I’m in a hurry so I’m just going to write what happened as quickly as possible and then I might fill in some details later.
SMA is a gorgeous colonial city, and I purposely but the word “colonial” before city instead of calling it a gorgeous city with colonial architecture, etc. Realistically, it’s got 20 to 30% population of wealthy and retired foreigners who employ multiple maids and like to gossip about how much their foolish neighbor pays to have his pool cleaned. “These people” is a common way of referring to the local Mexican population. I avoid the town. But this weekend, the town came to me. I put on a pith helmet, a pair of jodhpurs and my whitest dress shirt. I asked Lalo and Teresa to get everybody to call me “Massa.” I wanted these guests to feel at home.
Don Bob and Dona Crystal sat at the bar and drank mezcal from straws. They couldn’t tell the difference between 200 peso mezcal and 30 peso mezcal.
Lalo saw me in my pith helmet and laughed. “Hola, Massa,” he said. Then in Spanish he said: These two are dicks.
I pulled the bullwhip from my belt and menaced Lalo.
“Lo lamento mucho!” he said.
“What did you say before?”
“These people are dicks,” he said. “Massa!”
Bob and Crystal didn’t look very concerned about the prospect of seeing a man engaged in a violent act of slave whipping for forgetting to call me Massa. They asked for more peanuts instead.
“The kind without the fucking bugs,” added Crystal.
I told them a story about drinking too much and then being so nauseous that I sent my man servant out to vomit for me.
They laughed politely.
They threatened to stay the entire week.
I told Lillita to raise the prices to $100 a day. A ridiculous price for the room they had. Yet, it didn’t seem to phase them. My staff didn’t mind the guests staying there. They said “How are Bob and Crystal much different from any of you gringos?”
They had a point there. An embarrassing point but it was correct. I took off the pith helmet and had a swallow of mezcal from a huge silver chalice I kept for show above the non-working fireplace.
“I think I should’ve gotten the dust out before putting the mezcal in,” I said.
Bob and Cynthia approached me as I sat in the big chair that was off-limits to guests. I suspected it was haunted, if it was possible that a chair could be haunted. Whenever I nodded off into a nap I had dreams that the arms of the chair came to life and strangled me. Strangely, I didn’t fight back very much. Was that a sign? I always had fought back in dreams, or more often, started to run. When I ran in dreams I was always slowed down to a near crawl for any number of reasons. Whatever was pursuing me always caught up to me right as I woke. But now, I hardly fought anymore.
“The world turns on its axis, one man works with another relaxes.” What was Bob humming? The two of them had gotten insanely drunk and were still asking Lalo for more. They had managed to finish off an entire bottle of mezcal. Their bar tab was already approaching $10,000 pesos for the weekend. For about $15 worth of liquor. They were so drunk they were now daring each other to eat a grasshopper. They dared me. I took a handful of them and chewed them slowly.
“Open your mouth!” said Crystal. “Did you really put them in your mouth or are you a magician?”
I opened my mouth and showed her. She nearly lost it. She started coughing. I think she was looking around for somebody to go out and vomit for her. Somebody she could pay. These people were too much.
Of course, they took off in the middle of the night without paying.And they took the room towels with them.