This is Radio. It is, of course, not his real name. And by that I mean the name that came from his mother. Many of the guys on this island have their name of birth, and then the name that everyone knows them by. Some are obvious. There’s African, who is Radio’s brother. His boat is called African Pride. There is Ja Mon, whose given name is Winston. He sang to me on the beach the other day and told me he loved me. Dumpling is called Sheldon when he’s being questioned by the police. Phat Shag is just Phat Shag. He is phat.
When we were traveling back in 2002, we met perhaps the two men with the best “street” names. Andrew Joseph Presley was first known as Kinky, but he tired of such a strange name, so he took on the moniker of Pinky. And we met Sunshine Biscuit, who told us his name with a most dignified and straight face, whilst sitting under a palm tree.
Sue seems so pedestrian now.
Anyway, we met Radio the first year we came here, when he was driving the dive boat for the dive shop in town and he took a liking to Hans. He immediately gave him the name “Bad Boy.” To this day, Hans is Bad Boy to Radio. It also sounds nicer when coming from the mouth of an islander. More melodious.
But then, everything does. Even the word “fuck”, which is quite common ’round these parts.
This picture makes Radio look like he’s had a bit too much of the yerba buena before he got in his water taxi. But it’s just a horrible shot. I took it for the sign he has on his boat, which, to me, is priceless. I’m going to be hanging this up in our house.
“I can only please one person a day.
Today isn’t your day.
Tomorrow don’t look good either.”