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When You're Lost In the Rain, In Juarez and It's Eastertime Too

By terryfunk in Culture
Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 08:25:15 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Apologies to Bob Dylan

Being a college student meant being poor. I did sleazy, crazy things, and when I could manage it, I had fun. Scalping student football tickets, working part time, and scrounging, however, wasn't fun.

Then I began smuggling birds from Palenque, Chiapas MX.  That was fun.

Yeah, I was stupid--I admit, but it sounded too exciting. The prospect beat shoveling horse stalls at the brood mare ranch where my girlfriend and I lived. My buddy from south Texas had called me one night and proposed a trip to the southern end of Mexico. He explained that we could get rare falcons, Toucans, and green parrots and bring them to the U.S. and make some money. It seemed like a plan; he and I had had adventures before.

So I bought 'The People's Guide to Mexico', read it in one night, and considered myself an expert. I was taking second year Spanish and that's how I justified the trip to everyone. My girlfriend and I spent the next two weeks getting ready for the trip, which was to last no more than a month. We'd come back to the states with a considerable investment, on our way to riches. Yeah right....

On a Thursday night in the middle of June, we packed up the Volkswagen, little realizing how far Eagle Pass, Texas really was. We left the next morning before dawn. It took us all day with no air conditioning and with a head wind thrashing us around to reach Eagle Pass. There we met up with our friend.

Having survived the trip of almost 1000 miles, we encountered our next challenge--Mexican customs. In those days Piedras Negras was no more than a village. But the customs officials were quite savvy. With all the camping gear we had stashed, our first order was to get through customs with something left intact. Who knew that camping gear was contraband in Mexico? Our bolsas were lightened by about $30 each, and we were finally permitted to proceed to the interior.

The first day in this unbelievable country was full of surprises. My second year Castillian Spanish was less than useless. Furthermore, the existence of various dialects of Mexican Spanish had never even occurred to me. By the time I realized that everyone was NOT speaking some kind of Spanish pig Latin, the dialect would change again and then again. I gave up trying to speak perfectly and ended up sounding like some gibbering, retarded Mexican midget with a frontal lobotomy.

One good thing happened that first day. After leaving Saltillo just before sunset and hitting the flat basin between two mountain ranges, we stopped to empty our bladders. There was barely enough light to see, but I walked about one hundred yards from what passed for a highway. As I stood there I noticed that the splattering I was hearing was not my piss hitting the hard caliche earth. I was, instead, watering peyote plants. The stuff was everywhere. I went ape shit gathering up as much as I could carry, and ran back to the car. I figured it would be fun once we got to Palenque.

It was shortly afterwords that my next brilliant realization occurred. Driving at night in Mexico is absolutely suicidal, and driving at night as fast as you can is beyond suicidal. Mexicans drive without their lights on in pitch darkness! I soon learned that this was a game of survival of the luckiest and a form of "chicken" that is played throughout the country.

We did manage to avoid head-on collisions, but still had to contend with pedestrians, herds of goats, dogs, horses, and donkey carts in the middle of the highway. I later found out that if I had hit someone and stopped to lend assistance, I would have been put UNDER the jail--no questions asked. That's just the way things work in Mexico. At any rate, tensions were high in our little group. It didn't help that some of us had begun to develop violent, explosive shits. Now there were as many hazards inside the car as outside of it.

An aside on that subject--bottled water in Mexico is a joke, so don't even bother. It is just tap water, and shit liquefying organisms live in that water. The only safe drinks are Cokes and beer. After a couple of weeks I started noticing that NO ONE in Mexico drinks water. Most visitors' first day in Mexico will probably be like mine. They will drink some 'bottled' water or brush their teeth in it and at that point it will be too late. Two weeks later their guts will turn to gravy, and they will be on their backs calling for their mommy.

The first day finally got us to Palma Sola on the Gulf Coast half way down Mexico. We stayed on the beach there. We noticed how weird the crabs looked and we fell asleep.

The next day we woke up to this wonderful smell of tropical trees flowering. Such sweetness it was. I helped fix breakfast and we packed and headed out for another day of Avoiding Suicide. As we drove a few miles down the highway, off to the left I noticed a nuclear power plant. At that moment, I understood why those crabs on the beach looked like spaghetti monsters. Like everywhere else in Mexico, environmentalism was not much of a concern. But for some reason, begging, being a Jehovah's Witness, and walking in the middle of the highway with your goats were of considerable concern.

Driving through the cities of Mexico, trying to find where the highway I had just been on had disappeared to was like being in a Mario Brothers video game. I ALWAYS got lost in Coatzacoalcos, Vera Cruz, and Tampico. Even if I had understood Mexican pig Latin, getting directions to anywhere from anyone was like trying to understand a red dirt fundamentalist speaking in tongues. Generally, I felt like a 10 year old driving on the wrong side of the street, riding the brake. While lost in Tampico, I called for my mother many times as I bounced off the curb like a pinball.

Finally, I had to find the so-called ferry to get across the river to get back on the highway. Mexico's idea of a ferry boat is to weld 55 gallon drums together in some alley, strap plywood on top of that, and power it by an old '56 Dodge hemi. True macho is getting on one of those for the one mile or so stretch of river to get to the other side. Once we had crossed, we continued our trek south.    

After getting stuck in traffic in Coatzacoalcos during rush hour for an hour and a half I finally realized that we were at the beginning of the end to our destination, Palenque. It was early twilight and the car was literally starting to smell like crap and I shuddered at another night of driving. Off in the distance I saw a thunderhead that did not get any bigger the more we drove towards it. I found out too late that was because it was a HUGE STORM. I also noticed that the highway was raised about 10 feet or so off the ground and that the edges on each lane had a curb! I am convinced the Mexicans do this to get rid of bad drivers. If you leave the road you're screwed. Regardless, 2 1/2 ton Mexican trucks did everything possible to pass me.

So now it was dark, and sprinkles were hitting the windshield. By now I was used to driving at night--once I had corked every orifice in my body. Then the impossible happened. One of those 2 1/2 ton trucks strained to pass us, flashing his lights, and blasting his horn within 3 feet of our bumper. So I slowed down to let him pass. A car fight with my girlfriend and friend ensued as to whether or not to let him pass. I won and the truck went around me. Five minutes later the bottom of the sky fell out. It rained like I had never seen before, serious tropical rains. It was so hot and so humid I could have drowned INSIDE the car. Once again my guts turned to liquid, everyone started farting and we couldn't roll the windows down.

For the next 4 hours I kept thinking we were on the speed ball to hell as we entered the land of the Maya--the place where even the Federales don't go. The place where Catholics couldn't convert many Indians, and where there is a good reason why there are armed Zapatista guerrillas there--Palenque, Chiapas, the capital of the once great Mayan Empire. Now it was a stronghold of the future Zapatistas and Subcommander Marcos.

The Feathered Serpent, the Pirate, the Celtic Witch and the Jaguar Priest

We finally arrived in Palenque that night, sore, smelling like farts, and with our nerves shot.  I wanted something alcoholic to drink. I stepped out of the car and it was like someone had thrown a bucket of water on me. At least I started smelling better. My companions, The Celtic Witch and the One-eyed Pirate, returned to calm.

