El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Check

“You’re not going to do anything?”

Miguel was right behind me making eye contact with our new friend.


“En Serio, you’re not going to do anything?”


My answers were being made from the side of my mouth while I stared right ahead.

“Do you want me to do something? CAN I do SOMETHING?”

No. No.

Every man in the entire world has experienced what I experienced today.

Miguel and I were at a local crowded bar here in DC having a couple of drinks after a long day. It was one of those days that make your eyes vibrate from your pulse. But hey, after a long day, there are very few things that are better than a drink with friends. That’s all I wanted to do. I wanted to drink beer, hear a couple of Miguel’s recent adventures and go home. That’s it.

I was walking, crab-like, through the bar area to get two beers when it happened. I got shoulder checked. A stocky, buzz-cut, tight blue polo shirt, 75-inch necked, cargo khaki blonde guy really shoulder checked me. This was no mistake. This neck model was in Alpha male mode.

Maybe he was having a bad day as well. I mean, his frosted bangs were hanging a little bit to the side. His skin was reddened from going out in the sun after falling asleep in his garage tanning bed. He had pennies in his loafers. Oh Santo Alfredo, he's the Penny in the loafer guy.

The thing is, when I was 18, 19, 20, I dreamed of moments like this. Actually having something like this happen to me back then was like a dream come true. You see, I was what they call a pugilist back in the day. I’m Guatemalan. I’m not tall. I’m not bulky. Other than being extremely guapo, I’m not intimidating. I was just always able to take a punch better than the other guy. Si, I know, it's yet another Guatemalan gift. We can take punches.

Ten years ago would have caused a Zidane-like headbutt to his face, but not now. Not anymore.

I felt sorry for this guy. I looked at his frosted tips and imagined the Vanilla Ice CD that he rocks out to in his car with the windows up or when he gets ready in the morning. I looked at his cargo pants and imagined him shopping through an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog secretly admiring the models and wanting to look like them. Ten bucks says his wallet was in the side, lower pocket. Then I thought about the pennies in his loafers and I…well, that is just tacky. Come on, now, pennies?

So as I felt Miguel behind me wishing that I would do something I pushed him back without turning around. I tilted my head and bit my bottom lip while making eye contact with the penny saver. Then, I smiled.

I am sorry. I am a clumsy walker.

“Yep. Watch where you’re going man.”

Yes. I will. Please, my apologies.

I held both of my hands to my heart asking for “forgiveness”. What he didn’t know was that my friend Miguel had yet to give up his pugilistic ways.

Besides, he had pennies in his shoes. I just felt sorry for him. I just wanted a beer.

All of a sudden I realized that I was a mature, guapo Guatemalan and the guy, well, he had frosted tips and pennies in his shoes. I win.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

El Maco: Gracias McDonald's

I literally just received an e-mail from a reader pointing me to the McDonald's Australia website claiming to have the "best commercial you will ever see." Lo mejor? Really?

"I don't want to give it away before you see it, but it involves a mustached, Mexican mariachi player climbing out of a white guy."

I'm intrigued.

"Oh, I almost forgot the best part. Their tag-line is: Feed your inner Mexican."

Should I feed my inner Mexican? Am I ready for this?

This line made me stare at my screen for quite some time with a smile on my face. This could become my favorite commercial.

Their website isn't link friendly, so I'm going to give you the instructions given to me:

1. Go to http://www.mcdonalds.com.au/
2. Click on the Broadband button on the left side.
3. It will take a bit to load. Sometimes it's faster than other times....
4. Move your mouse over to the light bulb that says: What's New and click on it.
5. A picture of the EL MACO should appear. Click on the right hand corner where it says Latest TV ADS.
6. You will then be taken to another screen where several ad names are listed. Click on "El Maco."
7. Click on pllay.

They should maybe start to sell pupusas in Australia. The TV ad could show a crocodile wrestler with crocodile boots and clothing having an extremely good looking Guatemalan man step out of him. Tag Line: Feed your inner Guatemalan. Pupusa.

