November seems to be the month that American tend to be more thankful / grateful than usual, so it’s been a few posts since I’ve written a funny story, and thankful I lived through it. I combed through my mental archives, and landed on a business trip to Mexico.
In my many years with a travel company, I was given the opportunity to visit and rate several destinations. One of them was Cancun and it’s craziness. I spent five days there and it was more than enough to experience it. The last night was the epitome of Mexican craziness – it was all my fault, too. Based on my observations of the tourists, this was the Las Vegas of Mexico. And I love Las Vegas.
So my plan started earlier in the trip. I built a quick rapport with our driver, Juan, which I dubbed him as El Capitan. Then I started asking him about the night scene, and his connections there. I told him I would love a site inspection / behind-the-scenes tour of the most popular night club. He quipped that he knew somebody at The City Nightclub, so he would be happy to arrange that.
Now, I’ve gotta convince the trip leader into this plan of Cancun craziness. I suggested we do it as a group on the last night, as a last-hoorah. She readily agreed, since there was only one site inspection, and … it was at the very hotel we were staying at.
Finally, it was our last night. We dressed up to the nines, and were picked up by our faithful driver, and tour guide, El Capitan. An area was roped off with velvet for his VIP guests; us! We did a quick tour of the club, prior to opening of Cancun craziness of tequila shots, dancing and loud music. Most of the group only did it at my request, so I knew within a few hours of this they would wanna return to hotel.
I pulled El Capitan aside to advise him to leave myself and my new friend, Fabian, behind but be on stand-by to return to pick us up.
We stayed to dance, and drink. Well, I was drinking at any rate. Picture this: Flashing lights cutting through the dark dance floor like a lightsaber duel, with Latin music blasting through the joint, and dancers on pedestals around the dance floor. Tequila girls would wander through the crowd with their whistle blowing, and the bottles of tequila flowing into the eagerly anticipating patron.
After what seemed like hours, and too many shots, I peer at myself in the bathroom mirror. I mentally grumbled, “Man, I’m tore up from the floor up. I’m quickly running outta cheddar, too. Better grab, Pescado, and bounce out ASAP.”
As I stepped back into the crowd, one of those tequila girls blocked my path. And with a whistle blow, and a Pavlovian response, I tilted my head back into her chest, as she pour tequila into my gapping mouth. I paid her, and moved on. I found him dancing, so I escorted him outside.
I turned on my mobile phone to contact El Capitan. I read the time; midnight or what I like to call the Cinderella hour. I’m all for customer service, but requesting a ride at this hour is terrible idea. I remembered that it’s only a peso to use the green bus line to get back the hotel.
This is when Cancun craziness started for us. We boarded the bus. Since we had some time to kill, I was gonna call my wife. She was vacationing in Hawaii therefore some 6-hours behind me. I tell Pescado, “Ok, when you see the McDonald’s come into view, pull the cord. That’s our stop. Got it?”
“No problemo, boss,” he answered.
As I talked to her I kept a mental timer on how long it would take to get there. I finished up my conversation, and looked at Pescado. “It’s been too long. Did you see the McDonald’s?”
He whipped his head back, “Yeah. It was back there.”
“Oh my god! How long?” I cried.
He answers casually, “About 5 minutes ago.”
I was bent! The bus stops, and the doors opened. Driver says “Last stop.”
I yell out, “How much to turn around to Omni Hotel?”
“Forty pesos. EACH!” he growls. It was then I noticed his buddy no longer passed out on the bench seat next to him.
“Never mind then,” I say deflated.
The driver and his friend growled, “Then you fight us.”
HOLY **** “No, thanks,” I whisper. I roughly grab Pescado, and unceremoniously toss him through the quickly shutting door. I squeezed through at the last second before being crush, like Indiana Jones. I could’ve sworn that they were laughing as they departed in a plume of diesel smoke. It’s the dead of night, and just as quiet – no longer the Cancun craziness that we were rocking.
We were in the middle of the road. “Wow. We’re effed,” I grumbled. I walked further to a guard post at the nearest hotel, presumingly the last one on the hotel strip of Cancun. After an awkward Spanglish convo with the guard, I determined we’re either 5 miles or 5 kilometers from the Omni.
So we set off down the road in sweaty dress clothes, and dress shoes for footwear on this hike. Eventually, I needed a bio break. I made my way up a sandy embankment, and told my sidekick to be on the lookout. I wasn’t versed in the international laws of public urination, and didn’t wanna find out. I kept hiking down the back side of the embankment to be out-of-sight. Just as I was finishing, Pescado yells, “Policia! Policia! Los, get over here.”
I drunkenly pull up my pants enough to walk, but as I hit the crest, my drunk legs on sandy foundation had me rolling a**-over-tea kettle down the embankment. Sand was flying up as I tumbled to a rest at his feet. I pop up, collect myself, and survey for the cops. Nothing but Pescado laughing and pointing hysterically at me. I could’ve killed him in that moment. I roll my eyes, and we keep walking.
Minutes later, a lone car drives by. Then it abruptly stops in the road, and it’s reverse lights are on as it backs up to us. The passenger side window is down. “AMIGOS! Hey, jump in. I’ll take you to girls, and tequila!”
Um, no thanks. I’ve had my fill of that. “No dinero!” I yell. He lays rubber as he leaves us. After about a hour or so of walking, we stroll through the lobby of our hotel, thankfully alive.
The hotel staffer eyes us. “Enjoy a little too much of the craziness of club in Cancun?”
We simply nodded.
“Well, what happens in Cancun stays in Cancun. Unless you say something,” he smiles.
Until next time Spaceship Earth, be good like you should and if you can’t be good, be good at what you do!
Mic drop *bOoM*