A night's rest, more beer for breakfast, and I had my head screwed on straight once again. The morning came with a clear bright sky. We packed our gear and set off down the highway we came in on, to scout out the falcons that nested in the highest trees in open savannas. The minute we got on the highway we understood why the roads were 10 feet above everything else. On both sides of the highway, the open savanna had turned into a torrential river flowing north to the Usumacinta river. It was scary. We had to drive to a small village called Emiliano Zapata. It was here I realized that, given the proper circumstances, things could get ugly and bleak. Short, squatty, machete-wielding Mayans are intimidating.

The asking-for-directions problem nailed us once again. Only this time no one could speak Spanish. "Wattle wattle, clacked kwatle" is what Mayan sounds like. I felt as if I were in the land of the Three Stooges. We turned around and headed back to Palenque. We needed to search for birds in the mornings or evenings if we were to have any chance of getting any.

Palenque is a little bigger than Zapata, so we found a "motel" that had a "restaurant" attached. We paid a few pesos, unloaded our gear, and noticed no beds but plenty of hammock hooks all around. I also noticed my girlfriend, the Celtic Witch, eying the hammock hooks and saying with determination "Let's get some hammocks."  I recognized in that very instant, with the clarity of white light, with the vision of the ancients, that we were in trouble, that this could get ugly. I knew her too well. Up to this point, we all had been wearing tee shirts and khakis, I knew she could only tolerate that dress for just so long. It was only a matter of time.

Before the words of objection came screaming out of the Pirate and me, she stripped naked, put on her tiniest halter top, greased up a pair of her shortest cutoffs in order to get into them, put on a pair of sandals and started out the door. The Pirate and I pissed our pants, shook our heads, mumbled vague obscenities and quickly followed after her. We began pleading. No, we began whimpering and begging her to come back so we could talk reasonably about this. Only the modern and the rich Mexicans do this and they DON'T do it among razor-sharp-machete-wielding warriors. You simply cannot let their barely over five foot stature deceive you.

In Yanqueland, her fashion statement would not as much as batted a casual eye. Parading like this, in a Mayan village, in the middle of Chiapas, down the whole length of the main street to get to the market, would evoke any number of ugly nasties. This fact is especially true if there are two Yanques, pleading, whimpering and begging behind her in language every bit strange and unearthly as the language of the people of the Maya.

And it was not only what she wore either, and maybe this is what saved us, but to walk down main street like this with frizzy, shoulder length orange hair, the whitest of pale skin covered with freckles, and THEN say to the Pirate and I, 'What are these people saying? Why are they staring at me? What's the matter with you guys anyway?'. This would indeed, invoke the wrath of the Jaguar Priest.

Every Mayan Zapatista in Chiapas with a machete, stopped, dropped their slack jaws, made what we presumed were cat calls, and carried grins that the Pirate and I could only consider to be sinister. You just don't do this in remote villages, in the mountains in the heart of the land of the people of the Jaguar.

It was little wonder then, why we gladly paid a premium for the hammacas familia. And no, we did not barter or quibble. And little wonder too that I didn't remember our conversation over a breakfast of beer, scrambled eggs and chopped habaneros. It was only after I had convinced the Celtic Witch that we needed to head back to stretch out and prepare the hammocks that my stomach settled down. Reversing the direction of habanero chilies after having just eaten them is ghoulish and nightmarish. I was only relieved, when as I stepped out the door of the cafe, I saw 30 odd Mayans in a 2 1/2 ton 'people' truck leaving the village in the opposite direction, heading for the cane fields.

I queried the One-eyed Pirate as to whether or not we should just wrap her up each day in one of the hammocks, to prevent ourselves from getting our throats slit so that she would not be whisked off and sacrificed somewhere. "No," he said, "They just think we're a couple of barbaric and rude heathens." Oh great, that made me feel much better, thanks for that. The One-eyed Pirate was always right.

The One-Eyed Pirate

The One-Eyed Pirate got that way from a childhood experience. As all little boys will do, he ignored his mother's warnings of "Don't do that! you'll poke somebody's eye out!" We all played "Zorro" and "The Lone Ranger," emulating the popular children's TV shows of the time. So it wasn't strange that one day the Pirate was playing The Lone Ranger with a friend, and much to no one's surprise, got his eye poked out with an arrow. For years, the Pirate just left the 'dead' eye to wander around in its socket. Increasingly, over the years, it troubled and irritated him and he had it removed. Disliking the idea of a glass eye, he decided to wear a black patch. He liked being The One-eyed Pirate.

As the sweltering, oppressive heat grew more stifling, I noticed the village simply shutting down. No one was moving. Every one was asleep or simply laying about. Time was drawing near to search for nests. Checking the sky we noticed great clouds swelling up over the mountains. We thought we might have time to check a few nests. Throwing our tree climbing gear into the car, we got on the road to Zapata and headed for a few of the nests we had spotted earlier in the day. The once flooded savannas were now a soggy, mucky mess. Our target was the tallest tree in the middle of the pasture.

Armed with rope, a climbing harness and tree spikes, we sloshed across the field to the imposing tree. As we approached this ancient lone sentinel, it was hard to imagine that it once stood in among other giants. Looking up we saw the flash of a Toucan, a bird that always appears to be pushing a banana. And then we saw the aplomado. She was beautiful.

I watched as he started strapping the contraptions on himself--first, the climbing harness and sling, and then the climbing spikes. The complete outfit was outfitted with numerous carabiners and snap links. Finally, he slung the rope over his arm and started up the tree. There was a good fifty feet or so of no branches. As he approached the nest I heard a whoop from him and he yelled that there were 3 downy chicks. He grabbed two of them and climbed quickly down the tree while I watched, belaying him on the rope.

OK, robbing nests means the parents will "double clutch" a new set of eggs. They will breed and a new set of downy chicks will once again emerge, nature's way of replenishing itself. We expected that the birds we had robbed would do that.

Rushing back to our camp with our treasure, we found that hunger was blunting the edge of our excitement. We also had a strong interest in the  bag of peyote I had gathered on our trip. We were not sure what we would do with that yet.

So, we slid into the "Veranda Cafe."  I call it that because it was nothing more than a huge thatched hut with scorpions falling down from the roof occasionally. We strode in, the One-eyed Pirate, a Celtic Witch in cutoffs and a generously filled halter top, and me in fatigues. We picked out a table, sat down, and stared at all the fake Mayan statues being sold. I began to feel there was something odd about the place, but I kept telling myself "There's nothing strange about this."  Then it hit me square in the forehead. I noticed everyone was ordering two of everything. I pointed this out to my compadres. They shrugged. Each table had two of everything, two beers, two soft drinks two waters, two pulques.  Too strange.

