Tuesday, November 05, 2013

riots in the street

That is what I would have written if my expectations had been met yesterday.  Angered citizens rising in protest against the tyranny of crime.

But that is not how the day began.  Instead, it began in farce.

I was waiting around the house for the appearance of repairmen.  The screen door closer had died some months back. 

Instead of closing the screen door in an orderly fashion, it would slam into whoever was trying to go through the opening -- and would then stay open long enough for a couple of generations of mosquitoes to  migrate from outside to inside.  Not much screening was being done.

The task merely meant replacing the pneumatic controller.  I could have done it.  But my land lady has a troop of skilled workers that prevent her renters from doubling repair costs with DIY projects.

I was lying on the bed (mind you, I was awake -- and not in bed) when the bell for the front gate rang.  Rather than grab all of my clothing, I streaked to the gate and let the honcho in -- showing him through the apartment to the back door.  His assistant followed about 10 seconds later with the tools.

As I turned to check on the second guy, he started yelling: "Alacrán!  Alacrán!"

Now, my Spanish is not excellent, by anyone's definition.  But
alacrán, I know.  He seemed to be a bit over-dramatic.  After all, scorpions are as common here as -- well, scorpions.  He was, perhaps, even a bit girly in his personal alarm.

Then, I noticed why he was so concerned.  I never (well, hardly ever) walk around without wearing my sandals.  That tan line is a dead giveaway.

But, in my rush to get to the gate, I ran out of the bedroom barefooted -- and right over the path where he found the scorpion.  Twice.  He was not concerned about his personal safety.  He was concerned about mine.

I turned and sprinted across the living room.  Well, "sprinted" in the way that a gimpy fat guy can sprint.  I have no doubt he thought I was escaping the scary scorpion and leaving him there to deal with it.

Instead, I was after my camera.  After all, it was a blog experience.  But the scorpion was dead and gone by the time I returned with camera in hand.

It gave each of us a chance to laugh at our own little farce.  Despite our thoughts, not one of us sissied out.

While the door was being repaired, the bell at the gate ran again.  This time it was a long-time reader from Alaska.  He was on his way to Cihuatlán, the seat of our local government, to watch a planned demonstration protesting the rising property crimes in Melaque.

He wanted to know if I wanted to go along.  Because I had no idea how long the door repair would take, I told him I might meet him over there.  And I did.

The demonstration was scheduled to start at 11 AM.  I got there at about 11:15, and Norm told me I had missed nothing. 

There was nothing to miss.  The square was filled with no one but a couple of shoe shine guys sans customers.  And a lonely pigeon.

But no upset citizens.  After we waited for about an hour, we noticed about five Mexican businesspeople who easily could have been the organizers.  No signs.  No bullhorns.  No blocked traffic.*

Now, I am not denigrating the problem.  Property crimes are a real problem in our village.  As you know, our church was hit -- and it appears even the Villa Obregon church lost its communion chalice to thieves.

But if you want a public demonstration, you do not send respectable bourgeois businessmen into the street.  And that did not happen. 

As we were leaving, it appeared the organizers had retired to a local taco restaurant to meet with their elected delegate to the local government.  That is how the bourgeoisie effectively conducts a demonstration.

So, I guess it turned out to be a full day of farces.  First the scorpion. Then the demonstration.

My door is fixed.  I doubt I can say the same thing about neighborhood thefts.

* -- If I had known, I could have gone into the government building and watched a message board buddy, Steve McManus, marry his Mexican sweetheart, Olivia.  I wish both of them well.

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