Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The truth about Castro's departure

I knew strange things were afoot when Uncle Ron called me two nights ago at, at 2:29AM.

I knew it was Ron because he simultaneously calls my cell phone, Cindy's cell phone, and my home phone. And keeps calling until somebody answers. (I dare not ask how he got Cindy's number.)

"Johnny Boy," says Ron. When he calls me Johnny Boy, it is like George Lucas saying: Long Long Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away.

"It is two damn something in the morning," I says.

"Is it?" He sits there, where ever he is, taking a slow drag off something that would likely kill me with the second hand smoke.

"Yes, Ron. It is. That throbbing noise you hear is my brain pulsing because it craves slumber. This is the time when normal, decent humans sleep," I says.

"Look here, Johnny. Let's say you had two point seven five million and you needed to spend it. And let's say you were interested in a secluded economy. One with a low cost of living, a cheap labor force, and little (if any) regard for human rights violations. But it has to be a quick hop from American soil. And it has to have access to a plethora of fundamental human vices."

"You couldn't have asked me about this in the morning, Ron?"

"You can turn your back on a person, Jon, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye. " And he pauses again, taking a drag, and listening to the slow death of my sleep-deprived brain cells.

"Well, there's always Cuba, Unc. It's pretty much a third-world. Hookers, booze, cigars. Your three basic food groups. And I think a year's worth of labor costs as much as a pack of chicklets. But that sadist Castro has his talons in everything. And he doesn't take kindly to gringos mucking up his machinations."

"Yeah," says Ron. "But that big doughboy is like Pooh Bear guarding the honey pot. And ain't no man can get between me and my honey pot. See you soon." Then the line goes dead.

- - -
I woke up next to Ron, in an 18-wheeler going 130 miles per hour, passing a sign saying, "Florida, the sunshine state."He's wearing a really bad Hawaiian shirt and singing Beatles tunes.

"Morning, sunshine!" he says.

I rub the sleep from my eyes, taste a mouth full of mold, and try to remember the last time I was conscious. Watching MMA? Nope. Nepal? Nope. Oh yes! When I opened the door at 2:35A to find Ron trying to bump the lock, with an 18-wheeler in my driveway, and a rag soaked in chloroform.

"I got sixteen pounds of C-4, twenty pints of PCP from Salton Sea, California, nine Galil sniper rifles, and one of those inflatable speedboats, Johnny. I need you to take the rig back and watch my dog for a few days."

- - -

Back home, I open my email. There's a picture of Ron smoking a cigarette in front of a rack of servers he setup in a cantina in La Villa Blanca. The email reads: "Don't forget my pooch, Johnny boy."

And today, Castro resigns.

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