Dear McDonald's, please, please, please sell the El Maco in the United States. Sure, I know that many Hispanic rights groups will come at you faster than an Argentinean running from water, but I must taste this. Why must the Australians be the only ones who can feed their inner Mexican? I DEMAND that you allow me to feed my inner Mexican! El Maco... The best name for a sandwich, EVER.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Monday, July 24, 2006

Biking in France is peligroso

You can say that I have a comfort zone when it comes to the sports I watch on TV. My definite go to is soccer, followed by American football, followed by poker. Si, that's right. Poker is a sport.

Mi problema is that my options are limited late at night. I have tried to entertain myself watching those random strong man contests. You know what I'm talking about. The competition where men from Iceland and Latvia compete in seeing how far they can throw a three-hundred year old redwood forest, pull a Soviet-era aircraft carrier, or carry their mustached female family members through some sort of an obstacle course containing genetically modified rubber tires.

Do not get me wrong. I enjoy seeing a Belarusian throw an anchor over a brick wall as much as the next person, but at the end of the day it is similar to watching a hot dog eating contest. It gets old.

I consider myself to be an open minded Guatemalan. I try to give every sport a chance. Take cricket for instance. I now know what a googly is. Do I wish that I didn’t. Si. But that is not the point. If men want to dress up in white suits to hit a ball with a two by four then bless their little hearts. It is not for me, but still, bless their little two-by-four swinging little hearts.

This weekend I discovered that mi Linda had a channel called the Outdoor Life Network. It turns out that I had watched seconds of this channel in the past, but felt I wasn’t man enough to watch sun battered men shoot deer with semi-automatic weapons. Maybe someday…

Anyway, this French competition was on. I had avoided the Tour de France much like an Argentinean avoids a shower mainly because of ignorant belief that they would all be wearing those annoying yellow bracelets. It turns out that many of the participants find the yellow bracelets to be as annoying as I do, so, because of this, I decided to watch men ride bikes.

I must say that the event itself was interesting. It seems that all competitors suffer from a similar genetic disorder where hair fails to grow on their legs. Maybe they chose this over swimming…

Unfortunately, I was only able to watch one stage (this is the word for “quarter” in bike circles), because I saw something that scared me. When a biker wins a “stage” they get to stand on top of a podium of sorts and have their picture taken with long-legged women. Well, one of these bikers was very excited at having won that he was temporarily distracted by the fact that a chupa cabra was living in the groin area of his shorts! I have no idea how it is that this man, this athlete, was able to ride up and down hills with the chupa cabra sleeping in his shorts. A lay person may tell me that it was in fact an eel that was living in his shorts, but I know full well that eels cannot live out of the water. Come on. It's not an eel. It's a chupa cabra.

I apologize for maybe coming off seeming closed minded, but I cannot watch a sport where chupa cabras are so freely allowed to live in the shorts of men riding bikes. I tried, but I can’t.

I hate chupa cabras. Perhaps not as much as I hate the yellow bracelets, but I still hate them. If I see a chupa cabra, I will kick it. Even if it is living in the tight pants of a bike rider.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dear Jesus

Dear Jesus:

I’m sorry that I haven’t been to church as often as mi madre would like me to go and trust me when I say that I really appreciate your taking one for the team with the whole cross thing and dying for all of our sins. Seriously, that was increible. If you were here right now, I’d give you a piece of my flan. No, I’d give you the entire thing. I have more in the fridge, don’t you worry.

I wanted to ask you not to take the fact that I only seem to call out your name when I’m in some sort of a bind, personally. Really, the way that you get me out of trouble is increible. I know that you’re looking out for a fellow Guatemalan and all, but I just wanted to say that I am very grateful.

At this time, I really have no complaints about life, so I’m not coming to you today with a grievance of any kind, but more of a question. My question is regarding women. I don’t understand them. I never have. I’ve been around them for my entire life and I still haven’t a clue what’s going on in their heads.

The other day this woman with a short skirt walked by me while I was with mi Linda. Now, I’m a deeply spiritual person who appreciates all that you have made in this world. I felt it was my duty to inspect your creation. Now, from past experience I didn’t just turn my head and look at her walk by. I did, however, move my eyeballs to their extreme limits as she passed me. Oh by the way, the little blonde number on Wisconsin Avenue on Tuesday afternoon with the brown mini skirt? Wow. Excellent job. Seriously. You outdid yourself on that one.

