Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Signs Your Husband Has a Mexican Girlfriend*

Let's say that for years your husband has gone to Mexico to fish. He's got a little trailer and fishing boat down there and he'll be gone weeks, even months at a time. He loves to fish. He lives to fish. It's no big deal because you have a job you like and you like having the house to yourself. But then after a particularly long trip he comes home and...

1) His eyebrows, nose and ear hairs have been trimmed. Just last month his eyebrows rivaled Andy Rooney's from 60 Minutes. Surely you noticed they had been tamed. And that when you kissed, your lips were no longer tickled by his nose hairs. Or that when you whispered in his ear you didn't have to spend 15 minutes spitting out hair balls.
2) On his next trip home he speaks Spanish. And not just typical words us gringos throw in our normal conversations like, "excuse me, I'm going to the banos" but he'll use big words and nearly complete sentences. For instance, instead of asking if you'd like him to cook dinner for you tonight he'll say something like "quiere que mi cocine la cena esta noche....
3)...mi amor?" Mi amor! He's never called you "my love" in any language. If you missed signs one and two, surely this one should set off those alarms. If you even care. Because maybe you don't. Maybe you've got your own amor on the side. I, for one, hope you do.

*this is re-posted here from my "secret" blog

Friday, February 18, 2011

Homeland Security Part II

I fear I’ve also scared off Daniel, the night watchman who took Martin’s place.
For some only God knows why reason the people at the end of my row started letting their high-pitched yappy dogs out at five in the morning. I’d been meaning to talk to them about it but the opportunity never arose until the fourth morning.
My daughter was visiting and I was sleeping on the sofa, this time in an oversized tee-shirt that says “trailer park trash: their love was as mobile as their home and as carefree,” when the dogs let loose. I didn’t hesitate. I jumped up, pulled on my flip-flops and went out the door where I met poor Daniel with his flashlight, lit up by the neighbor’s motion detector light. I marched past Daniel to the dog owner’s door.
I knocked. He answered with a “what’s up?” Okay, so it’s like four o’clock in the morning (I know because my neighbors with the Radio Shack alarm aren’t up so it’s got to be before five), so what does he think is up? My voice is calm. I’m not even shaking with anger. I say, “This is the fourth morning your dogs have waked me up.” (wake, woked, awakened, fuck, who knows) He says – and I thought this was priceless – “Wouldn’t you rather be woken by my dogs than robbers?” Uh, no. Besides it’s Daniel they’re barking at; not robbers. Anyway, I couldn’t have scripted this any better. Sitting calmly next to me is my guarda espalda – my bodyguard – Paloma. I point at her and say “I don’t need your dogs, I have Paloma.” With that he says, "Okay, I’ll take care of it."
Back in the trailer Stef says “Mom, did you go out there?” I said yep. Then I burst out laughing as I recounted the perfectness of having Paloma beside me.
Later that day the dog owner’s wife (who also owns the dogs, I might add) says her husband is going to come down and apologize. But he didn’t and he hasn’t. Seems he was on his way to do that but he asked my neighbor with the Radio Shack alarm – my DEAF neighbor – if his dogs woke him and he says no so there went my apology.
Since then others have heard the story and thanked me for saying something. Well no thanks to any of them for backing me up. But that’s okay. Given all those dogs, there’s still room for one more bitch in the neighborhood.
Oh, and Daniel…I haven’t seen him since.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homeland Security Part I

After a rash of burglaries - shoes, vodka, steaks - the gringos took security into their own hands. They insisted on a nighttime watchman (which worked great the last time we had one because our guard was a speed freak who had no problem staying awake all night), so the park put Martin on night duty. My neighbors attached a three-dollar alarm from Radio Shack to the back of their rig and ran fishing line to the fence. It set off an annoying chirping sound when tripped. The women across the way put up a motion detector light aimed so that any dog walking by would trigger it. Subsequently, the light goes off and on all night. I despise motion detector lights. They belong in the suburbs; not in a trailer park in Mexico.

On this particular night I'd been in bed for maybe fifteen minutes when the Radio Shack alarm went off. I got up to turn on my porch light so the burglar would...well, I'm not sure what but I felt the need to show some presence. I went into the living room and flipped on the inside light by mistake. I'm standing at the window in all my naked glory when I hear "It's me Martin, Martin" and as I reach for the light switch I say "Oh, hi Martin, okay." I flip the inside light off and hit the outside switch.

The alarm's still chirping so I go back to bed. I hear one of the women with the motion detector light outside telling Martin to stick around so the owner of the chirper alarm will know it's Martin and not some burglar. It's taking a while for my neighbor to get up. When he does I hear him yelling at Martin to go away all the while the woman's telling Martin to stay. Then I hear the neighbor telling his wife to shut up because he can't hear what she's saying when really it's not his wife at all but the woman with the motion detector light. The neighbor is deaf (and of course he takes his hearing aids out when in bed) so he's lost in a fog of chirping noises and voices.

I lie in bed and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Poor Martin. We never see him again - I'm not sure if he was embarrassed by setting off the alarm or by seeing me naked - so when Manny gets out of jail the park owners rehire him and Daniel is put on night shift.

As far as I know, the burglaries have stopped. But the gringo drama continues...