My guest blogger, Andy Stanley, is a former employee of the criminal enterprise I ran in Arizona before my arrest. If you’ve read Hard Time or Party Time, you’re familiar with the larger-than-life friends of mine Wild Man and Wild Woman. The Wild Ones feature in Part 1 and 2 of Andy’s story. The entire story of my Ecstasy smuggling mission in Mexico is a chapter in Party Time.
After telling Shaun that the Wild Ones were missing in Mexico, and the house he’d rented for them looked like it had been bombed, Shaun decided that since I only knew how to say “Thank you,” and “Go fuck yourself,” in Spanish, it would be best if I returned to Puerto Peñasco on a search-and-rescue mission accompanied by Tulips and leave my wife at home.
Hispanic Tulips, an ex US-military sniper, was born in the USA but spoke fluent Spanish. Just the guy I needed to help me figure out what had happened to the Wild Ones. Once again I grabbed my keys, crystal meth, and gun. I picked Tulips up, and headed for Puerto Peñasco.
For those of you who don't live in America or a gun friendly country, Mexico isn’t exactly tolerant when it comes to outsiders rolling with a pocket full of rocket fuel and a super concealable handgun. But after what I saw at the Wild Ones’ bombed-out house the day before, I decided to take a chance with my gun. I preferred not to be sober for the money shot, so I stashed the gun and drugs inside a makeshift shelf up under the center console of my car.
We hit the Mexican border just after dark and for the first time I was stopped on the Mexico side at the border. Tulips and I were ordered out of the car by 5"4 maybe 5"6 Federales – Mexican Federal Police. They were wearing plain olive drab uniforms, clean shaven, and stinking like The Aqua Velva truck had T-boned the Old Spice truck in front of the B.O. Factory on a hot day in hell.
I was relieved Tulips was with me. He would be able to sweet talk them, bribe them or do whatever was necessary to keep them away from the center console containing my two tickets to a lifetime of ass rape in a Mexican jail. Tulips was carrying on a conversation with a Federale that was not going well. Tulips kept looking like he was going to kneel. Every time he did this, the agent went into a fit of pointing and yelling.
Finally, Tulips turned to me and quickly shuffled close enough to say in an embarrassed tone, “Andy, open the trunk. They call it a boot here. I thought he was telling me to take my shoes off.”
This was concerning as I was relying on Tulips to keep me from blindly running into whatever fate the Wild Ones had met.
I went to the front seat of the car and reached under the dash to pull the trunk release and through the windshield I see a medium-sized dog with his nose to the ground leading one of the Mexican officers towards my car. At this point I didn’t think I could handle much more and just sort of let the panic and anxiety wash over me. I looked at Tulips as I walked back to where Senior Old Spice had told me to stand, and waited.
Idly talking to Tulips about a rave we had attended a few weeks prior, I saw out of the corner of my eye Mr. Drug Sniffer finish with the interior of my car and meet up round the back of my car to really get serious. I saw four-foot sections of the trunk lining get thrown out. The drug sniffing dog is distracted by the smell and now the taste of his own large brown balls.
Then, Mr. Aqua Velva tells Tulips that we can go.
My car is torn to bits inside. Plastic pop tiers broken on the headliner, rubber moulding pulled away on the doors, yet somehow the center console is perfect, and besides the contents, which are everywhere, it is intact. I would later learn that the Mexican Federal Police as well as quite a few American Law Enforcement agencies did not want to spend upwards of $35,000 for each drug dog. They thought it would be cheaper (and much more entertaining I have to believe) to simply buy a German Shepard and watch the reactions of people the handlers suspect are trafficking.
We arrived at the hotel well into the night and were told there were guests already in my usual room. We stayed in the next room over.
In the morning, I slipped the maid a new $20.00 bill and went next door and reclaimed the 8-ball of meth I had left behind when we had fled the country a few nights prior. I ignored Tulips' jibes about how I could have gotten away with a $5.00 bill instead of the $20, and we were off to Cholla Bay.
