Chapter 18

This entry is part 19 of 44 in the series Smile

Chapter Eighteen — Tijuana

The “Palace on Wheels” was finally finished; and a real palace it was. I would be the “King of Sports” for sure.

“You’ll probably have to run the señoritas off with a club,” Bill laughed.

“Oh no, I’m through with women; well, maybe I’ll let one in occasionally for a cup of tea, but no more of this falling in love. I’ve learned my lesson. As you said, “life is like a game of cards,” and from now on I’m going to do the dealing.

“Good sense,” he said. “You’ll need someone to go with you on the trip. I wouldn’t think of letting you go alone. Know anyone you’d like to take along?”

“Well no, I don’t.”

“I’ll introduce you to a guy who’d like to go. If he suits you, you’d better take him. He’s an ex-prize fighter Chuck Blotz.”

Chuck had also been a wrestler, and a welder, and he could run a tractor or a dredge. There didn’t seem to be anything physical that he couldn’t do. He was big and blond with baby blue eyes, and he had a protruding belly that suggested he was sort of out of fighting condition but he was eager to take the trip and could probably land a felling punch or two, if needed.

“Take your time, don’t be in a hurry,” Bill said. “When you get to Hermosillo give me a call and I’ll come down there and we’ll buy the Yaqui gold. If for some reason I can’t make it, I’ll send the money and you can go ahead with the deal.”

With the experience of Maria still fresh in my mind, I wanted to move or go somewhere.

“Bill, if you say he’s okay, then he is okay with me.”

Chuck and I took off. Over four thousand miles to go. Chuck’s clothes and personal things were in Los Angeles, and although it would be out of our way, we would go there to get them. But we didn’t have to hurry. That evening when we arrived in Los Angeles, Chuck went to spend the night at his sister’s house, so I had the Palace to myself.

About noon the next day we started south again and I asked Chuck if he had ever been to Tijuana. He said he had never been any place in Mexico. I suggested that we run down there for the evening because I had never been there either.

The Mexicans at Tijuana have just one thing in mind, “Get that U. S. dollar!” In fact very little Mexican money is used there. They know every trick in the book to get your dough. They will even get you married in record time, and if you don’t have a woman they will supply one. A divorce is just as easy, but it costs money, real United States money.

As we walked along the little main street, we came to a Mexican with a little jackass hitched to a big covered cart that had “Tijuana” written across its front. The little jack was painted with white stripes like a zebra. The guy grabbed hold of my coat, halting me.

“Get in the cart, Señor,” he urged, “and I will take your picture for only one dollar then I will take your friend’s picture for only one dollar.”

Chuck and I shook our heads and started to walk away, but he came after us.

“Señores, one moment. For you, my good friends, I will take both your pictures at one time for only one dollar!” We started to walk off again, but the guy was hard to shake. “Señores,” he said, “for fifty cents I will make the jackass take a leak in the bucket.”

Chuck laughed so hard I thought he was going to choke. I reached in my pocket and pulled out a quarter.

“That ought to be worth two bits,” I said, not wanting to miss anything.

The Mexican grabbed a bucket. Whether it had water or something stronger in it, I didn’t know. He splashed some of the liquid in the jack’s face to wake him up, I guessed. Then he set the bucket under the animal’s rear. The Jack humped his back and produced! I gave the Mexican the quarter.

We went on and came to the Moulon Rouge, apparently a night club. A barker out front invited, “Come on in boys! The floor show starts in just five minutes!” We went in and had a couple of drinks. Many Señoritas kept bumming us and smiling, trying to lure us to their rooms. They were a sorry looking lot.

As we started out the door, the barker said, “Don’t leave now, boys! The floor show starts in just five minutes!”

“Sure,” I said, “in a Mexican five minutes.” I don’t believe they even had a floor show.

Down the street the Stork Club’s neon sign featured Johnnie Hot Nuts and Juicy Lucy. The crazy names lured us inside. Johnnie was a character and the audience applauded like fury when he came on stage. He wore a long coat that hung below his knees and baggy pants; a real zoot suit. After several filthy jokes he introduced Juicy Lucy. She would dance, he said.

Juicy Lucy must have weighed about two hundred and fifty pounds. She came wiggling out with only a pair of scanties to cover her fleshy lower parts. No one was looking below anyhow for she had the biggest breasts of maybe any woman anywhere; each one of them about the size of a twelve quart milk pail.

She didn’t dance. She just stood there twirling those enormous breasts, first to the right then to the left. Then she twirled them both in opposite directions; first one way then the other! The crowd howled with delight.

When the show was over and Chuck and I were on the street again, a cab stopped in front of us.

“Get in, boys!” The driver had a big smile for us. “I’ll take you where there are many girls — one hundred girls. Look, here are their pictures.” He pulled out a photograph There were a hundred as he said; all in the nude.

“How much do they charge?” Chuck asked looking interested.

“Only about three American dollars. Here in town they will charge you five. Get in, I will take you there.”

“Don’t go with him!” said a voice behind us.

Chuck and I turned around. An American stood there shaking his head.

“Last night,” he said, “I went with that man to a place over the hill. He charged me seven dollars for taking me there and the price out there is not three, it’s five dollars or more. After I paid the girl, in came a big mean looking Mexican and made me pay three dollars extra for the room, and that wasn’t all. This character. . . .” he pointed to the driver. “He charged nine dollars to bring me back to town!”

The cab driver could see he would have no fare here. He spit at the guy. “Gavacho son-of-a-bitch!” he snarled, and drove off.

Yes, everyone should go to Tijuana once — and only once.

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