Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eine Kleine Chin-musik

Today's topic for debate: is the proprietor of this blog, or is he not, a "fucking piece of shit gringo"?  Okay, never mind - it's a rhetorical question.  But last Saturday night we found ourselves  debating this very issue with a total stranger from Mexico City, him taking the affirmative position while we argued to the contrary. Ultimately, the question was deemed unresolvable, but not before we were persuaded not to press the point any further.

After a rewarding evening spent tutoring a new bartender on the construction of the perfect martini, we were walking home along our own street - the one we've lived on for five years next week - when a beefy young man and his equally beefy girlfriend passed us on their way out of a bar and said, "Oye, pinche gringo..." Though rare, this isn't the first time we've heard this from some dumb rummy, and we ignored him the way we usually do.  But a block further up the street, Sancho Panza pulls up along side us in his car.

Hey, fucking gringo, where you from?

Considering it rude it ignore a direct question, we walked over to his car, stuck our head in the driver's window, and said, "Right here, idiot," and, gesturing toward his Mexico City plates, added, "Unlike you."

The next several moments were consumed in cross talk, with Sancho trying to clarify the question, his bubbleheaded escort squeaking, "No, where were you born?" and us explaining rather impatiently that we live right the fuck here and that maybe it would be best if they went the fuck back where they came from.  We ended the conversation with, "Does that answer your question, idiot?" and, with that, we reached into the car and patted him on his chubby cheek as if to say "now run along, bright boy," -  an insulting and patronizing gesture which, in retrospect, is the kind of thing you shouldn't do to a drunk and combative Mexican in full view of his chica.

Then we made a dumb mistake.  (Why no, the preceding wasn't the dumb part - we've been doing that all our lives.  Ask anyone we went to school with.)  Considering the matter more of less resolved in our favor, we turned around and walked away slowly and triumphantly, like a torero at the end of a brilliant faena. In less time than it will take you to finish this paragraph, we felt the fist on the back of our head, and the grit of the pavement as we lay in the street trying to remember which organs were most vulnerable to kicking.  There was the screaming girlfriend pulling him back, the shop owner's  sons running into the street, and us being helped to our feet as we yelled, "Yeah, you better fuckin' run, pinche pendejo!"  The final tally, arrived at after two sleepless nights forced us to at last go to the emergency room, was one rib broken, two more fractured, but nary a cut or a bruise on our beautiful gringo exterior.



(Also, at some point prior to this, someone appears to have accidentally dumped half a box of staples into our abdomen, which we plan to discuss with our GP next time we're in the States for a checkup.)

After Sancho slid his drunken ass behind the wheel again, we decided the wisest route was to limp down a one-way street where he couldn't follow us.  Instead, he pulled into the intersection, leaned out the window and loudly and repeatedly screamed, "Fucking piece of shit gringo!  Fucking piece of shit gringo!  Get the fuck out of here you fucking piece of shit gringo!"   This - rather than the public beatdown of a resident of the town in the middle of a busy street - managed to attract the members of the local constabulary, who we're told pulled him over and had a word with him.  We say "we're told" because, in keeping with our profound belief that there is no situation that is ever improved by the arrival of a Mexican policeman, we kept on walking.  With no one to press a complaint, Sancho and his moll trotted back to Mexico City for a bout of post-bellicosity lovemaking. 

Querétaro Centro is a place where nothing much exciting ever happens, so it doesn't take a lot to become talk of the town.  Maybe the most surprising reaction has been from Mexican friends who have apologized to us as if they'd done something wrong - as if we'd been collectively stomped on by Mexico rather than by the kind of slow-witted drunkard you find all over the world.  (Commenters who feel compelled to say things like, We told you it was a dangerous country, Pollyanna! need to pour themselves a great big snifter of shut-the-fuck-up.  Seriously, we got the shit kicked out of us in Swampscott on a twice-weekly basis for the entirety of the Carter presidency, and we don't recall the State Department issuing any travel warnings.)

That said, it's slightly sobering for a middle-class white heterosexual Christian male to get beat up on the basis of our identity.  Sure, you could make the argument that we got beat up for mouthing off above our weight class, but the whole altercation was bookended by the phrase "fucking gringo." If we were to go back home and jump up and down on somebody ribcage screaming "fuck you, fuckin' wetback," we'd be looking at a hate crimes prosecution.  Here in Mexico, not so much.  Though, depending how things work out in the Hague, we'll be keeping our options open.

