Bomba himself has had two wives. He met the most recent, a tourist named Elaine, at the shack. "We fell in love at first sight," Bomba says. They got married at second sight, and she ran off at third. "Elaine was a crazy Canadian wolf," Bomba says. "Every full moon she'd disappear. She'd go great distances—Florida, Canada." Bewildered, Bomba called Elaine's daughter in Toronto. "I asked the girl why her mother kept running away," he says. "And she said, I don't know.' "
In time Bomba realized why Elaine kept deserting him. "She was going to parties," he says. "I thought, If I have my own party, on the full moon, she just may stay." He did. And she did, for a while. Which is how Bomba's lunar luau was launched.
NEED A BABY? DRINK BOMBA PUNCH NAKED!!
Bomba Punch is a semilethal concoction of pineapple, orange and passion fruit juices, coconut cream and overproof rum that would sink a buccaneer. Bomba mixes the libation himself and ages it in gallon jugs. "This is no ordinary punch," he says slyly. "Something I mix in makes you go crazy."
Abetting the psychosis is the full moon. "Everyone lose their senses then," he says. "Bomba Punch just helps the moon do its job. The combination make you dance, make you howl, make you do funny things."
How many punches can you absorb before getting totally Bomba-ed? "If your head is strong, six," says bartender Debby Cox. "If your head is weak, then maybe three." The record for women is 11 cups. "An English girl drink that," Bomba reports. "After seven she sees spirits. After eight, ghosts. After 10 she sees the shack moving, and she tries to get it to stop and can't get it to stop. After 11 they have to take her away." The men's record is 17 "Poor fella," muses Bomba. "They had to take him away, too."
AFTER THREE BOMBA PUNCH, YOU LAUGH, GIGGLE AND GET WET
AFTER ONE BOMBA TEA, BOMBA PUTS YOUR HEAD ON A SHELF, AND THEN REVOLVES THE SHELF
As the moon beams down on tonight's Bomba-thon, spirits appear, ghosts hover and the shack moves. Judging by the squeals coming from the beach, the earth is moving too, at least for some couples.
At midnight, tea is served. The house blend is ladled out from a huge bubbling cauldron. It's not Earl Grey. "The mushrooms make you feel strong, make you lose your inhibitions," says Bomba. "It's potent, but not as potent as I once made it. People used to get in trouble. They'd wind up on somebody's pasture running the cows at night, or wake up the next day on somebody's boat headed for Antigua."
Within a few minutes scores of tea drinkers have embarked on magical mystery tours. Many rip off their clothes and cavort in the altogether. They sprawl along the road and splash in the gin-clear ocean. A nurse from New Orleans sits cross-legged in the moonlight, making "om" noises and buzzing like a fly coming in for a landing. A Manhattan security guard prances in the sand, popping open his palms as if powdering the air with fairy dust. A deliriously gone insurance agent from Nebraska brandishes a parking sign that reads, RESERVED FOR ST. MARY'S CONVENT ONLY. "He's in good hands," says Bomba.