We all looked like turistas, but mainly there were only Mexican turistas in the restaurant, with Zapatistas waiting in the wings looking somber and always carrying machetes. We ordered a round of Coronas, which in Mexico, is the absolute cheapest beer you can get. Every village with electricity, a parrot, and a refrigerator has Corona for sale, if nothing else. It sold for fifty cents a bottle and it was that expensive only because we were nortenos. It is amazing what marketing can do. Now thirty years later, it is one of the most expensive imported beers you can buy in the U.S, mainly because....we are nortenos.

I felt a sharp, insistent nudging on my leg. At first I thought the Celtic Witch wanted to discretely show me something indiscreet. I ignored the nudge and swilled another swallow of Corona. "I am getting chicharones," the Pirate said idly after looking at the menu (with his one eye.) "I am going for the bifstek," said the Celtic Witch. "I...am...," I said as I looked down at my numb leg that was still being continuously nudged.

I saw what I at first thought was a saber-toothed pig! Actually, it was a javalina, AKA a collared peccary. I shooed him off and to my amazement he seemed to be waiting for that, because he politely left. He went to the next table. Once there, he nudged another person. The person sitting at the table then took the Coke bottle or cerveza and lowered it beneath the table and tipped it. The opening of the bottle went right into the javalina's mouth and in about 2 seconds the Coke or even quicker the beer, was gone. He nudged the diner again and received a handful of fried corn tortillas and then moved on to the next table. I showed this to the Pirate and the Witch and they each quickly ordered another round of beers.

"Shit," I thought. "Now I KNOW what they are going to try. Um... a drunk javalina might be unpredictable. Shit, they are unpredictable when they are sober!"  The piggy went to another table. This time they gave him beer. It continued like this as the piggy hit up each table in quick succession. He finally showed up again at our table. Wham! He quickly killed our two beers and continued on to the next table. This continued for 3 rounds. My mind was racing. "This is scary. Bad stuff could happen here. Call a Zapatista. Get some machetes in here. Does he really have tusks?" To my surprise, he just laid down and slept. Ha! We finished our meal and went back to the room. I don't even remember what I ate.

The next day we had to begin finding birds to feed the birds. This is easy in Mexico. Just find a small village, drive to the edge of the village, and you will find garbage of all kinds dumped just off the side of the road. It is here that you find the source of food for our aplamado falcons. Birds of prey must eat meat. Not hamburger, not spam, not lunch meat, but red, warm, bleeding meat, freshly killed. We had come prepared. In our arsenal was a pump action pellet rifle and pellets--the only legal "weapon" in Mexico. Now hanging around garbage dumps causes curiosity from the village kids and sure enough we attracted a youngster on a bicycle. We recruited him to fetch the birds we would kill and negotiated a dollar a piece for each one he fetched. He told us in Spanish, "They are good roasted." No doubt....

The dump was filled with boattail grackles, which were quite large and had lots of meat on them. One, two, three and we had our catch. We now had to prepare them. The Pirate had that down pat too. Feeding these downy chicks amounted to: pulling grackles' heads off, plucking the feathers, and chopping them up with a very sharp knife, bones and all. Messy....We fed the little chicks by hand bit by bit. By this time the locals were showing considerable curiosity. The little boy had ridden into the village and apparently told people what weird things these Yanques were doing. Eventually a crowd gathered and the people gave us poor Yanques all sorts of recipes. Roasted grackle, grackle with habanero sauce, grackle hamberguesa, hamberguesa-helper and grackle, grackle marinara, fettucini grackle and so on. It almost turned into a grackle fiesta party. We had to go through this twice a day to feed the birds. It became an interesting ritual.

The Pirate had brought along a folder that had a half-inch stack of papers inside it. I began looking through them and was curious as hell as to their purpose. They were each official looking with stamped seals, ribbons, and the works. "What's this?" I inquired with uncertainty. "I didn't know we would need all this red tape."  The Pirate laughed, "Not to worry, this will get us through Mexico with no hassles. All we need to do now is to find a Mexican agricultural official and have him sign all these--he'll feel important."

As it turns out, Mexican officials love official looking papers. If you sound serious, and flash around papers that look official and lots of them, they feel like they are doing their jobs. At least, that's all I could figure out. So we drove around the countryside looking for an official looking Mexican vehicle. Because of the Zapatistas and mean looking machete wielding Mayans, this wasn't so easy. It was rare to see Fedarales in Chiapas.

We finally found one dressed in an official looking uniform with a "Departmento de Agricola" badge. He even had a side arm. Things could have gotten ugly. Fortunately, he was very friendly and very impressed with all the papers he had to sign. We told him we were students at a U.S. university and were conducting research. For no other reason except to appear as if he knew what he was doing, he asked us to show our university ID's. We went through this nonsense for what seemed like an hour, and we left with all the papers signed. I was amazed.

I pondered the wisdom of eating peyote and being stoned in a foreign country in the jungle mountains with Zapatistas hidden all around. Even drinking slimy pulque in a local bar can turn into wild craziness. People will begin looking two-headed drinking that stuff. It was time to drive up into the mountains and view Mizola Falls. I scratched the peyote idea, got rid of it, and we headed for the mountains.

The falls were magnificent. No one came up here much, at least no turistas. Solid jungle--Mayan ancestors must have been all around. The effect was just too mysterious for me. The falls were filled with something numinous, silent, and solemn. Even the Pirate and Witch felt it. The Witch was paler than pale and The Pirate was darting his eye. I was focusing on the strange beauty of the falls.

"We need to leave," The Pirate said urgently and with weird body language. I knew he believed all the stories we had heard about this place. I ignored him, and the Witch whined, "Why do we have to leave?" The Pirate abruptly pushed her into the back seat. I began to think things could ugly really quickly, and I said no more.  We screeched out of there and down the mountain. "Look to your right," the Pirate said with a chuckle. There, on the whole mountain side was marijuana as far as you could see. Out of nowhere came dozens of fierce Mayans carrying those famed razor-sharp machetes and looking at us grimly. I will never discount these stories ever again.

The Little Feathered Serpents:

I'm going back to New York City I do believe I've had enough.

After several days we had our birds and were ready to go back. The trip back was hurried, because we did not want to keep the birds confined too much. Getting home was also an ordeal.

After driving continuously all day, except for filling up with nasty smelling Mexican gas, we stopped early in the evening. All the beer I had drunk made me need to pee. We found a place to pull over and I hopped out. Across the highway was a huge pasture that went on forever. It looked like a half chopped down palmetto forest. I ran about 20 yards into the field and peed on the fallen palmetto branches and leaves. Even before I finished, I noticed a curious tickling on my ankles. I finished my pee and ran back to the car.

After about 10 minutes, the tickling had progressed up my leg to my calves. "Oh my gawd!" I thought, "What the hell is THIS?" I told my compadres about it, and The Pirate said calmly, "It's ticks, dumb ass." "TICKS? Jeez I am gonna get a disease now!," I yelped. "We'll stop in a bit to set up camp, you can get rid of them then," he replied, laughing. Jeez, these suckers were itching me and now I could feel them moving up! This was getting ugly. I grabbed a flashlight to see where they were, which by now were my thighs. The flashlight revealed nothing. But every hair follicle was jiggled enough that I KNEW THEY WERE THERE. Before we stopped for the night to camp, they had moved all the way up to my genitals. Now I was freaked out. What nasty disease would I be getting? How was I going to get rid of these things?