Incidentally, we know the US has The Best Health Care System in the World!, but a trip to the private hospital's emergency room, an exam, x-rays, the option (declined) to see a specialist, and a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and two extremely disappointing non-narcotic painkillers took a grand total of 90 minutes and cost about 120 dollars.  Unfortunately, the treatment for broken ribs is to do literally nothing.  Just suck it up and let the Good Lord work His magic. Fortunately, it only hurts when we laugh, cough, sneeze, belch, stand, sit, lie down or use any of the muscles between our shoulders and our hips.  We had a 10-second hiccuping fit yesterday that we'll remember long after we've forgotten September 11, and after a week of this crap we'd trade the perro to the carnitas man for an hour of uninterrupted sleep.  Blogging will be short-tempered and cranky for the next 4-6 weeks.  Thank you in advance for not taking offense, pinche pendejos.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

That sucks! I'm glad it was only your ribs.

Y tu Que Piensas? said...

"Seriously, we got the shit kicked out of us in Swampscott on a twice-weekly basis for the entirety of the Carter presidency, and we don't recall the State Department issuing any travel warnings."

***********************

I wonder if the latest and previous beatings had anything to do with being a smart-ass ?

EL CHAVO! said...

Chale, at least you got a good post out of it! Get well soon Gringo!

EL CHAVO! said...

Chale, at least you got a good post out of it! Get well soon Gringo!

Burro Hall said...

I never really got an adequate explanation, but it seems like a safe bet.

jennifer j rose said...

De veras? Cuidate! Are you sure you weren't trying to open the door of a house in Chilpancingo, thinking it was yours?

Burro Hall said...

No way - that's a dangerous town!

Dave said...

Glad you made it out of there without more serious problems. You're lucky he didn't have any of a variety of metallic objects at his disposal.

My wife, expert in all things Chilango, had to chime in on the inadvisability of your course of action. Feel free to ask advise prior to any future engagements.

I'd guess that whispering that you were a quaternary relic of the Pope wouldn't have helped much at the moment.

And where, oh where was your faithful guard dog?

Heal quickly.

Rick said...

"Querétaro Centro is a place where nothing much exciting ever happens"

Well seems not so true with you around ;-0

Burro Hall said...

Pope didn't do shit for me. As usual.

Fnarf said...

Get well soon!

When this story started I thought it was going to be Crazy Maggie, tracking you down at last.

John & Julie said...

No good, man. Glad you're on the mend; you can't keep a good man down! I'm glad you're not letting that asshole chilango dampen your enthusiasm for Mexico. I'm guessing Jesus might be the biggest beneficiary of all this...since you can't move that fast, you might as well pet the perro!

Crazy Rita said...

You win. You are more brilliant than I am for telling off at a municipal police commander in Reynosa. Sancho must have been a big boy if he is larger than you as I have heard your nickname is Fat Fuck Frank.

Take it easy and get well soon.

Anonymous said...

Did get the plates? (you were lucky he wasn't a narco w ak47).
You should really try to press charges.

Ronnyrico said...

Basta! Me and half a dozen milquetoast English teacher types are on our way from Huatulco. We'll provide you with round the clock affirmations of your journalistic coolness and ply you with properly punctuated hosannahs to get you up and running again. We (okay, just me) rely on your wit and good sense to get us through the tedious day. Without Burro Hall, my life would be, well, just okay. Get well soon, senor. (Alas, my computer is a pinche gringo and lacks a tilde.)

Burro Hall said...

I can point to several milquetoast English teachers who have made my life worth living - my brother,for starters. Vaya con Dios, compañero...

Dan said...

Ladies and gentlemen, the sweetest thing my brother has ever said about me. Perhaps the sweetest thing he has ever said about anything.

pc said...

what a bummer. Hope the recovery is quick.

Dave said...

@ Dan-Don't worry, he's softened up a bit after getting worked over. He'll be back to his old self in no time.

Burro Hall said...

I have no brother.

Don Alberto Doyle said...

Well Damn! That means that exactly 33.33 percent of the male friends I made in Queretaro last year have been beaten senseless. Suerte de que mi perro es más grande que el tuyo.

Hasta Enero, muchacho, y una pronta recuperacion!

mkb said...

having heard about it through the swampscott grapevine, we just sigh "not again" . . .

Burro Hall said...

You don't wanna get mixed up with a guy like me, Mim. I'm a rebel...