6 days ago
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
The pasero edges through the late afternoon traffic of downtown Mexico City. Four pesos to cram into these mini-buses that creep through the horns, exhaust, gray noise.
An old man in a brown sweater contorts through the standing passengers, offering cigarettes and gum from a wooden box under his solemn face. He's followed shortly by a young man selling cumbia disks from his backpack speakers. Morose faced commuters looking at the streets. People pile in and out.
Three clowns in yellow jump suits, big shoes, painted faces. One's juggling oranges, another's dancing and yelling back and forth to the third guy who inexplicably pulls a large red bag over his frizzy red hair, painted face and red nose, and keeps shouting nonsense.
Sweating, the bag guy comes down the line, asking for 'coperación,' as the other two continue. He comes back and shows the measly collection to his colleagues: a few 1 and 2 peso coins, nada mas. They react in surprised horror.
"Let's try something new," shouts one, feigning anger at the low return. The other two applaud in absurb clownliness. "Jokes!" More exaggerated clapping and some screams.
"What did the Burro say when the mouse stepped on his foot?"
"Why did the cat say to the dog?"
"What did the raton say to the putamadre pasajeros who didn't want to donate a few coins?"
"This is a shakedown mutherfuckers!!! [guns come out] Empty all of your fucking pockets, put it all the bag and shut the fuck up!!"
Exagerrated laughter, gunpoint collection of goods.
Three clowns exit stage right with a stuffed red bag and full pockets.
[NOTE 1: raton means 'rat' or 'mouse' in Spanish, but it is also used colloquially to denote any kind of common criminal. Making THAT a bit of a play on words...
NOTE 2: The skeleton of this story was told to me last week over cantina beers with some guys who cover nota roja, or crime reporting, for a major DF tabloid. Details added for fun, and cuz its a blog post]
Posted by Esteyonage at 19:22