The music man

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ABEL THE deadpan yardman came right on time, 10 a.m., yesterday to execute the yard’s weekly trim, which started late this year because the rain started late.

I used to mow the yard myself. Then I mowed half, and my child bride did the other half. Then we abandoned the chore completely and hired Abel who lives on the other side of the sex motel, which is very convenient for all involved.

At first, he mowed, and I continued edging with my weedeater, and I also swept the trash tossed on the Romance Sidewalk by the mower and weedeater. Then one year, I decided to let Abel do the edging too. He has his own weedeater, but I provide the gas. And just last year, I turned over the sweeping to him too, taking myself entirely out of the process, which a fellow of my vintage deserves.

Over the years, I’ve gradually increased his pay, and I did that again this year. I give him 250 pesos for about 90 minutes of work, which ain’t bad down here. If he does more than the basic trim and sweep, which he often does, I pay more.

Abel, who has a wife and kids, does not have a normal, fulltime job. What he is primarily is a trumpet player. He’s part of a musical group that once had an old bus of the Greyhound variety, which was parked on the street outside his house. But they sold it a few years back, probably because they couldn’t cover the maintenance costs.

Abel says they’ll be getting another, but I think that’s wishful thinking. It does provide a certain panache for a band to pull up to a gig in its own bus.

When he leaves, I flip the mower on its side down by the front gate, and hose the undercarriage which is jammed with grass gunk. I still do that part.

I then sat yesterday on a web chair on the yard patio, put my feet up, removed the straw hat which protects my snow-white cranium and breathed in the lovely day, which it was. The air was cool. The sky was blue. The lawn looked great.

And from the neighbors’ yard, I heard a rooster crow and a horse neigh.

Then it was silent.

And later we ate roasted chicken from a place down the way.

No porch pirates

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My latest delivery!

I’M A FUN-LOVING fellow, and last December I had Amazon send a gift to my last wife for her birthday. The fun-loving part is what I sent, a red MAGA cap because she is not a Trump fan in spite of being otherwise quite intelligent when we were married.

I never received any acknowledgement from her, so I do not know if the gift was seized by porch pirates, which I understand is a big problem above the border, or if she simply has lost her sense of humor, a widespread affliction of people who still vote Democrat.

(In Mexico, we don’t have porch pirates because few people have porches accessible from the street. We have high walls like God intended.)

I’m guessing it’s about a 50-50 tossup as to whether porch pirates grabbed my gift, or if she got it, scowled and threw it into the trash. We both were staunch Democrats during our almost two decades together, but I have wised up. I’m hoping to find her #WalkAway video on YouTube in the near future. So many Democrats have seen the light.

We Mexicans have our own version of Amazon — its warehouse is in Mexico City — but we also have Mercado Libre, which is sort of a Latin American Amazon. Both have tons of merchandise, and both offer speedy delivery. I got one this afternoon.


Fad or not?

I left a comment on another blog today, saying the gender-transitioning thing has become a fad. It’s not like hula-hoops or bell-bottom pants, of course, because those fads were harmless fun, but I think it’s a fad nonetheless, a sick, demented one.

News stories of people “transitioning,” which is a nice way of saying they take lots of drugs and have body parts sliced off, have ballooned in recent years. You even read of parents, especially celebrities, assisting their children in the madness.

This was almost unheard of 20 or 30 years ago, but not now. Has the percentage of people who actually feel they’re in the wrong body skyrocketed or is something else going on? Is it a “cool” thing to do, i.e. a fad? I think so.

There are so many nutty notions accepted in Western society these days, e.g. white privilege, ideas based on ignorance, that “transitioning” is just one in a long and growing line.

A woman responded on the other blog that my saying it’s a fad is “disgusting.” I think I am just stating the obvious. If it’s not a fad, what is it?

My Mexican mistakes

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Bougainvilleas I planted 17 years ago in error.

THERE ARE almost too many to count, my errors. And I committed most during my first two years here. I have since wised up or I’ve been corrected by hard knocks.

