BROOKLYN, NY–Alvin Park has paid his dues through nearly two years of COVID-19 restrictions. He works from home, follows all CDC guidelines to a T, and limits non-essential activity. Alvin is a good boy, but he’s struggling through severe burnout these days. With his vaccinations all up to date, and more than enough money saved up, Alvin wants to take a vacation to disconnect from the concrete jungle rat race for a bit.
As a lifelong fan of anything Tim Robbins, Alvin is a Shawshank Redemption addict. He’s seen the movie more than one hundred times and read the Stephen King source material once. Naturally, the fabled Zihuatanejo destination has lingered on the back of Alvin’s mind for decades now. It’s his dream vacation, though he knows virtually nothing about the location. Heck, Alvin doesn’t even know how to spell Zihuatanejo.
Alas, Alvin took his lunch break and set out to perform preliminary research about the Mexican paradise. “Z,” Alvin punched into the keyboard. He’d hoped by now Google would start suggesting things he might be searching for, but nothing yet. Perhaps there wasn’t enough for the old search engine to work with yet. “E,” Alvin typed. Still, no suggested searches materialized. He wasn’t even sure if “E” was the correct letter. Puzzled, Alvin took a step back, deleting his progress and pivoting toward a new strategy. “Shawshank Redemption Z,” he typed. Surely Google must know what he’s on about now. Again, the unhelpful search engine persisted, offering no guesses for the helpless illiterate.
Left to fend for himself, Alvin took a complete shot in the dark, authoring his best guess: “Zeehwatanayho”. After several more pathetic attempts, Google led him no closer to his desired search. Alvin took a raincheck on the vacation plans and watched a compilation of Tim Robbins’ scenes from Bull Durham. “Maybe, I’ll go to Durham,” he contemplated. It didn’t sound as cool, though, and he knew it.
Later that night, Alvin found his loophole. “Mexico place where Andy from Shawshank goes?” he typed in. Finally, Alvin could spell Zihautanejo. In the end, he didn’t book due to safety concerns.