We pulled up to a rest area.  The Pirate broke out all the camping gear and I was on top of a picnic table, spread eagle while the Celtic Witch with a flashlight in one hand and a pair of tweezers in the other, giggled. The only thing to be done was to pick them out, one by one from not so fun places. (I tried dousing them in white gas. Don't try that!) The ticks were now gorging on my blood and she could see them. This witch was now meticulously picking off each one with a sometimes misguided hand and putting them in a half-filled bottle of white gas. She was counting them too, and making a sport of me. Two hours later, much to my relief, she actually got all 300 of them. I spent a restless night. I woke up next morning hearing a steer being butchered across the road at the public open-air slaughter slab--meat for the day's market in town.

The travel next day was boring and grueling. We were now in a rush, a race for time, a contest to see how numb we could make ourselves in order to make time pass fast. Then the Pirate went totally brain dead.  He pulled off the road and went down into the bar ditch. His explanation was an emergency stop to relieve himself. I guess he just didn't want to attract attention considering what we were transporting.

Now in the dry season, pulling off the road like this wouldn't be a problem. But it was plain to me that the ground was soaked and we were bound for a mud slide trying to get OUT of that bar ditch. We were not far from the Port of Entry of Laredo. So down in the ditch we went, and we got stuck. We got to the shoulder and the rear tires started spinning in sticky caliche mud and no matter what we did we spun our tires and high centered.

But here is where Mexico and Mexicans shined it on. We started attracting a crowd trying to help us. Six Mexicans and a truck with a rope couldn't get us off center and onto the highway. I started to panic, and so did the Celtic Witch. Finally, two donkeys pulling a cart come along. With very little effort, and to our amazement, the low tech solution pulled us out of the ditch. We gave them twenty dollars and a thanks, and off we went to the next surprise.

The Pirate had planned this all along. He had schemed us into this. I, losing confidence moment by moment, had visions of spending years in a federal pen. In order to get the birds past customs, we had to do something with these birds. We had a bird problem, an "exotic" bird problem. This was hardcore.

We stopped just outside Nuevo Laredo at a roadside pull over. "What do we do now?" I asked The Pirate. He ripped through his gear and pulled out three pairs of panty hose. "Birds make no sound in darkness. They stay perfectly quiet and still," he calmly announced. "We take each chick, put them in one leg of the panty hose, and then you just put the panty hose down your leg inside your fatigues."  Amazed, I thought this might work.

We traveled through Nuevo Laredo and I tried to act calm. I was calm wasn't I? As we approached U.S. Customs, I felt sick and my mind raced. For the thousandth time during this journey, I thought, "This could get ugly." It was hot and humid and I looked and felt like a wet dish cloth. The Pirate was completely nonchalant, and the Celtic Witch was mentally occupied elsewhere, oblivious to what was about to happen.

The line was long and I was filled with dread as we approached the customs inspectors. We parked and waited. The inspector came over and asked us to step out of the car. We did and they began poking around things as we unloaded our gear. He was not amused at the chopped up bird meat and bones stuffed in a bag inside the iced cooler. "What's this?" he asked, not waiting for an answer. "This can't be taken into the U.S."  I felt ready to puke my gall bladder.

Then as quick as it came, it went. "OK, you can leave now," he told us. I felt the panic and freak-out leave me like pulling the drain plug from a tub. We quickly threw everything into the car and shot out of there. As soon as we could we pulled the birds out of our pants, and placed them back in their nest. We continued down the blue highway, in the lonely Texas deserts.

I do believe I've had enough....

I had this adventure in 1977. The falcons we brought back to the states were donated to an aplomado breeding project after a brief period of quarantine. These aplomados became part of a larger breeding project and have long since passed on. However, some of their descendants number among the thousand that have been bred in captivity. Many of the aplamados from this project have been reintroduced to their former habitats in the southwestern U.S., where they were once extinct.


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When You're Lost In the Rain, In Juarez and It's Eastertime Too | 76 comments (68 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Resubmitting Story (none / 1) (#1)
by terryfunk on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:33:02 AM EST

I am resubmitting this because the earlier submission was part one and this led to some confusion. My plan was to submit the first part and then depending on the response submit part two. However, I fared better than I could possibly imagine I would. Originally it was posted under Culture/Culture I am now submitting it under Fiction/Culture, even though the story is true.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

Why under fiction? (none / 0) (#7)
by pHatidic on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:31:01 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Because.... (none / 0) (#13)
by terryfunk on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:07:59 PM EST

some of the comments from the earlier post of the story that I pulled from the voting queue suggested that I post it to fiction.

I figured that if a couple of people thought it should be placed under fiction that there were probably many others that thought so also but didn't want to post the suggestion.

Also, because I didn't um...use real names and the characters are somewhat exaggerated to emphasize certain situations. I am not sure if that worked or not.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Mind if I change it? (none / 0) (#16)
by rusty on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:08:59 AM EST

I was reading along and thinking "This reads like either a very interesting true story or very bad fiction." I'm relived to hear it is true, and if so, it should be under culture. Even if you distorted some things, changed names, or whatever. No one tells a true story perfectly truly -- just choosing what to write about and what to omit ensures that. Provided it is, in it's main points, true, it shouldn't be under fiction.

Also, you don't have to listen to every comment. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Rusty,sure you can change it (none / 0) (#19)
by terryfunk on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:27:48 AM EST

Before I pulled the story from the voting cue the first time I submitted it, I had it under Culture/Culture. So go ahead and change it or I will.


I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Dude... (none / 0) (#17)
by givemegmail111 on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:22:53 AM EST

Putting it under Fiction is about 20 votes against you right off the bat, regardless of quality. I'd hate to feel obliged to vote "-1 Fiction", since I liked the original version of the story and expect I'll like this one.

McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!
[ Parent ]
I realize now... (none / 0) (#18)
by rusty on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:24:55 AM EST

...that it's still in editing, so you can change it yourself. As givemegmail says above, Fiction is a bad idea, especially when it isn't even fictional.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
fiction (none / 1) (#60)
by grant7 on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 01:41:16 AM EST

is it fiction? I think so. terryfunk, you don't sound or write older than the 24 or so of the story. it is a *great* story, better than a lot of published works. reminds me a bit of Neal Stephenson. it is not particularly well-written, yet very well presented, almost formulaic in execution of events... reminds me of a real, oral story especially the way its core path is defended rather than open for attachment. IS it going to get ugly, or what? ;-)

[ Parent ]
I didn't like it the first time... (1.00 / 3) (#8)
by caine on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 01:08:42 PM EST

...so why would I the second time around? This not so subtle way of sneaking something past the queue twice is just lame.

Last but not least; smuggling animals is stupid.


I didn' sneak it....I posted a comment about it. (none / 1) (#9)
by terryfunk on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 01:26:50 PM EST

I posted the first comment that said it is a resubmission and why it was resubmitted. I guess you didn't read it though.

Sorry you didn't like it.

