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Ariel Sands Resort, Bermuda

Bermuda, then, is a paradisiacal paradox: the civilized beach town (with a tree of knowledge on it). You cannot be more than half a mile from a beach, and no biker has tattoos, no bike has more than five horsepower, and no one, government or private, is messing with you. You rent your scooter and wring hard the handlebar, wild, as the late poet James Dickey put it, to be wreckage forever. Stop, eat, golf, serve and volley, spend some money, wring the handlebar home to your hotel.

It is hard to be wreckage forever at 20 miles an hour, even if you forget, as you will, to drive on the left and have to be gently coaxed over by the understanding opposing stream of traffic, and you wind up ultimately resting at your hotel, which is what it is for. Back at Ariel Sands, envious of Compania's more dangerous softness, I hire Caroline in the spa to lay hands on me (Sports Massage), wisely skipping Body Fat Testing.

Caroline tells me there are bad areas on Bermuda--"Well, not bad but . . . dodgy."

"Dodgy?"

"Yes, dodgy. But I'm a girl from a small village in Yorkshire, and everything must be just so."

As Caroline discovers and reduces crunchy things in me, I too begin to embrace the Just So. Bermuda is the Just So. And the Just So stops just short of the Fastidious. It is time this hotel knew Compania's real name.

I go in to the office and tell them that Mr. Douglas starred in The American President opposite Annette Benning playing a character named Sidney Ellen Wade, and Compania's real name is Sidney Ellen Wade, and she's from New Rochelle, New York, where the director of that movie, Carl Reiner, is from (where his father's Dick Van Dyke Show was fictively set, by the way, I keep on), and the writer of that movie, Aaron Sorkin, is from Scarsdale, about two minutes away, and they won't acknowledge that they used her name, probably because they are scared, when we are not even mad, and while we've come to expect quivery behavior of Hollyweirdos (I take this term from Lynyrd Skynyrd, with whom I went to school, I explain) we don't expect it of Mr. Douglas, so call him and ask him down to meet the real Sidney Ellen Wade, more soft and dangerous than the movie Sidney Ellen Wade. "Just so you know," I conclude, and repair to my room and sit out on my terrace in the cool, Atlantic moonlight, and then scuff around the property looking for horse teeth, because a cab driver told me 500 horses are buried here, who had to be slaughtered because the automobile had rendered them obsolete and the war had rendered them hungry, and management lives in fear of a child unearthing remains and terrifying itself, and not finding any teeth I admire all things cobalt and aquamarine and tangerine, and have a very good time awaiting Mr. Douglas or Jack, whoever shows up first.

Ariel Sands, 34 South Shore Rd., Devonshire, Bermuda; 800/468-6610 or 441/236-0087; doubles from $290.

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