Today I returned from a trip to Mexico.
While there I was able to check off of few things I've been meaning to get done:
Check #1 - Read a good book on the beach while smoking a cigar. Okay, so it's not as funny, quirky, or as you'll see soon enough - shocking - as story #2 or #3, but I did have a "life moment" while reading Mario Puzo's The Godfather and reeling on a Cohiba. Not bad.
Check #2 - While at the fantastic all-inclusive resort and hotel, I found a fantastic all-inclusive place to take a dump. Stalls were a tad small, but, hey, it's another country afterall. Day 1 I made my regular stop down. Bravo. No qualls. Day 2 I went back to the same drop zone. I had just pulled my pants up when I heard a very she-like "sigh." Not a grunt. Not a squeal. A sigh. So I went about my business of washing all the while pondering what that sigh meant. I walked out - turned back to the door - and there it was - the triangle lady. Yes, I did my doodie duty in a woman's restroom. Twice. Scoreboard.
Check # 3 - This one's a little more complicated. As it turns out, some compadres of mine ended up in a Mexican jail the night before our return. Four went into the city - two were arrested and thrown into the paddywagon. So, being the Consigliere in this whole trip, I was summoned by the two not arrested (females) to accompany them, along with Antonio, a security guard from our resort to the jail. I wanted another pa-noose in the cab, so I asked that the famous Running One join me along with one of the two not arrested.
The job sounded simple enough - the manager from our resort was sending Antonio to be our negotiator. The price had already risen from its original $20 per compadre to $100 per compadre. The manager would act as an informant to a warden - and through the chain of command three degrees further - calling in a favor to the commander.
We arrived at the compound of a station. It was like a scene from wartorn Israel or Dusk Till Dawn or maybe even what you'd imagine if, well, just think about a shady compound surrounded by a field (150 yard radius), filled with dingos, and covered with guards who are carrying semi-automatic weapons.
For the next two hours I watched Antonio try to milk the proverbial cow of extorsion. But it wasn't working. And in that two hours we had been told no many a time. Running One was our button man - keeping our two cabs warm and on the premises. One of the two not arrested was with me in the lobby, working up tears and trying to score a sympathy vote.
I witnessed a purple panty wearing Mexi-Charles Manson restrained by four cops. I heard screams. I heard the clanging of a cell door and knew that my two compadres were somewhere in there.
When we felt our efforts were exhausted we started to leave. They weren't getting out tonight, meaning they'd miss our flight. Then Anotonio struck up a convo with an oozi-carrying Mexi-cop. He and our cabby convinced the gaurd to release our compadres. I don't know whether or not the Commander even knew. My thought is that since our price went up, he had no idea. That's right, we paid off the oozi-carrying Mexi-cop to spring our friends from the compound. What followed was a short series of driving back and forth to and from the front to the back door, as well as a moment of terror in which I suffered a panic attack, fearful that the cabby, Antonio and the gaurd had sold us out for our pesos.
Finally, (and much more detail not included), they were sprung.
And yes, we drove (the cabbies, rather) like maniacs back to the resort.
Chances are that my compadres' faces are up on a post office wall in Playa Del Carmen today.
Easter with Grandpa and Grandma.
3 days ago