Smuggling them did some good IMHO since it amounted to them being repopulating an area of their original habitat in the US. Something the government refused to do.

They were completely wiped out in the early part of the century by egg collectors [big hobby at the time]. Because of what we did, all Americans can now enjoy them in their natural habitat of the American Southwest.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

How do you know what I did or did not do? (none / 1) (#12)
by caine on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:42:18 PM EST

I read your comment. It just didn't matter. The fact that you try to excuse your behavior doesn't exactly make you look better either. "Those birds wanted to go through a horrible ordeal! Really! Look how good I am!". If you cared so much about those birds, you could have gotten involved in a project for their good instead.


[ Parent ]

Resubmission clarification... (none / 1) (#10)
by terryfunk on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 01:44:53 PM EST

Someone brought this up so I will post this to clarify things.

The original story was submitted under another name babarum. It went through the queue with good critques I thought. However, some posters thought that the first post was the complete story. When it was only part one.

I volunatarily pulled it from the voting queue so that I could post and polish the story in it's complete form. The voting was positive enough that I thought the effort was worth it. The K5 FAQ informed me that you can do this and that when you repost a story make the first comment stating that it is a resubmission and why. This is what I did. [scroll all the way down].

Originally under the name babarum, I did not want to submit it chopped up in two parts, it was originally meant to be complete in one part. My mistake I guess.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

+1 SP (none / 0) (#14)
by k31 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:52:11 PM EST

Its long but seems interesting to the point that I read;

on another note, what happened to all of the sci-fi, tech, and more serious fiction?

Your dollar is you only Word, the wrath of it your only fear. He who has an EAR to hear....
[ Parent ]

Good point... (none / 0) (#15)
by terryfunk on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:03:00 PM EST

The best and most creative fiction I have read in the last 15 years has been science fiction. Most of the Post-Modern dribble I have tried to read just doesn't measure up.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
+1 for the Oopma-Loompas (none / 1) (#22)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:36:28 AM EST

Lack o' Text


Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

+1 fp for being engrossing and well-told (1.75 / 4) (#23)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 09:56:43 AM EST

-1,000 on your soul for being a destroyer of the environment

you should go to prison

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

got my hopes up (none / 1) (#24)
by cyrus on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:43:52 PM EST

thought you were about to talk about some fine latina ladies you were smuggling across the border!
Woo Hoo! great story idea though.... (none / 0) (#25)
by terryfunk on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:16:20 PM EST

um......well on second thought, damn.........

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
Smuggling exotic birds as a gateway drug (none / 1) (#26)
by BottleRocket on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 04:24:36 PM EST

I hope you'll want to go on to bigger and better things, like working as a cocaine mule and later as a human trafficker. C'mon, man, everyone's doing it. Don't be a pussy.

P.S. Is that a stocking full of birds in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $

Hahahaha! (none / 0) (#27)
by terryfunk on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 04:47:12 PM EST

Well...actually I woosied out and became a programmer analyst...boring I know.

Then again, with all the offshoring going on.......

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

You can smuggle tech support from India (none / 1) (#28)
by BottleRocket on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:21:32 PM EST

Not as glamorous though.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $

[ Parent ]

You lied to me (none / 1) (#29)
by livus on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:30:24 PM EST

Last time, you told me that something bad would happen to you. As far as I can see the only bad thing that happened to you was that your gf turned out to be really stupid. Meanwhile you yourself end up adding an inexplicable postscript which doesn't tally with the rest of the story.


He explained that we could get rare falcons, Toucans, and green parrots and bring them to the U.S. and make some money.


The falcons we brought back to the states were donated to an aplomado breeding project after a brief period of quarantine

Taken together, it doesn't make sense, and it certainly doesn't absolve you from accusations of being lowlife bird-destroying scum. If you can provide a link to something which even supports your claim that an Aplamado falcon breeding project was deliberately seeded by smuggled birds, that would make this seem a bit less... well, disingenious.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Lighten up (none / 1) (#30)
by ElizabethBennett on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:44:26 PM EST

He told a true story of a young man searching for adventure and money, a young man no more or no less foolish than young men of today. He told it well, told it truly, and told it without excuse. You can like the subject matter or not. It happened and it was interesting. Wonder what would have happened to Vladimir Nabokov and William F. Burroughs had critics and readers taken your attitude?

[ Parent ]
Nonsense. (none / 1) (#32)
by livus on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 09:12:58 PM EST

He told it indifferently, and with a whopper of an excuse at the end. It may have happened and it wasn't nearly interesting enough.

His resemblance to "young men of today" is hardly a selling point, and your rhetorical question at the end merely makes me yearn for a better universe, in which the turgid prose of Nabokov and the incessantly random pedarast fantasies of old Burroughs were less in evidence in the literary landscape than they are.

p.s I like your persona so far. Kinda Frontier House meets Adam Rightman.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Pot calling the kettle black. (none / 1) (#33)
by ElizabethBennett on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 09:20:31 PM EST

"...he told it indifferently." You shoulda led with that, dude. It is, at least, a critical comment of sorts rather than your earlier ad hominem attacks. As for turgid prose, well...yours speaks for itself.

[ Parent ]
I'm allowed to be turgid (none / 1) (#35)
by livus on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 09:30:59 PM EST

last time I looked, my Greatest Posts To K5 weren't being shoved down the throat of every student in North America, much less made into movies starring Jeremy Irons.  

I'm not even sure what you're trying to tell me; either your reading comprehension skillz need work or your definition of ad hominem does. Clarification required.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Did you create this account especially for me? (none / 1) (#40)
by livus on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:30:40 AM EST

How did you know I like Jane Austen? People will say we're in love.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
OK since you asked... (none / 0) (#34)
by terryfunk on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 09:20:52 PM EST

Call me scum and a liar all you want. The story is meant for entertainment, not for political or environmental agendas for or against. I truly am sorry that you weren't entertained.

I don't understand at all where you get that the birds were destroyed, they weren't. I wrote this because I wanted to. And yes the story is true and no I didn't make a dime. They were never sold. The story clearly states that I was schemed into this.

Here's a few links...Scroll down to 'Ongoing Recovery'
Link 1

"As early as 1977, the Chihuahuan Desert Institute at Alpine, Texas had begun a captive breeding program based on wild- captured Aplomado breeding stock from southeastern Mexico."

Where you get they were destroyed I can't figure out.

Here's another link... Scroll down to the 4th paragraph.

Link 2

"We shaped the course of a recovery program for the Aplomado Falcon between 1978 and 1989 with 25 wild nestlings collected in Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, Tabasco, Campeche, and Chiapas, Mexico."

Again, where you get that we destroyed birds is hard at best, to determine.

Destroying these jewels was never the intent nor did it happen. Sit back take a deep breath.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Those links do not say (none / 0) (#37)
by livus on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 11:40:46 PM EST

that any of the organisations and programs they discuss used smuggled birds.

They also do not say that they employed teenage kids (much less lured them with false promises of wealth, as in your story) to smuggle birds.

