If you want to read more about Mykel's adventures in Albania, Mexico-- or life in General-- checkout Mykel's Diary For a look at the weird, the scary and the funny in real life, check out Mykel's Article's and Propositions.
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
What a glorious trip! Riding in the back of a pick-up... 6 people, among the cactus and desert... Mountains and sea... Downing can after can of Tecate... Wow! Do I feel Mexican! Here's a toast to Mexico and Mexicans! We all raise our cans to the passing cars. It's a steep road from the beach to the highway. It takes careful maneuvering, quiet, sober, thoughtful.
Then there's us.
SLAP! Sabo hits the curb. We back up. BAALOO BAALOO! Some one leans on a horn behind us. We toast him too. We're off. Down hill. Seems like we're going pretty fast. Do the breaks work? SCREEEE!
BLAM! We're all thrown to the back of the truck. I manage to grab a kind of lead pipe that keeps me from being flung over the edge. I guess the breaks DO work. BLAM, we hit the curb on the other side.
Careening through the street, toasting every cute chiquita and necktied businessman. Salud! Salud! (I try Potato Salud! but nobody gets it.) We all grab more beers. I don't know how they do it, but Mexicans have developed an endless sixpack, similar to the bottomless cup of coffee at IHOP. You take a beer out of the cardboard and there are still six beers left. It's magic! The beer just keeps coming.
Uh oh, we're suddenly in a land of strip malls: McDonalds, Walmart, everything except Taco Bell. Did we cross the border and not know it? We park in a parking lot. Sabo and Moe go into THE GENERIC GIANT SUPERMARKET to do some shopping. The rest of us wait in the lot, sitting in the back of the truck, continuing to exploit the endless sixpack. A car pulls up next to us. It's a black and white car, with lights on top. Uh oh.
Three cops get out. Two short ones, about my height. One taller with heavy jowls and a bad complexion.
Gilberto: Hello. Is there a problem?
Cop: You know there is a problem. You were all drinking. Where's the driver?
Gilberto: He went inside with a friend. They're going to buy groceries.
Cop: We can take you all to jail. If anyone is drinking in a car or drinking in public we have the right to take you to jail.
Gilberto: Come on. I'm Mexican. I know you can't do that.
Cop: Okay, you're right. But we can make trouble. We can wait for the driver and take him to jail.
Gilberto: I understand. How's a hundred pesos (about $9)?
The cop nods.
One of the many other reasons I like him is he said to me “Mykel, tu eres una leyenda aquí.” A third reason is that he's known as “Sonora's GG Allin.” (Sonora is the Mexican state where this column takes place.) One of his more notorious tricks was to pound dried dogshit into a powder... and snort it.
So it's the middle of the night. We've been at the strip club (boy, THAT'S a story), finished a couple buckets of beer, seen... well you'll hear later. Right now we're piled in Gilberto's rent-a-car. He's driving. There's me and Barichu in the back. Gilberto is in the front with Paige, a girl visiting from Boston, and another local guy whose name I can't remember.
The town looks deserted. Good thing too, as we're skidding across the street, from side to side, like a stripper's hips against a pole. Up ahead is a red light.
“Go! Go!” shouts Barichu in Spanish. “There's no one around. Just go.”
We stop. Pull over. Lights flash in the rear view mirror. Gilberto gets out of the car.