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Swallow Tales
November 2008 | Ed Mirsky


Life at the Mud Hut Condo Complex on Grand Avenue.  Wikipedia.


Summer is over and Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda left their summer digs in Del Mar. The girls had settled down into monogamous relationships--married with children. But, not unexpectedly given their history of rather open relationships, rumors abound about their escapades over the summer, and life in general at the Mud Hut Condo Complex on Grand Avenue.

The most bizarre event of the summer happened to Charlotte. Someone left a baby in her room. There was no note; no necessary supplies for the child. Carrie's husband, Mr. Big, the summer manager of the condos said that this kind of thing was not uncommon, and similar incidents had occurred numerous times over the years. He added that a couple reported that their babies had disappeared from their rooms. Another couple said they found their babies unattended in the dirt outside their room. They had no idea who could have done such a thing. A woman said that she and her partner were raising a child left in their apartment; they suspect it was left there by someone else in the complex. One man said his wife gave birth to a child and that he was not the father. His wife claims that their neighbor's husband had forced himself on her. Another couple said a neighbor's wife brought them their baby, saying she and her partner were unable to adequately provide for it, and since they already had three kids she “knew they would take care of her baby.” But the most bizarre report was from a man who said that a woman entered his apartment while his wife was out and gave birth to a child, which she abandoned. The man added that he had an affair with the woman and she may have been leaving me the child. None of this has been reported by the local newspaper. Mr. Big summed things up by suggesting that it seems to him that the residents have developed a system for raising young in which they spread  the  parental work load among several neighboring parenting teams, but he added, they don't maintain reproductive monogamy.

After hearing the account of goings on at the complex, Charlotte was ready to move. After all, the previous week she was trapped inside her apartment when debris from an upstairs neighbor's construction project blocked her door.

Cliff Swallow.  Wikipedia

Shortly after Charlotte's unpleasant incident at the Mud Hut, the girls visited the Mud Hole Bar at the edge of the lagoon. They had heard from other women in the condo complex that a lot of men hung out at the bar, so naturally Miranda suggested that they check it out. One of the women warned them that some of the men at the bar were there to take advantage of married women, though with a smile, she admitted that some of the women did not resist the advances of the men. As you may have guessed, Miranda was approached by a rather insipid young man, though Carrie said that Miranda elicited the dalliance. Samantha and Charlotte said they too were “hit on,” but didn't say how far they went. When the girls returned to Carrie's apartment, Mr. Big said that he and the other husbands had thought of going to the other bar in town, but Steve Brady found out it was frequented mostly by men so they didn't go. After all was said, the husbands acknowledged they had heard what happened at the bar, and showed their unconditional affection and support with conjugal love.

 The girls and their spouses recently flew back to their homes in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. It was quite a summer, and as Roughgarden, 2004, summarizes it in Evolution's Rainbow, “Cliff swallow life includes many features of our own city life--a hot real estate market, trespassing, robbery, hanky-panky with the neighbors, ....” Stay tuned for more next spring.


Ed Mirsky adapted this piece from: Roughgarden, Joan. 2004. Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. University of California Press.



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