Come to think of it, if that really was going on, particularly once came under the aegis of the US Federal Government... now that  is where the most interesting part of your story would be, for me.

As for your character and story, there's no point in worrying about what I think. I'm a moralistic asshole. I never even voted for Poopy Peanutz because I like cats.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Hey It's OK, really it is... (none / 1) (#38)
by terryfunk on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:09:22 AM EST

You didn't like the story and that is fine, just say that.

I think calling me a liar and scum is a bit over the top though. Some good criticism in a rational manner would have been more intelligent, even if it was moralistic criticism.

FYI, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife regs at the time (1977) did not let ANY LEGAL importation of any birds of any kind into the U.S. (Call your local U.S. Fish and Wildlife office, they will confirm this). It may have been possible to import CAPTIVE BRED birds at the time. But clearly falcons are not 'pets'.

There was no Government involvement of any type in breeding projects of any kind, in 1977 1978. A bit of library research or calling your local U.S. Fish and Wildlife will confirm this.

So let me ask you this... how do you think the breeding project got the birds they needed to start the project in 1977? If you take the time to check the records you will see that in 1977 or 1978 no aplomado falcons were imported from Mexico LEGALLY. Yet the fact remains, there was a project started at that time.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Dude, this is great!! (none / 0) (#39)
by livus on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:26:48 AM EST

I don't have a "local US" anything, but this is definately worth looking into, not least because it might be the tip of the iceberg - the US govt could well have been involved in massive scale smuggling of endangered species at the time, and it could even have been tied in with their clandestine military operations, etc.

Over here, the govt/govt sponsored orgs can do a whole lot of shit that isn't legal for anyone else to do, especially in the name of science, so the idea that it wasn't legal for your lot to do this didn't occur to me. To be honest the whole idea is bizarre.

Presumably nowdays you have the cooperation of the Mexicans, given that (according to your link) your scientists are monitoring falcon populations in their country. Anyway it's a really, really bizarre idea and might be material for a book/movie for someone.

How did they get the birds off you?

As for calling you names, re-reading my initial post I can see how it seems like that to you, but it was actually supposed to be a more generalised comment that your explanation was weak and wouldn't protect you from the kinds of things people said (on your last story and again on this one). I should probably have been more verbatim in my representation of them. (On the other hand, I do think endangered species smuggling is a pretty awful crime).

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Good Idea for another story! (none / 1) (#41)
by terryfunk on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:59:00 AM EST

I admit, I should not have assumed you were a U.S. citizen...my unintentional mistake.

>> How did they get the birds off you?

They didn't we just gave them to them. They were quarentined for diseases and were then put into the breeding project. It was really that simple.

It's a bit involved but the 'real' people behind the project were falconers and it remained so until it came 'out of the closet' around 1987. ( I believe one of the links refers to that date). The details after that I don't know because I graduated from college in 1979 and went on to other um... adventures eventually becoming a programmer analyst and working in IT.

Illegal smuggling of wild birds or any wild animal is to be condemned and it IS ILLEGAL.

Looking back at my ragged youthful ways, I suppose I thought I was 'active' in contributing to something worthwhile, the preservation of an endangered species. I know it sounds twisted. But today I feel that my almost insignificant contribution may have helped. The true heros were the people that received the birds and nutured them to produce offspring that are now once again in the wilds of Southwestern U.S.

Over the years and rarely, on occasion, I have spotted them in southern New Mexico. That would have not have been possible had there not been the  dedication of those involved more significantly than me and more legitimately with the breeding project.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

This would make an excellent movie, even! (none / 0) (#42)
by livus on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 04:24:47 AM EST

kind of like Ronin meets Free Willy.  1970s rebel environmentalism! Though, I'd also like to do a version in which the CIA was trying to breed rare species from other continents.

I don't think that illegality makes something right or wrong, but it can be a useful guideline. I live in NZ which has a fragile wildlife population (flightless birds, etc) and it's scary how often "well meaning" but uninformed people can really mess up an ecosystem and upset the balance.

I still don't quite understand how you could go into it thinking you were going to make money unless these falconer guys were double-crossing you (and what do Toucans have to do with it?) so I still find the start of the story and the end don't really go well, but thanks for clearing it up as much as you have. Definately something to look into!

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Wtf? (none / 0) (#52)
by sudog on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 07:10:49 PM EST

Why are you assuming that it was the eventual destination of the birds that offered to pay some kids to smuggle them across the border? He never said that..!

[ Parent ]
+1 - rivals 'on the road' (none / 1) (#31)
by auraslip on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:59:04 PM EST

wtf though you didn't make any money?
Naw....no $$$'s (none / 0) (#36)
by terryfunk on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:56:11 PM EST

But that is how it goes when you are naive and young. Maybe it was planned that way from the get-go

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
when your lost in the rain..... (none / 0) (#43)
by moondancer on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 02:54:08 PM EST

i find this story most interesting..i believe it shows how the little things done in life, even unknowingly, have a big impact on the future..especially in the preserverance of an endangered species..perhaps if one thought of saving the various animals instead of killing them for sport, we would not have to do things in an illegal fashion to keep the species "going"...
**We are simple and we are free.**United Fools
I love stuff like this. (none / 1) (#44)
by abegetchell on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 03:04:17 PM EST

Thanks for the good read!

Every time you "2" a comment, god kills a kitten.
Thanks for taking the time to read it... (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by terryfunk on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 03:58:34 PM EST

otherwise what would be the point, right?

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
Some documentation on the subject... (2.00 / 5) (#46)
by DrPollo on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 06:52:46 AM EST

Seriously, have you ever been to the places you have described?

I mean, since when is Palenque a "mayan village"?. It is not, it's an standard mexican modern city, hard to see a "mayan razor-sharp-machete-wielding warriors" there.

By the way, Palenque ruins are not precisely wild, neither. There are few places in Mexico so full with tourists other than beach resorts. And of course federals go to Palenque, there are almost no zapatistas there, you should go to some other place (San Cristobal de las Casas, for example) to find them, and you would only get some success if you try not to insult mexicans. Calling Palenque a stronghold of the zapatistas is plain stupid.

The bottled water thing... bottled water is drinkable unless you are a completely idiotic moron that is unable to find a supermarket to buy it (Whoa!, there are supermakets in Mexico!).

Most mayans do talk spanish, it's not hard to get some help from them.

The hammock thing. I didn't found a hammock-only hotel ahywhere in Mexico, and I always searched for the 2$ per night hotels, go figure. Although in some parts of the Caribbean (including Chiapas) you could find somewhere to hang your hammock for a few pesos, that not so easy to find.

You were not norteños, norteños are from northern Mexico, you were simple gringos, yanquis, or whatever.

Well, I refuse to continue reading, I find this history as some thing you could tell to your pals in the pub, hoping that nobody with some knowledge about the topic is hearing you. I've done it sometimes also, don't worry. But I don't think is something you can write and put on the internet. Get documented, go somewhere a bit more off-road, and you will find the things you're talking, but real. It's not enough to go with the school to the Palenque-Cancún trip to write a story about the wild-zapatista-mexico.