So I look over and make eye contact with mi Linda. She held her breath and continued on. She acted like she didn’t see me look, but I KNEW that she saw me. I should have made a comment then and there, but I erroneously thought that she’d forget about it. Women are like elephants in that they don't forget, but I for some reason thought this would be different. She didn’t say anything at all for the rest of the day and I thought I was in the clear.

Tonight, out of the blue sky she says, “El Guapo, do you remember that blonde with the brown mini skirt the other day in Georgetown?”

The thoughts ran through mi head about how to respond. Actually, I may have even asked for your help, but I don’t remember. Anyway, OF COURSE, I remembered her. I had several conversations regarding that skirt with several of mi amigos since then. I may have even sent a text message to a friend of mine working at a bar to come outside to take a look. Anyway, I remembered her (again, great job with that one).

I may have accidentally smiled in a dreamy way when I said “Yes” to her question, but is that wrong?

Mi Linda definitely thought that it was wrong because she said some things to me in Portuguese while flailing her arms about. Yes, she looked very cute while she did this and the language is beautiful (not like Spanish, but still), but I think she may have been angry. I should really learn Portuguese…

How am I supposed to answer these questions? I always get caught in these situations and want to know the proper way to handle a woman’s questions. I personally would never wander, but my eyes, my eyes Jesus, they have a mind of their own.

So, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Again, thanks for pupusas, for flan, for dying for my sins etc. Any help with trying to understand women would be an incredible help. I don’t enjoy sleeping on the couch with her cats.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New rule

Lately, all I ever seem to hear about in DC is the weather. I turn on the TV and the anchor is saying something like, “Boy Samantha, it sure is hoooot out there! How much longer are we going to have to put up with this?”

I open up a newspaper and I see pictures of a mother pouring her Fiji Water on her kid with an article about how the heat is going to continue.

Every other conversation that I overhear is in regards to the weather and frankly, I’m a little tired of it.

I know, I know, I know, it’s hot outside. But guess what? It’s fucking July. It gets hot in July. This is not some crazy phenomenon that makes your eyes widen. It’s July. Every single year it’s the same thing. I know that come July, in Washington DC, I’m going to have to get dragged into the same conversation. The stupid line that people say when it gets hot in DC. You all know it. You all hate it:

“It’s not so much the heat but the humidity.”

Why do we do this to each other? Why is this sentence repeated every, single, year? Why?

Guess what? When I look down the street I see the same haze that you do. When I go outside I too have to put up with my clothes sticking to my body (my really sexy Guatemalan body).

When you say this to me, do you know what I want to do? I rather you pick up a brick off the street, no, not that one, that one, yes, the one with the yellow paint on it, and I want you to hit me over the head with it. Not on the face or anything because my face is my thing, but right where the hair starts on my head. Just bash me.

If you have nothing better to say to me than, “It’s not so much the heat but the humidity,” then I rather you hit me over the head with a brick. Trust me, my feelings are not going to be hurt if we don’t have something to talk about every time we see each other. I’m a nice guy. Chances are I like you. You’re buena gente. I don’t bring up the weather. Why? Because I know that people talk about weather when they have nothing else better to talk about.

Just keep on walking, say hello, hell, don’t even say hello if you don’t want, nod your head and smirk in that uncomfortable way when you’ve seen someone for the 7th time in the hallway. Just keep on your merry way if you have nothing to say to me. Don’t bring up the weather.

We need to stop this vicious cycle of not the heat the humidity thing. We really must. I can’t take it anymore. In fact, I’m dubbing July the Shut your hole about the weather month. I hope that you all partake. It’s fun. Try it.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


All I wanna do is rock this motherfucker all night long ya'll
Non stop until the crack of dawn ya'll
Ass-Knockin till you can't go on ya'll
Stop over with the goodies and get it on

I have this song in my head and I can’t stop singing it. It’s the only part of the song that I know. I’d like to download it, but for some reason the Guatemalan God who protects us all doesn’t want me, El Guapo to listen to any rock/country/alt-country music and has made it impossible for me to find it on the Internet.

