Several times a week, there is an unofficial meeting of the Mahahual chapter of the Livin’ and Dyin’ in ¾ Time Club at Buster’s on the Beach. Buster is not sure exactly how the group actually came to be … but they did and now he was stuck with them. The club is made up of the “board of directors”, directors only in that they direct all the conversation, and others who come and go have to try to keep up. Just a bunch of old American dudes; some work, some are retired, some running, some not telling, but all with a story. They hang out several days a week at one of Buster’s better malecon tables, taking up space and watching the world go by at a very slow Mahahual pace. It’s called, Livin’ and Dyin’ in ¾ time.
Buster of course is the reluctant leader, mainly because it is his tequila and table, but it is often hard for him to get a word in with this group. Ernie, the former sheriff’s deputy, retired early and decided after almost 40 years of dealing with the worst side of the US, he was heading south and living on a quiet beach away from everyone. He lives in a small cabana a couple miles outside of town, reads philosophy, smokes lots of dope and trying hard to learn Spanish, hardly a word of which he knows some 3 years after moving to Mexico. His treks into Mahahual are always the same. Soup for lunch at one of his local mom and pop places and over to Buster’s for internet, beer and thoughtful, stimulating conversation. Ernie was normally a very calm and almost reserved man, with or without the dope, but after a few beers he could always be counted on for his spirited opinion.
Giles, who sells his boyfriend Tito’s handmade jewelry and his own unique wrap-around dresses for large women at a small booth on the malecon, is also a regular and seems to enjoy the abuse handed out to him by his friendly but just a bit homophobic buddies. Giles has lived all over Mexico for over 30 years, bouncing from place to place, and generally making lots of friends and lovers along the way. He graduated many years ago from BYU, and after a brief stint with women and the corporate world, decided to go to Puerto Vallarta, chase good looking young men and tend bar at a boutique restaurant called Liza’s. His plans seemed to change throughout the years, but he never went home.
Redneck Ronny, former University of South Carolina linebacker, turned Greenville City Council Member, and later strip club owner of considerable note in the local news, drifted in town a year or so ago after his Belizean girlfriend threatened to have her brothers chop his head off over a misunderstanding about a neighbor lady. He had decided that 3 years in Belize was long enough anyway, and just a few minutes before the machete brothers arrived, he scooted across the border into Mexico, knowing Belizeans would not chase him there and headed for the first beach he could find. At 54, his football days were over but his playing days on the other hand, were very far from over. Still the ladies man, at least in his mind anyway, when Ronny was around, the conversation was always about women.
The last board member was Rick, like Buster, a former contractor, and one who lived the big life before heading south. He had ex-wives, beach houses, lake houses, boats, trophy cars and trophy girlfriends. At least until two of his crew got drunk and drove their company truck into the side of a trailer containing three thorough bred race horses valued at about 5 million dollars each. All three horses were killed and the following law suits left him with only his small social security check and a lot of cheesy gold jewelry. So it was off to where he could live on $1,500 a month and the girls still like cheesy jewelry, and so, he found Mahahual. He pays $300 a month to rent an apartment from Buster, $10 a day to eat out and the tequila is $3 a bottle. Rick was doing just fine.
Not your typical slice of Americana in other words, so the topics of conversation are seldom typical. Republicans, Democrats, health care, taxes, guns, gays, God, whatever, all are peripheral issues when you’re livin’ and dyin’ in ¾ time! Conversations seemed to naturally migrate toward more important stuff like women, diving, fishing, drinking and all the things they missed and didn’t miss, from back home. Oh, the group doesn’t ignore mainstream American issues, they just approach them from a somewhat different perspective. Today’s discussion item is one such example. Perhaps we’ll call it a “health care” discussion.
On this particular day, a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon, the conversation started simple enough. Once and for all, it needed to be decided, should the SEC just join the NFL or would that upset the balance there like it has in “college” ball. All threw in their 3 cents worth and the topic was being hotly debated while sipping tequila when Ronny suddenly says, “That chick has butt implants”. The entire group, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, all jerked their heads at once and focused like a laser beam on the rather sensational behind of the beautiful Latina that had just walked by in the thong bikini. The behind, or the booty, as they say in the US, is muey importante in Latin America. Latino men love the big behinds and the women seem to enjoy showing them off.
“You can’t get a butt implant” laughed Buster.
“You can too and that chick had butt implants,” argued Ronny. “Manage strip joints as long as I did, and you know a butt implant when you see one. This is a great place for them here too. You know how these guys are down here. Hell there ain’t enough silicone, or whatever they use these days, in all Mexico to make an ass big enough for old Kiko over there.
“Ronny, I think you’re pullin’ my chain now. Butt implants? Come on, guys, have you ever heard of butt implants” asked Buster.
“Of course,” chimed in Giles, “They make butt implants. I know a tranny up in Playa Del Carmen that had some beautiful work done on his sweet little bum. He had flat little white boy ass but when he went to get his breast implants, they gave him a deal on a booty lift. I think he had a coupon or something, but no kidding, he has nice, big, round, beautiful, sweet ….”
“Man, don’t nobody want to hear your fag talk Giles,“ interrupted Ronny. “Buster, make queerboy shut up or I’m leaving and ain’t drinking anymore of your free agave juice.” With that, he then slid his empty glass toward Buster.
Buster grinned at the giggling Giles and poured them both another tequila.
“Okay, here she comes again,” said Buster. “Now you guys don’t be so damn obvious about it this time. We can all very casually, take another look. Don’t stare though. You guys are making my place look like where all the dirty old men hang out. Which is what you guys are as a matter of fact. And I still think you’re pulling my chain here. Butt implants!”
As she passed, of course once again all eyes focused on the wonderful thronged behind of the beautiful Latina as she passed. The entire table got very quiet as she went by adding to the whole “hey look at us checking out your ass” thing that was emitting from the table. She looked back and grinned at the gawking old fools. All immediately jerked their heads back around and looked directly at Buster, like he was supposed to say something to make it less embarrassing.
“Oh, you guys are smooooooth,” laughed Buster.
“You looked like a bunch of dogs sitting in front of the window of the butchers shop,” laughed Giles.
“Whatever Tinkerbell,” said Ronny, “So, did you see what I mean. That ass had some serious altitude on it. “
“Yes, something not natural about it” piped in Ernie. “The ratios just ain’t right. I don’t mean that like a bad thing though. Hell, you saw it. Nothing bad about that. But you know, that 3-2-3 ratio thing ain’t right. Her last digit is a couple decimal points higher than normal. If the front number is high, it is almost always a boob job causes it. That, or she just drank too much milk as a kid. Saw that on the internet. Seems to me like the same rule would apply to the last number. I’d have to say that ain’t no too much milk butt either. No, she had a butt job, no doubt”
“Yea, if you look real close…” said Rick.
“Yea, and you did as a matter of fact. Thought you were going to fall out of the chair, you were looking so close, “ laughed Buster. “Okay, I believe you guys. There are butt implants and yes, the world is probably a better place because of it. To butt implants and thong bikinis!” All raised their shot glasses and said, “saludos!.”
And so goes a health care discussion when you are livin’ and dyin’ in ¾ time.