Don't surprise if someone gets upset with this story. It's easy to see why are gringos so lost outside US.

Go to San Cristobal, show some respect and you could get a glimpse. Or better, go more south, to Guatemala, if you dare.

It was in the 70's.. (none / 0) (#47)
by babarum on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 08:04:15 AM EST

I haven't been there since...

[ Parent ]
Dude, the story took place 30 YEARS AGO!...DUH! (2.60 / 5) (#48)
by terryfunk on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 02:51:29 PM EST

If Palenque was not a village, it wasn't much more than that. There was running water, electricity, radio and TV. I am sure NOW it is drastically different and modern, I would expect it to be. The story is set in 1977, not the present, and I clearly state that at the end, had you read the story.

At that period of time (1970's) the Mexican government largely ignored that area of Mexico economically. The Mexican government had little interest in the people that lived there at that time. I think this was largely due to the fact that a large part of the population was indigenous people, the Mayan ancestors. Hence, the Zapatista movement in the 90's, almost 20 years later. That movement is still present today and with good reason. Yes, I have been to all the places you describe as well as others, especially San Cristobal on the other side of the mountains, but again I am writing about an experience of 30 years ago.

If the Mayans I encountered were able to speak Spanish with us 1977, they chose not to. My interaction with people there was minimal at best considering I wasn't there that long.

The hammocks? In 1977 the place we stayed at in Palenque only had hammock hooks. We didn't stay at or look at any other motel, so I would not know otherwise. Besides, I didn't say all motels in Mexico were that way, I was referring only to the one we stayed at IN PALENQUE. Come on!...

We were called a number of things at that time, nortenos was one of them. We were also called turistas, and gringos. I know that people in the north are called nortenos but the fact remains, we were called that.

I didn't go with a university group, I went on my own and two other people, had you read the story you would have known that. Universities don't sanction bird smuggling nor should they start. Today there are probably agreements between the two countries. I wouldn't know, I never went back after 1978.

Zapatistas were there, they just weren't called that back then. The poor and disgusting economic treatment of that region by the Mexican government and other remote areas like Guerrero made it fester there until the 1990's when they made their presence known.

I could go on and on about the assumptions you make. But you invalidate your arguments by not reading the complete story. Had you read the complete story, you would have realized this was 30 years ago NOT last week or last year...Duh!?

It is a story of my impressions 30 years ago, nothing more or less. It was not a news story, It was not a political article, it's not scholarly research and it was not an editorial.

Read it all, take a deep breath, wait a couple of hours, then tell me what a jerk I am or whatever you want.

It's just a story of an experience of a 20 year old kid in a small, insignificant moment of time. I am sure that I, like Palenque, have changed a lot in 30 years.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Pathetic. (1.33 / 3) (#63)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 09:19:47 PM EST

You are justifying you stultifying description of Mexico as a lapse of memory.

What a sorry way to try to obtain some momentary prominence.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

I apologize for not being able to finish it (none / 0) (#67)
by DrPollo on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 12:27:28 PM EST

Seems that my last reply got lost, anyway, I'm sorry that I misunderstood your story. That's not difficult to understand as you only mention that it happens 30 years in the past until last paragraph.

Moreover, talking about air-conditioning as a widespread commodity and mentioning zapatistas (you knew the zapatista uprising was in 1994, didn't you?) could have fooled me to think you were talking about present time. I apologize for my error, others will finish you.

[ Parent ]

More... (none / 1) (#68)
by DrPollo on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 12:43:18 PM EST

Well, I was too hard with you, and I don't want to get another reply. I mean, a simple phrase stating the time when the action is happening would be really clarifying. Specially when the rest of the text is intended to make fun of Mexicans. The general portrait until the last paragraph is really insulting, I guess that only who likes to make fun of other nationality can get to the end. I'm sure mexicans can't.

Making fun of a race is funny only if you're talking about your own race, if not it is, as I said, insulting, and portraits the author very poorly.

[ Parent ]

I couldn't finish the story either. (2.00 / 2) (#61)
by chakmol on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 11:12:41 PM EST

I've been traveling deeply in Mexico since '79, and I've had my fill of drunk/drugged American asses there.  At first I was enjoying the sense of adventure conveyed by the story, but after the umteenth example of "how cool and fucked-up we were", I gave up.

The book mentioned in the story, "The People's Guide to Mexico" by Carl Franz, was also full of such vomiting, but the author revised most of that out over the years.  Try edition #1 for lots of pathetic driving-while-drunk-but-it's-OK-it's-Mexico examples.

I don't care how long ago it was, or how young the writer was, I just couldn't stay with it.

[ Parent ]

Treeclimbing with spikes is (1.33 / 3) (#49)
by wuckers on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 04:14:30 PM EST

worse than smuggling birds. People like you make life harder for us technical treeclimbers who wouldn't dream of hurting a tree with spikes. Ass!

You can't be serious... (none / 0) (#50)
by terryfunk on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 05:40:46 PM EST

I knew this story would attract 'people like you'. Oh and name calling really validates your argument too, you 'Tree-hugging-bedwetter' :) . Lighten up, ...

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
Not only did you steal birds out of the nest, (none / 1) (#56)
by wuckers on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 08:47:05 AM EST

but you probably signed a death warrant for their nesting tree by stabbing it full of holes. Ask anyone involved in arboriculture. Jerkoff!

[ Parent ]
Seriously...With all due respect... (3.00 / 3) (#57)
by terryfunk on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:31:44 AM EST

to your hobby, sport or whatever it's called.

If you really read the story and if you want to get technical about it, I AM NOT the one that climbed the tree!

I covered this many times in the comments posted here, but I will say it again, THIS STORY TOOK PLACE THIRTY YEARS AGO! Probably before you were born or 'technical treeclimbing' was even a 'known' sport. I confess to my ignorance about technical tree climbing. I thought sports/hobbies were supposed to be relaxing. A chance for one to get away from it all and relax.

Not just that, but I can only imagine what clear cutting by the lumber industry in the U.S Northwest, the almost complete and systematic destruction of tropical forests in equatorial Africa and the Amazon jungle must do to you. I know it would keep me from enjoying the sport, I would be constantly angry.

Actually, I agree with you. But name calling and faulty reasoning, really doesn't persuade anyone to your point of view. Honest, I am not being condescending.

Instead of calling me a jerkoff and an ASS, why not write a well written, well thought out, article about your sport and your concerns and post it on K5. I for one would read it and if it was well written, I would have no problem voting for it to be on the front page. I am serious too.

Doing so would be much more convincing and effective than attacking me and calling me names. This kind of attack does little to convince others that don't agree with you and reflects negatively on you and others that have your concern.