I am driving everyone crazy with the humming of this song.

“El Guapo, if you sing that stupid song one more time I’m going to kick your ass.”

Miguel never was very supportive in my desire to expand my musical horizons. He would be happy listening to a Daddy Yankee CD for the rest of his life over and over again. Not me. I want to rock this motherfucker all night long ya’ll.

Ya’ll. Wow. I’m a Guatemalan saying the word “ya’ll”. Did you feel that? The tremor of the earth right when I said that word? No? Pay attention.


Did you feel it that time? Yes, that was about 7,493 of my ancestors all rolling over in their graves. They’re probably going to appear in my dreams to complain about something like they did back in 1992. Dios, that was a bad year for upsetting my ancestors.

Non stop until the crack of dawn ya’ll.

“You’re, like, a white guy in a beautiful Guatemalan’s body. You like country music?”

Look, it’s not like I like country music, it’s that I appreciate it. I like horses, whiskey and women. So, isn’t it natural for me to have an attraction to country music? Ya’ll?

Am I betraying my Latino brothers by giving in to this twangy sound? Ya’ll?

What would Selena say? En serio, what would Selena say?

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

P.S. If anyone has this song, Por favor e-mail it to me. Gracias.

Update: You can download this song here, ya'll. Just scroll down to the bottom until you see "Assknocker". Special Gracias for Ms. Cube for the link.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Oh Canada

Have you ever woken up and realized that you were in a different country, lying on the floor, with Miguel feeding a goat in the corner of the room? Si? Well, this is the way I felt the first (and only) time I ended up in the country of Canada.

When one wakes up with his best friend feeding a goat in the corner, it’s… Well, how do I put this? It’s startling? Alarming? Freaky? Maybe I should just say that anytime you wake up to a farm animal and a headache, it’s been one of those nights.

Miguel had somehow gotten hooked up with these Peruvian guys who were going to give him a good deal on, chips, yes, supposedly the best chips ever. Now, back then, I enjoyed eating my chips, but Miguel was on the never-ending search for the BEST chips out there.

We met these Peruvians in a trendy part of DC where we normally didn’t venture. Not back then. Anyway, turns out their chips were indeed very good. VERY good chips. After that, it was kind of a haze. I remember a boat. I remember a life jacket. I remember a truck. A truck with a lifejacket. I think there was a very small plane involved? Again, these chips were so good that this may have all been in my head, but anyway, I awoke with Miguel feeding a goat.

Is that a goat?

“I think it’s a lamb.”

Oh. Why are you feeding it?

“It looked hungry. If a lamb looks hungry, you feed it El Guapo. Are you in one of your questioning moods again?”

Where are we?

“Ay, yes, he’s in one of his questioning moods again. We’re in Canada.”


“Calm down huey, you need to live a little and get out of DC.”

Miguel, we’re in Canada. Canada?

“Si, El Guapo. Canada. Heard of it? The state of Canada? It’s like the second largest state in the United States. I thought you were supposed to be the smart one.”

Times like this with mi amigo have always left me speechless. He hadn’t looked up at me since I had woken up. He just kept speaking to me in his condescending voice while feeding the goat, errr lamb, the hungry lamb. Incidentally, why is there a lamb indoors? Then I realize my surroundings and we seem to be in converted shed of some kind. The walls were definitely metal, but there was a futon. A zebra striped futon. And a lamb.

After staring, once again, at the ridiculousness of my friend feeding a lamb, I noticed that there was a larger bulge than normal in my pants. I reach down and find an envelope full of $20 bills. But wait, who the hell is this beady eyed woman? Do Canadians have pictures of Virginians on their bills?

Miguel, I have an envelope full of Canadian money. Why do I have an envelope full of Canadian money?

He looked up, pushed the lamb aside and snatched the envelope from my hands.

“El Guapo! There is $1000 in here! That’s like $5000 in US money!”

I don’t know why I believed my friend’s knowledge of the foreign exchange market, but suddenly I was excited.