Where to start? How about where we constructed the Hacienda. Big mistake. It’s on the edge of what once was a separate village, one of numerous surrounding our huge lake. Being the closest to the “county seat,” we’ve been incorporated, and we’re now just another neighborhood (colonia) of our mountaintop town.

An acquaintance who works with the police once told my child bride that of all the villages surrounding the lake, ours causes the most problems.* In spite of that, we’ve never experienced a crime. I think that is due, in large part, to our being next door to the sex motel, which is open 24/7. It offers us cover, so to speak.

Getting downtown requires about a two-mile drive down a high-speed, two-lane highway with no bike lanes, no sidewalks and often no shoulder. This rules out bicycles, which we would have enjoyed. Rules out a motorbike too.

And then there’s the property, which is two adjoining lots that extend a full block from the street out front to the street out back, which is way too big.  I thought it was nifty when we bought it. I don’t think that any longer. The yard is almost constant maintenance which is why I’ve removed a number of trash-tossing plants/trees and covered part of the yard with stone and concrete, more of which I plan to do.

Let’s move on to the house itself. Again, way too large. I thought it was a great idea, but now it’s obvious that it’s not. I could never have afforded such a palatial home above the border, but it’s a housecleaning problem. We could hire a maid, but my wife opposes the idea for some reason. Perhaps she just enjoys complaining about the house size.

Looking at the plus side, you won’t suffer claustrophobia here.

And the details. My wife had the idea of “sinking” the living room a bit, so we did, but not much, just one step down. There is a step up to the dining room/kitchen and another step up to the hallway that continues to the bedroom and bath.

I have stumbled, but not fallen, on the step countless times, and that won’t get better as I age. My child bride sailed off the step a couple of years ago and broke her arm.

For such a large house, it has just one bedroom, which will be a problem if she ever wants to sell it. Don’t be your own architect. There is another huge space on the second floor, which serves as a second bedroom because there’s a closet and bathroom up there.

It’s good for guests, which we rarely have. In addition to having a queen bed, the top floor serves as a TV room, office and gym. And access to the spectacular upstairs terraza.

And there’s the railroad track behind the houses across the street. We did not notice that when we purchased the property. Trains pass in the night, and they rarely do it peacefully. The good news is that we are accustomed to it, and usually don’t wake up.

We could sell the Hacienda and move to our Downtown Casita, which is ideally located just a 10-minute walk from the main plaza. We could get bicycles. We could buy a four-wheeler. We’d have no yard to mess with. But, after 17 years in the Hacienda, I would feel cramped. There is only a one-car garage, and we want our two cars.

You never know. Maybe one day. But I’m used to living large.

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* At some point in the distant past, we were dubbed “The Village of the Damned.”

Climate change, rain & Trump

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Pot I bought a few years ago during the Day of the Dead.

THIS “CLIMATE CHANGE” thing has hit us hard, or maybe the rainy season is simply arriving a tad tardy this year. Whatever.

It did rain yesterday, and today dawned overcast and cool, which is how I like it. The grass is showing signs of revitalization, from dreary brown to joyous green. Abel the Deadpan Yardman will come tomorrow for the first cut of the year.

Life on the mountaintop continues, often in a crackpot manner. Though the Kung Flu problem shows no sign of winding down — quite the contrary — our megalomaniac president refers to it in the past tense. Our mayor has opened both downtown plazas for the first time in a couple of months. He’s also encouraging tourists to return.

And our Kung Flu count continues upward.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow with the YUGE Trump campaign event in Oklahoma. Thousands want to go, of course, because we love him. I wish I could go. But it seems trouble is brewing. And rumors.

Here’s my prediction. Leftists will appear en masse in MAGA caps, waving Nazi flags and goose-stepping, a disinformation campaign. I doubt they will riot or loot because Oklahoma cops will not be on their side, and the governor is Republican.

It’s good to be out of the fray and atop a mountain in the middle of Mexico.