to go along with my own normal freaky stuff. Delete. Delete. Wait, what was that one? Oh, sorry…delete.
The purple dildo got delivered, taken out of the box, and rolled up in a pair of basketball shorts. I stuffed it into my luggage next to its partner in crime and the fuel pump for a Chevy that I was bringing down for another friend. I sat on my bag in order to get the zipper closed again. Okay, Tania, I emailed, I got the second one and was all set to come down in a week. She emailed back that she really wanted personal lubricant. Jesus Christ—now it’s lube? And does it even come in any other kind besides “personal?” How impersonal can you possibly be if you’re breaking the lube out? Well, I guess having a dildo without lube is like going to the movies and not ordering popcorn. I didn’t bother Googling the Costa Rican statutes on the legality of lube, but logged right back onto Drugstore.com. The size of the lube she wanted was ridiculous—I buy Ketchup at Costco in smaller sizes—so instead I ordered three small bottles of “Aqua Brand Warming-to-the-Touch Personal Lubricant” for $14.99, ending the whole sordid affair once and for all.
They got delivered by a suspicious postman who winked at me, and then the package was whisked into the basement, wrapped in individual plastic bags and duct taped shut, sealed in my toilet bag in case they opened, and stuffed in my luggage. I didn’t confirm with Tania for fear that she might order fuzzy handcuffs or a blow-up doll.
I was itching to get out of the States, the anticipation killing me...
My sister drove me into New York at four in the morning. I sat down in my window seat, put on my headphones, and started to doze as the plane lifted off for a four-and-a-half-hour flight to Liberia Airport in Costa Rica.
Somewhere over Mexico I was jarred from my pleasant snooze by a horrific thought. I’d made it through security in New York but on international flights you had to go through customs once you landed. The last time I visited Costa Rica the customs agents went through my luggage with a fine-toothed comb, making me take every single thing out and placing it on a metal table for examination - my risqué contraband would be found!
Since pornography was illegal in Costa Rica, I was technically breaking the law by bringing those dildos into the country. The customs agents would go through my luggage and I’d be exposed as a sexual deviant who incorporates Chevy fuel pumps and dildos the color of Paas Easter eggs into his love-making repertoire. That’s some Japanese-level kink. Oh the shame, the embarrassment. I envisioned lube-sniffing K9s barking ferociously and the customs officers ripping through my bags and waving pink and purple dildos overhead while yelling for security. Everyone in the airport would see me taken away in handcuffs and my puzzled, excruciated face would be all over the evening news. I was mortified by the thought, sweating in my seat even in the cold artificial air at 30,000 feet.
I looked around for an escape. Maybe I could find a nice drug trafficker on the plane and switch contraband with him before we hit customs? I’d rather take the fall for ten kilos of coke and do twenty years in jail than have a whole airport full of people see I’m one of those double-dildo-edible-lube-fuel-pump freaks. But much to my chagrin, no one around my seat looked remotely like a drug trafficker, though that nun in first class looked a little suspect.
All of the tourists on the plane were excited to land, ruffling their hideous flowered shirts and passing their guide books back and forth, but I beeped the flight attendant and asked if we could take a few more laps over Costa Rica to enjoy the view, delaying the landing for an hour or so. “Sir, please put your seat back up and your tray table in the upright locked position,” she replied...
Will I find a nice drug trafficker to switch with? Will I make it through customs safely? Do I ever get to use the lube? Buy the book South of Normal and find out!