Let’s go home. For some odd reason, I don’t think they have pupusas in Canada.

There is more to this story, much more (unfortunately) about our “adventure” in Canada. Perhaps I will write about it this week, but while at the airport, we met our first Canadian. Incidentally, she has started a blog: Blog. We only met once, at an airport, but we have remained in contact over the years. She's good people. Not Guatemalan, but still, good people.

Por favor be nice to her. She is Canadian and has money with beady-eyed women.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The line

For the most part, I enjoy living in Washington DC. It has everything I need like check cashing stores, stores that sell pupusas and of course a decent selection of flan at my grocery store. Yes, the dining, museums, memorials and all that other stuff are pretty great too, but flan is flan.

Today I was tired and thirsty and did what I do, what you do, what we do when we’re tired and thirsty: I read some Kierkegaard.

Jesus, I’m kidding, I went to a bar to have a beer.

So, I’m in my “alone” mood. I get these every once in a while and I think it’s normal. I just need to be away from it all and concentrate on seeing what the bottom of my beer bottle looks like. Several times. I don’t do this often, but I was today.

I wasn’t really in the mood to talk, but people talk to me. If I wanted to be completely alone I would have stayed at home, but there is something soothing about the smell of a smoky, wooden bar.

“Hey amigo! Let me buy you a beer.”

Note that the way he said “amigo” was said like this: aah-mee-goe You know the accent if you have ever been to the South of the United States. I like it when southerners try to speak Spanish. When they say the word “quien” I always think they’re calling for “Ken”. Anyway, I wasn’t in the mood for talking, but free beer is free beer. There are some things that you don’t turn down. Please try to read this gentleman with a thick, friendly Southern accent.

“Man, I’ll tell you what, it’s hotter’n hell out there! I’m sweatin’ up a storm and that rain ain’t makin’ it any better.”

Yes. Thanks for the beer.

“No problema amigo. You looked like you were thirsty and I felt like buyin’!”

I am his ameeego. Please note my excitement. Can you feel it? Feel my excitement. Feel it.

“Man, mah old lady has been harpin’ up a storm lately. (Now in a female voice) The roof is leaking, the cat needs to go to the vet, the lawn needs to mowed, you need to buy weed killer, put on more deodorant, man, I wish she would just sheut up sumtahms!”

Yes. Sometimes woman can be difficult. This is what makes them fun and interesting.

“Fun n till you get them a ring! Then, man, it’s all down hill from there. They change man, they change, trust me, they change.”

The bartender makes eye contact with me and winks. It turns out that my desire for a free beer has now obligated me to listen to this man’s tale. I forgot about that rule. I was too busy thinking about a free beer. He ordered me a Guiness. I don’t even like Guiness. Does this count then? Seriously! Does this count? Deodorant? Put on more deodorant? What is that?

“Yeah, man, I don’t know sometimes. I don’t know. Weh, weh, weh, Man, when she starts going, she starts going.”

I have a question. She complains about deodorant?

I know, I know. But then I thought: If you talk to them that means you’re showing interest. If you show interest they’re going to talk more. If they talk more, you’re going to be miserable. If you’re going to be miserable, you’re going to drink more. If you drink more, you’re going to get drunk. If you get drunk enough, you’ll forget everything. So, in theory, I was asking with the knowledge that I was going to forget.

“Yeah man, I’m allergic. I just do the motion of putting on deodorant so that she doesn’t complain. I barely smell at all, look.

As I had a man bring his chest close to mine I quickly realized a few things: 1. Yes, he did smell, not barely; 2. People from the south are very friendly; 3. People should start offering flan instead of beer.

The next topic of conversation, after he bought me a second beer (I know, I know, I can’t turn down free beer, it’s my disease) was how he shot blanks.

The bartender was in the corner laughing into a napkin (acting like he was blowing his nose).

When does one draw the line? I was never taught this rule. Do you draw the line when the topic comes to shooting blanks?

I wish he had offered me flan.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Old to some

I was hanging out with my baby cousin the other day.

“El Guapo, have you had the same cell phone number since you were a little kid?”

