The internet went down during a period of time when the hotel was full of guests that spend a good chunk of their pathetic day and night online. Day Traders dba Face Bookers. Regardless, it wasn’t good. The owner of the hotel was out of town with his family, and I couldn’t take another knock on my door. This was a job for Super Gringo.
The modem was almost too hot to touch. That’s never good. I hopped a collectivo and went looking for Armando. You can’t actually get to Armando anymore, rather his secretary’s secretary. Fuck. She informed me that she has no idea what I might be talking about, and that Armando is in Mazunte and will return manana. Double Fuck.
I went down to Tel Mex and stood in line with all the other Indians. When I got to the front, I tried to explain my sit chee eh shin, but it was hopeless. Some random European informed me that I needed to make a phone call from the modem itself to reach technical support. Good Gawd! I asked him if he knew where I could buy a cheap phone.
Two hours later I arrived back at the hotel. All eyeballs were on me. If they only knew what I was trying to pull off was nothing short of a true miracle, they would have offered up their support. I gave the entire hotel the Hang Tight. I then plugged our new phone into the thingie. I dialed some 16 digit number and hit the # key. Hola.
I asked for the English Dept because there was no way I was going to troubleshoot anything en Espanol. Ordering breakfast is one thing. Reconfiguring a modem in the heat is another. a soft spoken female got on the line. I could make out every other word she said. She me my was and bring old to Telmex receive. Took a taxi this go around.
I brought the old modem, the current bill, and my passport back down to the office. Thirty minutes later I was walking out of there with a brand new Infintium modem. It came in a box full of instructions. I went back to the hotel. I gave the entire hotel the Hang Tight. I reconfigured the set up and it worked. I took a cold shower. The sun set.
For the record: There was no possible way whatsoever that I could have pulled this off 6 months ago, or 4 months ago, or even last month. No chance. Way too many variables. Today however, I made Puerto History. I can’t explain it. For those of you out there that know what I am talking about, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Ok, so German guy. Seemed nice enough. Gave me a measly 100 peso deposit, we shook hands, and he promised to appear the next day at 11am. When he showed up at 10:40am, I had the early stages of suspiciousness. Nobody shows up early for anything around here. You’re lucky if they show up at all. So he was early and it was noted.
He played the Passive-Aggressive card. He came to my penthouse 3x his first night. First to ask the WiFi password. Next to ask if I had a wine bottle opener. Finally to ask(tell) me if(that) there was(wasn’t) hot water. He told me I should consider a stronger password. No I don’t and You don’t Need It were my answers to visits #2 and #3.
He talked way too much. Probably why he has an EX girlfriend. I don’t know how she could have been with him for five minutes, let alone five years. He is a professor in Berlin, or maybe he’s not. I have no idea. He started in on canines, futbol and Lance Armstrong. I looked at my my watch and noticed it was time for him to shut the fuck up!
Jackass was in the process of getting my goat. Big Jim sat me down and explained to me the two most important things about how to handle Passive-Aggressive behavior in our hotel. First, never ever show anybody where you tie up your goat. And second, understand that all guests will leave your life way sooner than later. “Trust me,” he said.
Check this one out. He asked for the key to the utility closet. I asked why. He said he wanted to clean his room. I opened the closet. He found me 30 minutes later to tell me that his room is now cleaned the right way, and that I should educate our maid on how to properly do it. He wanted to know if I wanted to see what he cleaned. I flinched.
I totally went Jekyl and Hyde on his ass. I’m good at it too. I don’t love doing it, but I don’t hate it either. Sorta takes some talent and wit to create lingering and befuddling impressions like I can. He couldn’t draw on any of his world experience to battle my new and APProved persona. He began to tip toe around me. Ho Ho Ho dickhead!
I approached the venue and heard crying. Sobbing actually. Coni sounded terrible. My competition and I both were sure that somebody had died, and that she was just getting word via telephone. He and I were wide eyed and were whispering to each other how gnAAAArly it sounded. I chose his left hand. My right. I was white.
She came through the gate to have a cigarette and a beer. She had wiped away all her tears, but missed the eye liner that was all over her swollen face. I had to know, so I asked. She said her 16 year daughter just told her that she was pregnant. I offered up my congratulations. She smiled. I moved my strong side Bishop out three rows.
She asked if she could play winner. Whoa..a female chess player..Really? Let’s do this young lady. I was white. She spoke English. Yo tambien. She took a phone call and was gone for about 10 min. While she was gone, I noticed something unique about the way things were set up on the chess board. I gave myself a personal Whoa Guy!
Twenty moves in, I was up several skill players, and ready to create a crafty lure that was sure to have her reeling. I was but a left brain twitch away from moving my Knight to a handsome spot, when I noticed that if I did that, she could then move her Queen diagonally the full length of the board, trap my King in back, and call Check Mate.
I motioned for The Legend. He suggested I make the move anyway. “Cmon dude, the lady is down and out…She probably won’t see it anyway, but give her that chance…It’ll totally cheer her up.” I’m like, Really?? You really think she will forget her woes if I give up the Mate and act all surprised? He’s like Dude, and I’m like Dude.
I decided to make the albeit handsome move, and give the young lady a golden OPP to send me packing. She came back, thought long and hard, cut through all the bait and cheddar that I had craftily created for the past 30 min. She finally grabbed her Queen and made the full length of the board diagonal sling and called a delayed Check Mate.
She lit up. We high ten’d. She had a sparkle in her eye. “Holy crap lady, you play the game quite well. I didn’t see that one at all. Incredible! We should play again sometime.” I made the 100 yard walk home in the dark. Barefoot and in Bathing Suit. The two legged dog dragged herself across the street to get some love.
