Saturday, November 28, 2015

Beside the Normal Regular Dirt

Beside the normal regular dirt, they’re preparing to do a few hundred thousand dollars of dirty laundry down the road in a couple hours. The beer tents are going up and the track’s still being cleaned and leveled from the rains we had for two days. The horses need it nice when they race down the straightaway. Seventy five to three hundred meters, straight all-out Mexican racing: It is cleansing to the soul, even though it’s a dirty business.

I could just sit it out and listen to the Cumbia and NorteƱo music on my porch, but why, when I can see my friends and watch it all for a few bucks.

The presidents and the law may change in Mexico every now and then, but one thing doesn’t: horse races. The only change I don’t like is the beer. They sell that godawful Bud Lite – not even Mexican! – and not my old favorite, Tecate rojo. That American diet beer not only has so many chemicals it gives me a headache every time, it tastes like puppy piss. And the boys at the gate don’t like you bringing in your truck with any other brand, so it looks like I’ll be going over completely sober, or maybe a little stilted after a couple Tecates. It’s walking distance. I could practically stumble over there, but northern rural Mexico is no Cancun; it’s a conservative place and I like it that way as well as respect it. Maybe the drunks will be in the salon, on the road, or in the milpas later on tonight, but I won’t, nor will most others in their right mind.

But Mexico is not completely in its right mind all the time, or possibly ever. Next to the family gatherings at the cemeteries on the Day of the Dead, horse races are the best way to have some good clean fun for all ages. Of course there are a lot of strict Catholic women here who would disagree, along with a friend, a recently converted Mexican English teacher who is now an insufferable evangelist. Can you imagine a Mexican evangelist who lives down the street from a sicario? Well, imagine.

As for the dirty laundry, you can probably guess what all that is about. No law, too many bad roads, and not enough Americans who aren’t afraid of their shadow, here. But I love it anyway.


‘Gotta go sit on the porch for a ratito. It’s Tecate time, and they just cranked up the music. If I get lucky, a couple friends will stop by for a beer before we amble over. It’s time to crank up my Spanish and cleanse my world. Adios for now.

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