Getting rid of the chicken

Caramba, mi amor! Caramba, mi amor! sang someone on FM 106.5 as I drove the Honda home in the dark of early evening.

Twenty minutes earlier, I had been walking in cool twilight across the beautiful, downtown plaza, clutching a brown paper bag containing two sugar donuts, and thinking of my chicken.

Our neighbors have chickens that roost overnight in an apple tree that abuts our property wall. Now and then, an adventuresome soul will make the leap and walk about in our yard for a spell. Then she’ll head home, back over the wall, in a flap of feathers because chickens don’t fly well. They have a low-max altitude.

This has been going on for years, and we didn’t mind much because the nasty things always went back where they came from. Till a week ago.

One came over and decided to stay. She sticks mostly to the side of the wall that abuts where her kin live, and she lurks beneath aloe vera and bougainvillea. Sometimes, she stands in the big, center semicircle of grass to taunt me.

I’ve tried to catch her, but I’m not as agile as I once was. My child bride assists on occasion, but so far the fowl has eluded our grasp.

New ImageOn Monday, a couple of guys come to lay talavera tile in the downstairs terraza. They’ll be out there for quite a few hours. They say the work will take two days, maybe three.

Here’s my plan: The first day, I’ll offer 50 pesos to whomever catches the chicken and tosses her into the street. If she’s still there on Day Two, I’ll offer 100 pesos, and that should inspire them enough.

I don’t want to eat her, and I don’t want her tossed back over the wall into the neighbors’ yard because this chicken has wanderlust and might revisit. That’s far less likely if she’s out in the street with multiple options for adventure.

The walk across the twilight plaza would have been more enjoyable had I not been thinking about the cursed chicken.

I would have focused fondly on those sugar donuts.

* * * *

(Update! My yardman came Saturday morning and had the bird in his clutches within a minute. Incredible. Mexicans can do anything.)

Democrats anonymous

ballot
Felipe’s first GOP ballot, ready Friday for the mailbox.

HELLO, MY name is Felipe, and I’m a recovered Democrat.

(Audience: Hi, Felipe!)

I was a Democrat for over 60 years. I’d like to blame it on my parents, especially my father who was a flaming socialist, but I think more than anything, I simply was ignorant.

I childishly believed we live in a world that can be perfected. I believed in the efficacy of collectivism, and that government basically worked in our best interests.

(Audience: Howling laughter!)

Yes, I know how silly that sounds, and I am so ashamed that it took me decades to kick the Democrat habit.

I know now that government is good only for basics like protecting our borders, forming police forces, building interstate highways, and so on.

In most areas, government does things badly.

(Audience: Right on, Felipe!)

I’m proud to tell you that this year, at the age of 72, I voted Republican for the first time.

(Audience: Wild cheering!)

I had begun to doubt the Democrat Party in 2008 after learning of Barry Obama’s 20 years of sitting in his Chicago pew listening to the rants of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, especially when Wright “damned America.”

We all know how fast the Democrat Party muzzled Jeremiah Wright. I sat out the 2008 presidential election.

By 2012, Barry Obama’s colors were blatantly obvious. I would have cast my first Republican vote that year, but the absentee ballot never made it to my mountaintop.

The ballot came this year. I checked the straight GOP ticket, and sent it Friday by registered mail.

(Audience: More wild cheering!)

Yes, I voted for Donald Trump!

(Audience: Goes berserk. Men stomp feet. Women weep.)

(Moderator: Thank you for sharing, Felipe. And now let’s all move to the rear of the hall for donuts and coffee.)*

* * * *

* The coffee and donuts turned out to be stale, but I hear it’s always that way.

The paint job

MEXICO IS the perfect land for libertarians. The government pretty much leaves you alone. The photo illustrates this beautifully.

There are no safety nets, no safety harnesses, no safety helmets, no safety nada. These guys are free to plunge to their deaths, and I imagine sometimes they do.

Walking down a cobblestone street yesterday, sugar donut in hand, inhaling the cool air of late May, I happened upon this painting project, and I sighed with pleasure, knowing I would never see this above the Rio Bravo. It would be unthinkable. There are laws, you know.

And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012 — the most recent numbers available — 110 million Americans, about a third of the population, live in a home that receives government handouts, and that does not include Social Security and Medicare.

Won’t be long before the most noticeable difference between the United States and bankrupt Greece is that Greeks speak Greek and Americans speak Spanish English.

These things flashed through my mind as I walked by the sky-high house painters on the cobblestone street. I smiled and took another munch of my sugar donut.

Mexico: Land of the free. Home of the brave.

The old hospital

hospital

HEADING BACK to the Honda this afternoon, I passed this place, Hospital San Juan as it’s usually known, but I see here that it’s dubbed the Hospital General Dr. Gabriel Garcia A.C.

Open 24 hours.

I’ll stick with Hospital San Juan. It’s connected somehow — physically at least — to the Templo de San Juan de Dios, and it’s where Jean Kinnison died about a decade ago of a heart attack. She and her husband Al lived just over a block away, so it was the logical place to take her that day when she was feeling very poorly, so poorly she died shortly after arriving at the Hospital San Juan.

It’s a very basic hospital. If you’ve got some major issue, better head elsewhere, but if you’re in a rush and nearby, just go there for starters. We’ve done that a couple of times, but not in many years. You can get a consultation at the emergency room for about two bucks. And these are real doctors who work part-time here while also practicing in more prestigious places.

Enlarge the photo and you get a clearer view of the offerings. Not just the emergency room, but dental care, blood transfusions, surgery, X-rays, whatnot. Just about anything. I took Steve Cotton there years back when he had some issue with a blood-pressure prescription.

The building in which sits the hospital and the connected church is about 500 years old, but they keep it tidy even if the beds look like something from the Spanish Civil War. No matter. I would recommend this place in a pinch. However, if you have time for a drive, and don’t mind paying more than two bucks, go down to the state capital where you’ll find this alternative.

If you’re being discharged from the Hospital San Juan, or if you’re visiting a patient, be aware that as you walk out the front door, you can turn right half a block where you’ll find incredible sugar donuts in a pastry shop. The sugar donuts are not available on weekends, just weekdays.

You’re not likely to find such treats near one of those fancy-pants medical centers.