I got back to my room. As I got closer to my sliding glass doors, I heard music. I remembered that I left my PA on. Kind and Generous by Natalie Merchant was playing through my new Peavy Speakers. I thought of my Aunt Carol. I cut up five oranges and squeezed myself 16 ounces of C. I’m not sure exactly how I felt. The moon was full.
Whoever started the rumors about Mexico being a dangerous place, was dead on. It is true. This place is dangerous, and I don’t see anyway around it. Examples:
I use an Osterizer every day. Sometimes twice. That would mean I clean it daily, and sometimes twice. Imagine having to do that. 75% of the time I give a little blood.
Wearing shoes or sandals around here is just no fun. It’s too hot for those kinds of restrictions. Barefoot is the only way to go, and I have the scars to prove it.
If you ain’t willin to get on the back of a moto carrying two surfboards, as a 12 year old speeds you off to La Punta, well then you ain’t goin‘ surfin. Slippery when sandy.
Collectivos are my main mode of transpo. Unless one is empty or near empty, I regularly stand barefoot on the rusted up bumper and hang on for dear life.
Throw in the hot, hot sun, the powerful surf and swarming rips, all the beautiful women, and the 10 peso Ice Cold Coronas, and you are flirting with danger my friends.
he slid his queen’s pawn forward two spaces and nodded when i mirrored the move. he moved his c-pawn up two, offering the sacrifice. i declined the Queen’s Gambit and moved my king’s pawn forward a space. i decided to spring my queen from the back row on my sixth move, which seemed to surprise The Man. he frowned, and scratched the stubble along his upper lip with his thumbnail. i chose that move because i thought it was a good one, but also because it might appear to be a bad one. neither of us yet had any sense of our opponent’s skill, and if he believed i was a poor player, i could lure him into committing a critical mistake. he murmured something in German and moved his kingside knight. a reasonable response, but not the one i had feared. if he had taken my pawn, he would have kept the initiative, forcing me to respond to his aggression. instead he played defensively, and i took advantage by moving my bishop into his territory.
I gave a shout that I was down below. I was certain that I would get asked up and offered a green juice. If I ever needed a green juice, it was now. It was 8:45am. It was raining. I had shivered under a wet wool blanket all night. “Be down in 15 minutes Big Guy,” the voice yelled. No Juice. I set all my stuff down in the back of the truck, and walked over to a massive grass area overlooking the Pacific Ocean that reminded me of the spread in Hawaii that James Caan took Sara Jessica Parker to in Honeymoon in Vegas. The bugs began bugging me. I paced around the crab grass. I couldn’t get The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes out of my head. After about five minutes or so, I spotted a mid-sized Rottweiller lying down about 50 yards away from where I was standing. Apparently it was running decoy for the 140lb dog that spooked the piss out of me when it appeared out of the shrubs. This Mother Fucker came within 10 feet of me and stood there. It had a teaspoon of snot in each eye. Dual side slobber. It was also pulling a six foot wood fence plank that was attached to the giant eye ring that was attached to a heavy duty steel chain, which was attached to his choke collar. Not the type of thing you see on 41st Ave. I froze and looked the other way. I’ve been in a few real life Cujo moments over the years. This was gonna be another one. I knew the routine.
I had been schooled about how to say No, and why it is important around here. Around here, if you say No to a Mexican, it means No. If you say No, and give a reason why, it still means No, and you also don’t have to concern yourself that they might try to weasel a Yes out of you. Like if I said, “Oh sorry I can’t help you with X, Y, or Z because I have to go to that place and get that thing.” A Mexican, male or female, would NEVER say, “Well what time are you going to free up, because maybe you could help thereafter?” That’s not how it plays out around here. The inside trick is to say No, and give a lie as your reason. This No is understood to be the most serious No of all. Know what I mean?
When a half relative of my friends sister in law(seriously) showed up to my room with a bag of dog food, I knew I had blown it at some point. I think I told her a few nights prior that I could maybe check in on a particular Rocky, BUT that dogs at the hotel were.., AND that I didn’t think it was such a good idea if…
It all went down in Spanish, and apparently I foiled myself once again. I began hoping that maybe they wouldn’t come back with the dog. By 2pm, still no dog. An email out of the wild blue read, “Killed a Lagsna last night. Big ‘un too. Goina cook the bugger today. ok?” I knew exactly what it meant.
You see I had been granted Lasagna for Life when I returned to Puerto Escondido with Papa Chango’s Mac. I drove the hill several times into Los Gatos(pronounced Loss Gattis) to make this Apple warranty dream come true for him. We played cribbage and laughed all about Dick Cheney. I walked home at 7p.
I had forgotten all about that dog food drop off, and the grand prize that was sure to follow. I just had a super fabulous meal. Had a beer. Bought a pack of cookies on the walk home. The swell was picking up, and I knew that beginning in the morning, we were due to get a solid week to ten days of gigantic surf.
The ten month old dog was chained to a fence near my door. He had food and water. I knew Rocky. He didn’t know me. My least favorite combination. Labs, Retrievers, Boxers, Lap Dogs..that’s one thing. But a Semi-Albino, Male Staffordshire Bull Terrier? Whole Different Breed. I knew this was going to be a long 24 to 48 hours. The hotel was full and Rocky was now in the house. He was all cut up around his neck, and had a choking cough. Surely due to being chained up hard for the past week or so. He had a confused spirit to him. He was thin. He was all head, neck and jaw. It was dark. I clicked into survival mode. I then began to help with ‘good Rocky’s revival.’ YeahYeahYeah.