I looked at him and mentally calculated how far out the window he could be tossed.

I tried explaining to him that I didn’t have a cell phone when I was a little kid.

“Why El Guapo? Were you really poor?”

I figure if I spin him around a couple of times I could probably get him about 15 feet or so out the window..

No, well yes, but cell phones were very expensive when I was a kid. The only kid that had a cell phone was Zac Morris. He sometimes let his Mexican friend use it.

“Who is Zac Morris?”

Nevermind. It doesn’t matter. Anyway, I’ve had several phone numbers because I kept on changing companies before they let you keep the same number?

“Why did you change companies? Was it because you didn’t like their text message plan?”

You’re five. How the hell do you know about text messages? Anyway, no, back then I there were no text messages. There were no color phones, no camera phones, no ring tones, no voting for American Idol.

“How did you vote then?”

There was no American Idol back then.

The kid sits down on the floor and I can see his little brain computing the black and white world of my yesteryear. I’m 27…

“So, what did you watch when there wasn’t any American Idol?”

Well, actually, back when I was your age, we didn’t even have cable.

“Shut up.”

En serio. We didn’t even have UPN or the Spanish channel. There were only four channels. They were all free.

“Geez. That would get boring to flip the remote to only four channels. You’d have to pick a channel quickly or TIVO everything.”

I’m 27 f-ing years old and I can’t believe I’m about to tell him that when I was a kid we didn’t even have a remote control much less a TIVO. I remember playing in the yard with my He-Man toys and GI Joes. The games would take weeks and would sometimes involve freezing the toy men in a glasses of water, tying them to string and throwing them out the car window and, if we were lucky, throw them into a pool.

This kid will likely never experience this because he can have a machine record 17 shows at one time for him to watch whenever he wants. So, I did what I remember enjoying when I was a kid.

I ran up to my room and found my uncle’s first cell phone that he had given me years ago. It was one of those 5 pound ones with the large, six-inch antenna. I think they only came in off-white and black. He, of course, had the off-white. So tacky… Anyway, I showed him the cell phone and explained how with technology they were able to make things smaller and smaller.

Then, I showed him how to take the phone apart and went over (what I knew) all the little pieces that make it work.

“Do you mean that everything has little pieces like this that make it work?”

You bet. Every machine can be taken apart and put back together. Just make sure that the machine is never plugged in and that I’m around when you’re doing it. I don’t care if you take apart your dad’s stuff, but he might.

Thank God I didn’t have to tell him that we didn’t have a remote. I couldn’t stand explaining how old I was….

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zidane headbutt: Beautiful, but sad

Ah, the World Cup is over. I’m a bit sad by this, but I’m glad that I saw one of the greatest moments in sport when Zidane put the Italian on the floor with a well placed headbutt. I later found out why Zidane did what he did:

Zidane whilst Materazzi is holding him:ZZ: "Ordinanza de tirare il costume!!" (stop pulling on my shirt!!)

MM": "Taciti, enculo, hai solamente cio che merite..." (shut up f*cker, you only get what you deserve)

ZZ: "si e cio..." (yes, sure...)

While Zidane starts to move away, Materazzi goes:

MM: "meritate tutti cio, voi gli enculato di musulmani, sporchi terroristici" (all of you deserve that, f*cking Muslims, terrorist b*stards)

Zidane proceeds to headbutt him.

The truth is that I was cheering for Italy until I saw this happen. It was one of the most amazing moments in sport history and frankly, if this is true, I’m glad Zidane did what he did.

France truly had no chance to begin with because of the curse that I placed on Argentina prior to the World Cup. That’s right. I, El Guapo, am responsible for Argentina’s early departure.

What does France have to do with Argentina? Well, the French player David Trezeguet is of Argentine descent. See, he is the son of Jorge Trezeguet, an Argentine. I actually like his play in Europe, but his blood betrayed him. I will think about removing the El Guapo curse for the next World Cup, but frankly, that is many years away and Argentina will likely do something to bother me by then. Let us see.

