Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Tortilla Western" -- THE SEQUEL!!

Just when you thought it was finished, and you imagined the sun setting on the ocean in a triumphant display of colors over a radiant sea..... For those hardwired/devoted fans of my blithering entries, you will recall a previous entry in which I challenged you to come up with a screenplay for "Tortilla Western" --giving you a plot outline (and for the rest of you, scroll down to find it)... The Loner is back! Whodathunkit?

So far, no flak on the beach or in the waves --but you should see the movie trailer for "Tortilla Western/Part 2" -- the glimpse of what is in store. The trailer should include a redux of one scene which I did not delineate previously. At the time, I thought it did not really matter. Turns out it is rather pivotal.

It involves a fight in amongst the big waves (which indeed happened before the Big Showdown, of course). Starts out with lotsa surfers jockeying for big perfect waves, and the Loner is determined to steal them all, and does so successfully...

Enter the Good Guy who challenges his treachery by being a damned good surfer himself and taking the waves away from time to time... Then! Picture a surfboard shoved by the loner directly into the chin of a good guy... missing his throat (where it was aimed) but ripping his chin. The Good Guy had just flown in from surfing the 100-foot waves of Hawaii so, as you can imagine, he is stoked -- and now he's mad. Really mad. There ensues a fistfight in the wave --a very one-sided fistfight, that is. I can offer choreographic descriptions for the screenplay if you need it. Rather ferocious, but dangitall, satisfying if you get my gist....

Then, imagine the script taking us to a courtroom scene! The Loner is claiming injustice and wants reparation. Then imagine this: the ONE influential surfer (famous, big name) who did NOT see the fight from start to finish is called to testify. Oh the injustice of it! All he saw were the punches after the surfboard attack, and therefore he testified against the Good Guy. Major injustice, major upset....

Result: the Good Guy is banned from the beach, with a strict injunction to stay away from the Loner. Bummer (and massive miscarriage of justice). But the Good Guy shrugs and heads stateside to surf. Then.....who shows up Stateside? Who is actually stalking him? And how? and how!

But he makes no confrontation in the waves. Instead, the Loner goes to the U.S. police and demands that the Good Guy be arrested for stalking him.... says he is an Arab terrorist to boot, and made more claims I have forgotten (use your imagination, all you script-writers). The cops actually track the GG to his personal home and arrest him and throw him in jail!! On the word of the Loner.

That's the trailer folks... come on back if you want to see more of the movie... which has yet to unfold.

For the faithful among you who have read so far, here's another chapter in another potential screenplay. Remember the Drug Wars that you've been reading about, the scary stuff going on in Mexico, which is why many of you don't feel like, um, visiting us here? Here's grist for your mill:

Twas the night before last, and all through the village, barely a creature was stirring as the cool of night settled gently on a sundrenched land. We rocked gently in our hammocks, under our ramada roof, intoxicated by our night-blooming jasmine filling the air. The waves had been grand both for Robert in the big stuff, and me in the boogie'waves....really grand and wild for me. Visions of sleep drifted through our reveries...

But all was interrupted by big motors and lights --stopping just at the foot of our hill, by our driveway.

What to our wondering eyes did appear but two truckloads of Federales in their black-hooded gear! With beeeg rifles in arm. They were piling out and walking into courtyards, and standing outside other homes, just looking in... As we peered around from the side of our hammocks, a small floodlight was waved onto our faces. Gringos. No problem.

And apparently there was no problem anywhere else either. After a short visit, they all piled back into their trucks, laboriously worked at turning around in our one-lane dirt road, and drove off, down into the river'way and over to the main beach.

We were mildly concerned... the younger brother of our next-door neighbor had been involved in the wars and turned up dead awhile back. But the Federales didn't go to that house...

The following morning, our favorite village friends came beaming over as they often do --bearing ripe fruit and big smiles. We served them our fresh-ground coffee and oatmeal with fixin's -- and as we all settled in to watch the hummingbirds on the new papaya sprouts (from the trunk of the veryvery tall papaya that was cut down last fall) --we casually inquired about the Visitation of the past night.