We made the drive out to Cholla Bay with the windows of my car all the way down. It was a clear morning, the sun was bright and there was a cold breeze blowing from behind the waves. It felt like we were driving off on vacation.
We pulled into Cholla Bay and I went left instead of right, and took the road with a much sharper incline than the road our house was on. My plan was to drive up and over the house and see what I could before we drove up. I stopped in a house above ours and got out. I walked to the edge of the retaining wall and looked over at the house. It was much less menacing in the light.
Tulips was standing by the car patiently waiting. He had been pulled away from important business to come with me. Although he was incredibly polite, I could tell he wanted to get back ASAP. I got into the car right when Oscar, the local cop pulled up with his old Dukes of Hazard 1982 police car and giant beer belly. Oscar was upset because I had spun my tires trying to get traction up the hill. After the lecture and another $20.00 bribe, he sent us on our way.
I pulled up to the house and walked up with Tulips in tow. Although it now looked like nothing more than a whitewashed adobe house, Tulips was now paying attention. I opened the security door with quite a bit of effort. As we were getting ready to step in the door, I saw a matronly pear-shaped Caucasian woman trundling up the hill waving at us. She closed the last few yards red faced and sweating despite the cold wind blowing past.
“Are you Andy?” She beamed at me excitedly.
Tulips and I stared at her with our mouths open, me halfway through the black security door.
“I… um… yeah.”
Tulips and I looked at one another trying to figure out where this cherubic woman had come from. It was still wintertime and assuming Wild Man was gone, I was probably the only other Caucasian for 200 miles.
“Follow me,” she said, clearly in a huge rush despite her pleasant nature. And off she went down the hill toward her house.
We walked into a dark loving room. With sun reflecting off of the whitewashed exterior wall, I could not see inside at all. I had my Spiewak bag unzipped on the side and my hand on my gun. It really felt like we were walking into something awful. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, my worst fears were realized. Wild Man was just waking up, wearing a huge white T-shirt with an AIDS ribbon on the front and what I remember as Ocean Pacific shorts circa 1984 in aqua and at least two sizes too small. He looked hung over and haggard as he was apt to before noon.
After man hugs and greetings were exchanged, Wild Man gave us the recap over beers at JJ's Cantina. The Wild Ones had been drinking all night and had gone back to the house. They'd had a fight over god knows what and in the ensuing spat, Wild Woman had thrown a glass, an ashtray, or let’s just say something heavy at him. It missed Wild Man and crashed into the wall near the ground.
Now here's the irony. Mexican buildings will probably be standing here inhabited by nuclear cockroaches after a holocaust. But they do have weaknesses. A wall made of solid concrete is nearly impossible to cut and snake cables, wires, or any piping through. Much of the time these things can be seen running in closed plastic conduit along the edge of floors. When Wild Woman had thrown the ashtray, it broke open the PVC gas line running to the gas heater. At that time of year heaters ran from sundown to sun up.
Wild Man described the ensuing carnage as a billowing ocean of blue fire that covered the floor in the blink of an eye and rose to the ceiling as fast. He managed to escape with none of his things as his clothing had been burned just bad enough to warrant the donation clothes. Other than legs as smooth as silk, he had escaped pretty much unharmed as the residents that were in town tried to help put the fire out.
The next week, I returned with my wife to see what could be done. The little old man that was sweeping the floor when we arrived would not look at me when we arrived. There were no papers to sign. No police waiting. And none of the smiles I'd grown accustomed to. The old man was from Mesa, Arizona. We asked if there was anything we could do. "You can go." Was all he said. Later, after we were married we bought our first house 6 houses down from him. He never said a word to us even when we passed him in the grocery store.
My next story will be about the first time I met Wild Woman.
Click here for Part 1 of The Driver: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/the-driver-part-1-guest-blog-by-andy.html
Webpage for Party Time, including chapter 1 and Amazon links: http://shaunattwood.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120&Itemid=119
Facebook page for Party Time: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Party-Time-Shaun-Attwood/211408465606796