Rant: Topless in Maya Country


Traveling in any coastal area in Central America provides ample opportunity to see the odd juxtaposition of local men sweating out the heat in smart trousers and a shirt, often long sleeved and tucked in neatly, strolling past legions of topless tanning female Europeans.

Now, it has occured to me that the original locals, the Maya, were probably topless on these beaches for hundreds of years. Some may have even been topless while observing the countless human sacrifices that took place here during that civilzation. I suppose that since most of the topless Europeans here today are of a relatively hygienic sort, it’s safe to say that by rejecting a reasonable amount of apparel, they share the least gruesome of the aforementioned Maya traditions.

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That is, unless some of the young women here are hanging around half-naked in the hopes of being chosen for a sacrifice. I consider for a second approaching a young woman to inform here that although our culture currently expects us to believe that much of our television programming is based on actual reality, the trend has not yet been extended to Central American history books. But I hesitate a bit because I don’t consider myself to be that up on trends, and I did see something on TV involving Mel Gibson and bloodthirsty Mayas, so perhaps I’m out of the loop and about to ruin this woman’s only shot at winning a million dollars for being disembowled in honor of the Sun God. (Also, I remember my late grandfather advising me that it’s bad form to talk to topless women on your honeymoon, unless you work for National Geographic).

So instead I return to my wife and warn her to be vigilant against crusading Maya soldiers on Mark Burnett’s payroll. She wisely ignores me and asks for no further explanation.