Absolutely NO concern on their part: Oh, they're just doing their rounds. It's normal... With a wave of a hand and a bright smile, they dismissed it all... and we settled back into enjoying the birdcalls all around, commenting now and again on various fruiting trees and their care... Kids started dropping by to take out our toys and absorb themselves in imaginative play...

Just another day in paradiso a la mexicana.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


No, that heading does not mean what you might be thinking it means. It simply means "Enough already!"

But first:
Mind you, all is well in our little pueblo --so much we are loving our friends and "almost"family here. And the neighboring kids are dropping by to check out what new playthings I brought down this time--and bringing along their very shy, new, little brothers/sisters to meet the gringos -- and to learn that we are not ogres despite our pale appearance. All is so sweet...

Our four huge mango trees are sporting WALLS of mangos like ever growing, huge-already, beads, ripening in the sun, soon to be ready for the picking. Papayas, guavas, too. The grapes and various other fruits are slower. And ah, the flowers abound on the ground and all through the tree branches--think bougainevillea (bugambilia in Spanish) and see red, white, and mauve.

Waves WERE huge (as in 15'footers!!) and we WOULD have been here for them --which brings me to the title of this silly little essay: "¡YA BASTA!"

We had to leave one day late (thanks to pollen allergies which disabled me, til Louise of the Naturopathic Wisdom came to the rescue)....

Then half'way through our drive, in our most non-favorite town, we came to a stuttering halt.

Monclova! Pretty place, with sights and all to offer -- but seemingly crawling with corrupt cops. All of us gringos know this place. You commit NO infraction, but get pulled over anyway and charged with some bogus traffic violation, and a HUGE fine. No receipt, of course. Just "Hand over the money, Gringo!"

We fell for it once, knowing we were being royally fleeced. The guy told us we were technically a TRUCK because we had some bikes lashed to the back of our station wagon. And as a truck, we failed to STOP at a railroad crossing, and flash our lights. That will be $200 US, please. Robert argued, got it down to 100 outrageous dollars and off we went, enraged.

Discussing this with other equally robbed gringos, we learned the trick. Future stops through town (on inventive infractions indeed) were utterly defused by Robert. The ace-in-the-hole is to insist that we all go traipsing over to the central police station and deal with the infraction THERE. At this point, the cop always dematerializes into the traffic, without our cash, and we drive on.

THIS time ---hohoho!! Robert somehow reallytruly DID run right through a red light -- not once but two times!! The first time he did it, there was a cop car right beside us who.....was oblivious to our sin. We drove through and out of town, home-free...

...until Robert noticed that the car had heated up to almost evaporation in a puff of black smoke.
>>We hobbled back to town ever so carefully, and ended up spending the next two days working on finding and repairing the cause for over'heating.... Robert under the hood forever it seemed. When he would declare the car fixed, we´d head out of town and -- just at the top of the hill outside of town--the gauge would be back in the red--and back we´d go into town.

Don´t you know, we were BOUND to get stopped at SOME point by a robber-cop, yes? But of course. And on what (truly, in the moment) bogus charge? For running a red light! No kidding. We had NOT run a red light, not that time... and maybe we should have paid the fine simply for past unseen crimes...

...but not for the humongous sum he demanded, and especially, without giving us a piece of paper in exchange.

So...Robert pulled out the same ace-in-the-hole surefire ticket-expunger ("Take me to your leader.") -- and furthermore lectured the guy on how the cops are well known for this trick -- all highwaymen/robbers and etc etc etc... he told the cop they were all just seeking to fund their private fiestas with their friends, etcetcetc... That worked. ¡¡YA BASTA!!

After those two days stuck in Monclova, we drove up that long hill out of town successfully, and on to our digs by the sea...
...only to hear about the huge swell we had just missed. Had we left on Monday as planned, we would have arrived on Wednesday and been in the....thick?.... of it. As it is, the taper'down ain´t bad, though. We wear ourselves out every afternoon (after working on cleaning up and setting up house), have cervezas y algo a comer at the restaurant at the far end of the beach, and then stroll home in the dark (with little headlamps, mom) through the coco groves and across the little river -- the one where there are no more crocodiles (see previous posts for that story).

See you later, alligators.