Smacked by a freeze

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But warm enough by noon. And sunny!

YESTERDAY MORNING, I found the birdbath frozen over, first time this season. Must have been a soft freeze because the banana trees weren’t burned too badly.

Overnight freezes are common in winter, and it always warms up quickly after the sun rises, but they still do damage to the yard, sometimes severe.

Around noon, I sat a spell on the yard patio, putting my footsie up on one of the web chairs for you to see. It was lovely out. Nary a cloud, and the sun was nice and warm.

Today is Three Kings’ Day, which is when kiddies get their gifts in Latin America. I wish it were otherwise. I wish they got gifts from Santa instead because then we’d have just two traffic-jammed, abutting holidays instead of dragging it out another week for the Trio of Kings to come on camels, a real pain in the keister.

By today, even Mexican adults have had it up to here, but then they do it all over again the next year. Sometimes I think self-abuse is a genetic trait of my (relatively) new paisanos. Luckily, I was not born here, which gives me a saner approach to it all.

Let us now forge on to Carnival and Easter Week and beyond!

For Carnival, which is a dreadful mob scene in our ramshackle barrio, the worst place in town to be, we’ll be enjoying a great getaway in Guanajuato.

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(Monday morning update! It froze again last night. Oh, dear.)

The holiday hordes

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An artisan vendor relaxes with a smoke at his stand on the sidewalk.

THE HOLIDAYS over Christmas and New Year’s, and even onto Three Kings Day (January 6) when Latino kids get their gifts, have become a traffic nightmare here.

I don’t like it.

It got worse when a hyperactive mayor decided a few years ago to gussy up the town big-time, and that included a spectacular Christmas display on our sprawling plaza.

Well, what’s to be done about it? For me, nothing. Suffer in semi-silence.

And take a few photos.

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Typical sidewalk scene over the holidays. Shove your way through.
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How do I look? Buy the darn earrings and go back to Guadalajara!

No-show from Santa

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THIS IS OUR upstairs fireplace, a photo I shot just this morning.

There were no footprints in the ashes, so it appears Santa did not come in through this route. There is also a fireplace downstairs, a larger one that would be more appropriate for fat Santa but again, no footprints in the ashes.

I woke up this morning, leaped out of bed and ran into the living room to see what I had scored, but there was nothing waiting in spite of my having been a good boy all year.

I spent last night alone after transporting my child bride to the nearby state capital yesterday afternoon where she hoopla’ed late into the night with a gang of her relatives, a Mexican family requirement on Christmas Eve.

This after she had just returned the previous day from Guanajuato, again with a gang of her relatives. They were there three days while I cooled my heels at the Hacienda overseeing the painter who will return tomorrow, by the way.

Well, anyway, I rushed into the living room this morning and found squat in the way of gifts. I had asked for an AR-15, a bazooka and a Trump T-shirt.

Perhaps the fact there is neither Christmas tree nor stockings hung on the chimney with care had something to do with Santa’s ill-spirited no-show.

Maybe I should have put out cookies and milk. Or whiskey and steak.

Could it be that Santa does not like Mexicans?

I’ve learned my lesson. Next year I’m not going to be a good boy.

Christmases past

(I wrote the following a few years back. It describes a Christmas Eve I experienced 46 years ago in a San Juan, Puerto Rico, bordello. It is a true story. The video above was shot just a couple of years ago here at the Hacienda. And it’s true too.)

* * * *

The Fancy House was a hair up San Justo Street from the Malamute Bar. I often headed to the House after work, about midnight or so. I went for two reasons:

Amateur anthropology and cuba libres.

The Fancy House was a social study, fascinating in part due to downing cuba libres till the walls started dancing before my eyes. A tango at times. Often a waltz.

Most of the working girls came from the Dominican Republic across the Mona Passage. But some came from South America, flown up by Latino gangsters with a contract to fulfill.

The young lovelies learned to ignore me sitting solo at the bar facing the twinkling lights framing the broad mirror, with cuba libres and the waltzing walls, dancing before my eyes. All the lovelies save one.

South American, she had milk-white skin with freckles and long black hair. She was bright and liked to talk, a rebellious and adventurous lass, hardly out of her teens, there on a lark. The kind of girl to give nightmares to a wholesome mama.

One December night she walked to my bar stool and handed me an envelope. Inside was my only Christmas card that year.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. It touched me.

The walls ceased swinging . . .

. . . and started singing Silent Night.