Anyway, I began to cheer for France the moment Zidane did this. Now, I am glad that I started cheering for them. If I had known Trezeguet was of Argentine descent, I would have temporarily removed the curse. For this, I apologize. It is my fault. Zidane, France, Trezeguet, I am sorry. Lo siento.

If what was said was true, I will unfortunately be forced to place a curse on Italy. You see, the only intolerance I stand for is intolerance against Argentineans. Leave one’s religion alone. A man’s relationship with God is no one’s business but his own.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Payback: Guatemalan style

Well look at this. Look who it is minding his own business and going about his life. Look at this. In life, I believe, there are occasions where one must break out of their “mould” to make a statement or, in my case, to have a story to tell. Sometimes it isn’t even about the story. Sometimes, well sometimes, it’s about being the voice for all the little people out there. I had one of those days today.

I went grocery shopping today. You guessed it. I was completely out of flan. For some odd reason, Goya Flan isn’t sold at the Safeway in Mi Linda’s neighborhood. How these people can survive, I don’t know. What I do know is that I saw a special person today. A person who has haunted my nights since I was old enough to say, “So, do you want to go out?” This is a person who has the uncanny ability to find me regardless of where in DC I decide to go.

For a while, I thought he had radar for ridiculously good looking Guatemalans, but then I heard he stalks others (even those who aren’t Guatemalan or good looking). This is a man who interrupts conversations, a man who changes the flow of the “connection”, a man who makes you seem cheap, a man who, I’ll just say it, a man who is my sworn enemy and I hate him.

Who is this? Have you guessed? It’s the DC rose guy. I hate him.

Do hope that he gets force-fed rotten flan and Vegemite by an Argentinean Kiss cover band? Hmmm, now that I think about it, yes. I would, but I wouldn’t want them to physically harm him or anything. Maybe if he got a bit scuffed up while he was being force-fed. That would be ok. Or if some of the makeup got on him, but that’s part of the game. Anyway, yes, I wish him extreme discomfort.

Look DC rose guy, don’t give me that look! I’m soooooo sorry that I don’t want to buy your mierda roses for $5 a pop. Look at these damn roses. The petals are falling off. Why do you have to come with your wicker basket to ask me if I want to buy a rose? The date was going so well and now you make me look like a cheap bastardo. Didn’t you see how my date was touching my leg with hers under the table? Oh yes, I know you saw this. I knooooow you saw this. This is when you pounce. You wait until the date is going so perfectly that I cannot say no. I have to smile and say through a tight lipped fake smile, sure DC rose guy, of course I will buy the cheapest rose in the world from you. Thank you so very much DC rose guy! Thank you so very much!

Oh! And what happens when I decide to fight you? You give my date a look! You raise your eyebrows and tilt your eyes to the upper right hand side while tilting your head ever so slightly like in the 3rd grad picture. I know that f-ing look! It’s the good luck with this cheap bastard look! Then, after I say no, I start to doubt myself. I wonder if she thinks that I’m a cheap bastard. I think about telling her about my disdain towards the DC rose guy, but then I don’t want to risk being the guy who hates the working class man. Hey! I AM the working class. I don’t go around pushing shitty flowers you dirty son of a…. I apologize. Let me calm down.

Ok, so I was at the supermarket and guess who I see? Si, I saw the DC rose guy with a young lady. Like a detective on CSI, I watched as they walked up the bread isle, his hand gently placed at the small of her back. They lovingly discussed whether they should get the wheat bread. All they had was a small, green basket, so I had to act quickly. Should I tackle him into the bread and force hundreds of loaves to crash down on him? Totally. I should, but I won’t. I don’t want to create more work for someone else. You see, I AM the working man.

So, I decide to play his game. I run over to the flower department and pick out an exotic flower bouquet of some kind. Thirty some dollars. Perfecto. Nice and overpriced. They’re still in the bread aisle, but making their way to the register. Run!

Hey! Wow! It’s been such a long time! How are you?

We shake hands and for the hell of it I hug him. His body is tense and confused. I’m Latino and can get away with the hug, but he doesn’t like it.

Man, I haven’t seen you for such a long time! It is such a coincidence to see you here today. I was just having a conversation with Manny about you the other day! He told me the good news. Congratulations!

