I had remained on the beach all day nursing a hangover. By five o'clock, thanks to a morning run, off-and-on swimming and napping, and two hearty meals; I was ready and eager to go again. |
When George, Krego, and Berman returned from the sea they were in a festive mood. Krego landed a trophy-type marlin. George and Berman hooked-up with large billfish several times, but neither had strength nor stamina for the fight much to the captain's disgust. Charter fishing boats like to return to shore with their mast laden with flags of trophy fish caught--makes for good bragging rights, and advertises to potential fisherman about how good their charter fishing business is. Krego laughingly referred to George and Berman as limp-wristed, sissified, wimps when they related breathtaking tales of their struggles. The three of them couldn't tell me often enough how much I screwed up by being hungover and missing out. I let them go on believing their fantasy. I had a great day; a peaceful day free of their bickering and nonsense. Besides, I caught a beautiful sailfish first day out; the day they were skunked.
On the trip down, we flew from Tijuana to La Paz on Aero Mexico, but George who booked our flights, thought it would be fun to fly from La Paz to Cabo on some fly-by-night, four-passenger, prop-driven Aero Commander and land on a grass field. Turned out he was right. We had this sleepy-eyed, un-kempt, American, hippie-dippy, spaced-out pilot--called himself Captain Ron--who smelled of marijuana and brought along a bottle of tequlia. I sat in the co-pilot's seat and shared it with him during the flight. Upon landing, he let me keep the remainder as an in-flight courtesy service. His motto was, "We fly higher than anyone, dude."
Anyway, after completing our two-day fishing expedition, we took a taxi back to the runway "pasture" for our return flight to La Paz to try our luck fishing a little further north in the Sea of Cortez. As a quid pro quo gesture, I bought along a liter of Sauza for the pilot (and me). The cabbie dropped us off, but the place seemed deserted. Guy in a nearby dilapidated hangar told me the plane was on its way back from La Paz and should be landing in another twenty to thirty minutes, so I sat down on my carry-on luggage and uncapped the tequila. Ten mintes later another taxi pulled up and deposited two fifty-something American couples who were dressed in resort-fancy, expensive duds, and full of blustering self-importance. Their leader was a tall, substantial man about Krego's size. From his actions and manner of speech, I got the impression he was some kind of elected politician, and we all know how entitled they believe they are. You could tell from their overly-loud conversation that they disapproved of us (especially me and the tequila), and intended to jump the line when the Aero Commander arrived. They seemed to intentionally speak loud enough so we could overhear them obviously thinking we would be intimidated by their importance. How wrong they were!
Krego looked at them distainfully as if smelling something foul, making sure they noticed, and snorted, "Hotel big shots. What impudence! What pure snobbery!"
"Now you listen here, and you listen good" said the leader in a booming voice while wagging his finger, "my party and I have very important matters to attend to so you fellows will just have step aside and wait. Sorry, but that's the way it's going to be!" He gave a dismisive wave and turned his back smiling at the others who smiled back knowingly.
Krego bristled. "Just stow that load of horse manure, big shot. We were here before you, and the first flight is ours'. Ever hear of first come, first serve? Sorry, but that's the way it's going to be!"
The group was absolutely shocked by Krego's attitude and tone. They were obviously used to people doing as they were told. They were experiencing (for them) a social anamoly. I figured they probably ended up in this pasture rather than the regular airport because they wanted to go by private plane. Wait'll they got a load of the plane--and the pilot.
"Well, when the plane lands, we'll just see about that!" the leader harrumphed.
"Yeah, we will," hissed Krego, "because if you oh-so-important-people make one move to board, I'll kick your ugly ass!"
They were taken aback--absolutely shocked that anyone would speak to them in such a blunt, disrespectful manner. I took the occasion to take a swig of the tequila and attempt to quietly break wind. Problem was that it wasn't quiet. It was a real ripper; a thunderschmear.
"Oh, my word! Of all the..." began one of the ladies.
"Ah, shut up, you dog-banging skank!" said Krego.
Her mouth dropped wide open. She started blustering. Finally she spit out to the leader, "Reggie, do something!"
Reggie, leader of the pack took a wide stance, and put his hands on his hips. "All right, I've had just about enough! Unless you want to end up in court and suffer dire consequences, you'll step aside and do as you're told!"
"Hey, Krego," I said calmly, "you think the Mexicans here think all Americans are as arrogant and full of crap as these idiots?"
"Probably!" He waved at them, a sweeping getsure. "These are the kind of Americans many foreigners are exposed to. Unfortunately, we get lumped in with them."
"Now look here!" said Reggie's male companion. "I'll not stand here and listen..."
"Shut your face!" Krego said hotly. Then he began laughing. "I've got a flash for you Reggie, and your caddy there, and those dried-up hags with you. You see, we happen to be in Mexico. You can't do squat!" I accidently ripped off another sonic boom. This was met with a chorus of "oh, my word," and "how disgusting" from the ladies.
"Not really, ladies," I said. "I just express condensention differently from you folks, but your tone and words actually translate to the noise I just made. Same thing, y'see?"
"Actually, you're more polite," Krego said to me. "And it probably smells about the same as their breath."
"Reggie, I demand you put them in their place!" commanded one of the ladies.
"All right! I tried to be civil, but you brought this upon yourself!" Reggie balled up a fist, and stepped in Krego's space. Big mistake.
Krego only hit him with a left jab, but it was the most solid left jab I've ever seen. You could almost see Reggie's eye blacken and close as he crumpled to the ground. The others first looked on in open-mouthed shock then quickly became hysterical. The guy sat on the ground holding his eye. I thought he was going to cry.
The other guy finally recovered enough to say, "I'm going to call the authorities! You'll be arrested for assault and battery!"
"Phone's in the hangar," I said taking another swig and ripping off another one. This time the noise was intended. There was a chorus of ooohs and eeews from our new friends.
The Aero Commander touched down about the time Reggie's "second" was halfway to the hangar. We took our bags toward the plane as three arriving passengers were unloaded. Reggie recovered, and he and the two ladies were in close pursuit.
"Sir! Sir!" he shouted to Captain Ron who turned.
Captain Ron gave a wide sleepy-eyed grin, "Whoa! Nice shiner, dude!" (Staccato giggle)
"What! Never mind about that! I demand you put us on board before these uncouth...ruffians!"
"Dude, you ain't gonna demand nuthin'. Who was here first?"
I spoke and held up the bottle. "We were, Captain Ron." Another loud blast found its way out the old zephyr window.
"Dude! Classic! Good one!" Obviously, Captain Ron was a connoisseur of fine flatulence. He gave me a glance of recognition. "Hey, it's my old co-pilot dude, and he even brought refeshments. How cool is that? Get on board, man. I'll load your shit."
Off we went to La Paz leaving our new "friends" behind. It would be two hours before Captain Ron returned. At least they'd have a good story to tell when they got home.
Copyright by Gene Myers author of "After Hours: Adventures of an International Businessman" Web site; www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AfterHours.html Also available on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com and www.borders.com
Also read "Songs from Lattys Grove", PublishAmerica (August 2010)
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