I knew the article would be controversial on many different levels. I thought it was worth writing and still do. Actually, I am surprised I haven't heard from a 'Visually Impaired' organization about having a character called 'The One-Eyed Pirate'. Maybe that will be next.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

there is a really meaty story in here somewhere (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by elaineradford on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 06:44:03 PM EST

I wish there was less about the young lady's wardrobe and the quality of the water and beer, and a lot more about how you were scammed into believing that you would be paid for smuggling the falcons. My recollection is that the United States Department of Agriculture was in the grip of Newcastle's Disease hysteria in those days, and that's why the importation of wild-caught birds was halted during that era. I would like to know a little more about how the falcon breeding organization recruited you and your friend and then left you holding the bag with no birds and no cash. That's the real story, not the "my red-headed girlfriend wore a halter top in Mexico" stuff. The importation of wild-caught birds is again illegal in the United States and has been since 1992, so it would be fascinating to know more about how smugglers go about employing naive young people to do their dirty work. I have to admit to a morbid curiosity about the psychology of someone who waits to get paid until after they've already taken a great risk. It sounds like you were gamed, and I'd like to know how exactly.

If you're serious... (none / 0) (#58)
by terryfunk on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:49:32 AM EST

send me an email.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
thanks, terry, will do (none / 0) (#71)
by elaineradford on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 12:51:27 PM EST

I just sent you an email.

[ Parent ]
Hawaii (none / 0) (#53)
by user 956 on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 10:51:56 PM EST

I've been back and forth a number of times to Hawaii recently. Not only do they have an x-ray station devoted specifically to flora/fauna (in addition to the DHS weapon/exposive machines!), they also frisk you. I have the distinct impression that old-school smuggling, as an art, is dead.

Top Chuck Norris Facts.

(lazy sunday)
Agreed...Unless you want to go to jail... (none / 0) (#54)
by terryfunk on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 11:15:20 PM EST

And not only would you probably go to jail, I am sure Mexico has laws against it now as well.

One place you DONT want to go to jail is in Mexico. From what I understand there is no such thing as prisoner rights there and you have to pay for your upkeep, whatever that means.

I have said from the beginning of the story and numerous times in the comments, smuggling is a stupid thing to do.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Copper Canyon, Mexico (none / 1) (#55)
by n8f8 on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 11:22:25 PM EST

Last summer I drove my family (wife + 3 kids) in our 2 week old Honda CRV from Cocoa, FLorida to Copper and Silver Canyon Mexico in Chihuahua. Quite the adventure. One crazy month of freak windstorms, canyons, trains, cliffs, horses, waterfalls and indians.

Posted some of the pictures here

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

retard (1.07 / 13) (#59)
by lyonsj on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 08:28:29 PM EST

thats you.

Verbose, unfunny and despective. (1.00 / 3) (#62)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 09:12:55 PM EST

Since you say you were in Chiapas with Zapatistas, that means your alleged or imaginary trip is recent, in which case most of the stuff in the first paragraph is mostly untrue nonsense. I could not force myself to read any longer.

Maybe you feel all very happy to reinforce the stereotypes about Mexicans and Mexico (to claim that Castillian spoken in Mexico is akin to pig Latin is porpousefuly insulting), but being unPC will take you only so far. After a while it only exposes a total lack of genuine interesting ideas which are supplanted with gratuitous insulting.

Well done tough, you conned this fine audience.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?

You were the one that got conned... (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by terryfunk on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 10:18:29 PM EST

because at the very beginning of the story I admit to being stupid. You didn't get it did you? Oh well...it is fine with me if you didn't like the story and I understand why too. Many people did like it. I have received many emails as well as comments here and the votes that were submitted. I knew it would be a controversial story on many levels, the minute I submitted it. It is rife with controversy.

For you to say that you think I "conned this fine audience" [your words] is itself an insult to the K5 community, your insult, not mine. I have yet to see anyone con anyone here at kuro with a submission.

Everyone one of us carries around stereotypes even you. Don't deny it either, it just won't hold up. Denying you don't personally use stereotypes only points out your hypocrisy, not mine.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

According to chiapas-support.org (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by terryfunk on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 11:06:09 PM EST

No they were NOT officially CALLED zapatistas then but they were there then, so was I and you weren't.

According to chiapas-support.org here (scroll down to: The Past 40 Years in the second paragraph ):

Meanwhile those who remained behind in the Chiapas highlands saw a dramatic redrawing of social configurations within the indigenous villages during the 1970's and 80's. In the late seventies the oil boom in bordering states initiated a cycle of social polarization in the highlands that has accelerated by the debt crisis of the early eighties. Class lines were accentuated within the communities, with the increasing alignment of local, indigenous elites or caciques with the governing party, and the emergence of a burgeoning underclass of the newly dispossessed. These latter families once again initiated a cycle of migration and colonization of still unexploited lands in nearby lower elevation areas.

Together, with the indigenous peoples of the neighboring state of Oaxaca, the lowland colonists and the destitute in the highlands were the poorest, most desperate people in Mexico. As if that were not already enough, the conditions faced by most of them have worsened substantially during the past 10 years, as successive Mexican presidents have implemented structural adjustment and free trade policies that have eroded fully 40% of the purchasing power of the Mexican poor. Finally, Mexican President Carlos Salinas' controversial Solidarity anti-poverty program never reached the Lacandón area to any significant extent. Thus it should come as no surprise that the lower elevation Lacandon settlements of highland colonists should be the incubators for armed rebellion.

Um...the Mexican government is their enemy and have been for years.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Smuggling animals is stupid (none / 1) (#66)
by nebbish on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:55:00 AM EST

and more to the point, selfish. Not a bad write up though.

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Castellano, spanish, etc (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by mindstrm on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 08:13:02 PM EST

Castellano IS Spanish.

It is what is spoken in central and south america, as well as much of Spain.

The only people who get pissed when you refer to Castellano as Spaniish are from regions of Spain where they speak Catalan, Basque, etc...

This was an interesting story (3.00 / 3) (#70)
by fairthought on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:03:31 PM EST

I can't understand why so many people made nasty comments about it. Most of the comments made no sense or the negative emotion greatly exceeded the minor complaints made. They deserve to be ignored, not responded to.

I would have liked to see more explanation of why you expected to get paid for this adventure yet ended up not receiving a penny. Were you lied to by Pirate Eye? Was he lied to?

And what's a "bolsa"? BabelFish says it's a stock market, which makes no sense. The meaning of the sentence is clear enough but throwing in foreign words without explanation detracts from the reading experience.

Thx! I am working on this now.... (none / 1) (#74)
by terryfunk on Thu Feb 02, 2006 at 09:55:25 AM EST

There have been a number of email requests for this, so...I am writing something up and am planning to have it here in April

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
bolsa=bag (none / 1) (#75)
by jCferrer on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:24:46 AM EST

'bolsa' is a bag my friend

[ Parent ]
Kewlness (none / 0) (#72)
by allenp on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 04:05:09 PM EST

But you didnt make any cash... ??? .......... .............

Kewlness (none / 0) (#73)
by allenp on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 04:05:46 PM EST

But you didnt make any cash... ??? .......... .............

You sure learned a lot (none / 0) (#76)
by jCferrer on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:28:42 AM EST

So we mexicans always drive without lights, huh?? And all we drink is beer and coke, right?? I can tell you trip was highly enlightening, good luck visiting other countries...

When You're Lost In the Rain, In Juarez and It's Eastertime Too | 76 comments (68 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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