“Yes, we are very proud. The first in our family to go to university.”

Oh, how perfect.

Wow! I still can’t believe that you two are old enough to have children going to college! That’s great. You’re a lucky man!

The “lucky man” part was said while shaking my finger at him in a teasing way. The entire scene was a bit ridiculous.

When was the last time you told her “thank you” for putting up with me and giving me genius children? Here. Take these, give them to her. Beautiful women should never be without flowers.

I then saw her give him a look. The look that I’ve seen too many times. The look of hope. The look of a desired romance that has been hidden for too long. He knows this look. He causes this look hundreds of times a night. How does it feel you bastard? How does it feel? He smiles, and takes the flowers, hands them to her.

“Thank you my friend. It was great seeing you again.”

Then he gave me a look. I knew this look. I’ve given him this look many times. I then winked and walked away.

How do you like me now?

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Vive la France?

I saw a man, maybe similar in age to me, slightly as guapo, but not quite. He was clad in green and yellow and his head swung low. This was a man who had been to battle and lost. I watched him walk down the street while he often looked up at the sky hoping for an answer that wouldn’t come.

He glanced across the street and made eye contact with me. I instinctively put my fist up to my heart and squeezed my lips tightly. The man tilted his head and nodded in appreciation. This wasn’t a time for words.

But then, just then, a taller man came into sight and saw the man in yellow and green. Perhaps he saw an opportunity to kick a proud man when he was down, perhaps he had been slighted in the past by one of his people, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

“Hey, Brasil! Vive la France!” He screamed this while having both thumbs pointed downward and making a sound of flatulence with his lips. It was a ridiculous sight.

Now, imagine my beautiful Guatemalan blood boil at this. I am not a fighter, not anymore, but I did feel my hands become fists.

“It’s easy for you to do that from across the street! Come over here!”

“You arrogant Brazilian. You all thought you were going to win before even playing a game. Serves you right! Now you can go back to cleaning homes!”

The man in green and yellow smiled at that comment while tucking his lower lip into his mouth and biting down. He shook his head in a humorous, agreeing fashion.

“Again, you’re screaming to me from across the street!”

He then went on to describe, in detail, various sexual acts performed with several members of the man’s family. This was a man who could, it seems, also have a verbal agreement from across the street.

“You are vulgar, just like the rest of your country of pigs!”

While I didn’t find this to be a very good comeback from the man who had just heard startling revelations about his mother’s personal life, this seemed to touch a nerve. The smile was gone. He used both of his hands to push the hair out of his face.

“Vulgar? A Frenchman is calling me vulgar? A bald Frenchman is calling vulgar? You won today. Congratulations! The win, isn’t going to make your hair grow back. How does that make you feel fat man?”

He told him how he felt by that.

The man in green and yellow then kicked off his flip flops and ran with his head tilted downwards and eyes firmly fixed on the balding fat man.

The bald Frenchman realized then what the rest of the world seemed to already know: Brazilians are fast. The look of surprise on the man’s face was one that my words will never be able to do any justice. Have you ever seen the look on a pig when it realizes it is going to slaughter? Me either, but I imagine it is a similar look. The man must have reached down, deep down, to his primal instincts to face what was sure to happen. He then did what, well, what I wasn’t expecting. He, well, he started to run the other way. Not just run, dart. He ran/darted as fast as his legs could take him.

“Ha! Are you kidding me? You’re running away? Why don’t you raise your hands and give up like your people usually do? You’re running away? Ha! I love this!”

It was great to see a Frenchman giving up and running away. This was a perfect end to what had been a good week.

It’s too bad that this didn’t happen this weekend. The French team played honorably and beautifully. One of their fans just had to tarnish this, but luckily, he was held in check.

Do not shed another tear Brasil. Your soccer play has made much of the world smile for decades. We look forward to the day, soon, when you will make us smile once again. Just know that in there is a man, in Washington DC, who will quickly shed his footwear to protect your good name.

To the man in flip-flops, gracias. While you didn’t need it, you had a Guatemalan ready to stand by you.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo