Ronnie was all grins as he approached the Livin and Dyin’ in ¾ Time Boys table, where the gang was enjoying the last rays of the day’s tropical sunshine and some icy cold cheladas con Corona.
“Damn Buster. I’m glad to see you. I heard you were dead,” laughed Ronny as he pulled up his usual chair.
“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated my friend. Having said that, what’s so funny about my death anyway,” asked Buster. “You look a little too happy about that Ronny.”
“Actually, Twain said that but if it helps, I wiped the tears right before I got here. Seriously though, you guys are gonna love this one. I was walking past the Loco Coco, and I guess the guy is new, cause he didn’t know I was local. Anyway, he asked me if I wanted to sit down and I said no thanks, I was going to Buster’s on the Beach. And you know what he told me? He said, ‘they’re closed! Buster is dead.’ I told him great, that means I can drink for free today, and away I went! As I’m walkin’ away the guy actually says, ‘damn dude, that’s cold’.”
“Wow, that might be a new all-time low, even for those guys, which is quite a feat actually,” piped in Giles. “Saying you were closed down, kicked out of the country or arrested for kicking Santa Clause and little puppies, well, I can understand those sort of things. They say that stuff all the time. But saying you are dead? Man, that is really low. Good thing your Mom isn’t in town.”
“Yea, she’d hit the dude with a chair, knowing her. You should have heard what they told one of my guests the other day,” laughed Buster. “One of their waiters told a guy he was my son and that I really owned the Loco Coco and send all my overflow there, and since I was full that day, he should just stay right there and wait for Buster to come later. I’ve been meaning to go down there and tell him that was a good one. Didn’t work of course, since the guy who said it was older than me, what a dumb ass, but it was still a good one. Gotta give some credit where some credit is due I suppose.”
“And that doesn’t make you mad,” asked Giles?
“Are you kiddin’? That place is a joke! When that dump is full and Buster’s is as empty as their brains, then I’ll worry about the likes of those clowns. People want honesty and quality …”
“Yea, yea, whatever Buster,” interrupted Ronny. “We know all of that rah rah stuff. You’re a great guy and all but can I change the subject to something that is a bit more important. I got something here you guys ain’t gonna believe.”
“Oh, here goes Jethro. What do you have, magic beans” giggled Giles.
“Hey, I’ll come over there and kiss you right on the mouth, you don’t shut up and let me talk. Don’t think I won’t either Tinkerbell. So anyway, I’m talking real estate to this guy who is returning from an all-you-can-drink day I fixed him up with at Senior Frogs. We’ll of course he had a great day, and he comes back drunk as a pig wanting to buy a $39,000 casita we have for sale. This cat falls into a chair at my desk, writes a check for 39 large and leaves the name blank on it! He hands me that and his business card and stumbles out the door and back to the ship. Can you believe that!”
They all gathered around the table and looked at a new, hand written personal check from one Gerald Roberts from Sante Fe New Mexico, and a business card from the Principle Broker of the Sante Fe Sunshine Realty Company with the drunk man’s smiling face on the front.
“He said he was too drunk to sign a contract and besides he said, ‘this is Mexico, we don’t need no stinkin’ papers’. Said he loved this place he’d be back in a couple weeks to pick up the keys?”
“So you gonna keep the money,” asked Rick. “You could probably get away with it. It’ll be a while before he realizes what he did. Might never remember if he was that drunk. I know you Ronny, you could have it all spent long before he realizes.”
“Naw, booze and whores are cheap in Belize,” laughed Giles. “Not sure even Ronny could spend that much, that fast, even if you threw in the cost of the Viagra, which I’m sure he’d need a lot of.”
“That really hurts my feelings fagboy! Just for that, if I do keep this, you are not coming to Belize with the rest of us on the $39,000 road trip. Right guys! I’d probably have bought you a couple little Belizean boy toys if you hadn’t insulted my “stallion-ish” ego like that.”
“I’m not real sure I want to go to Belize with you and $39,000,” laughed Buster. “I can just sit at a table with you and a bottle of tequila and wake up next to death. You’d get me killed for sure with those crazy-ass Belizean women and 39 grand in your pocket. Kinda fun to think about though?”
“Yea, woke many times in Belize next to death when I lived down there. Death’s name was usually something like Melinda or Cecilia though,” laughed Ronny. “I’m tellin’ you, them Belizean gals are not to be messed with. Why do you think I’m here?”
“So what are you really going to do with that check Ronny,” asked Rick. “You do know you can’t actually do anything with it.”
“Nothing but have some fun with him, cause he don’t really know that I can’t do something with it and neither do you. Hey, this is Mexico, where anything is infinitely negotiable. What I ought to do is fill out the papers, close the deal and get my commission, cause Daddy needs a new pair of shoes. Then just mail the guy his keys. Hey if he don’t want the property, maybe he’ll want me to sell it for him, since I’m the only real estate guy in Mexico he knows. Hell, I did what he said to do, so that has to be worth something. When was the last time a real estate agent actually did that?”
“If he is a real estate guy, he probably won’t want you to sell it. He may have been drunk, but he was still a real estate guy. Even shit faced, he knew a good market when he saw one. He’ll probably buy another when he comes back sober,” said Buster.
“You’re probably right for that matter. But naw, I’m not going to do any of that. I think I will have some fun with this guys though. As we like to say around here, “Don’t worry, what happens in Mahahual … .”
“We laugh at after you leave,” the others all said together!
“That’s right. I think I’ll have some pictures made of me and send them to him in an email and tell him to see the attached photos if you want to see what happened to the check. I’ll borrow Don Jose’s new convertible, get my picture made with about 6 pretty girls in bikinis riding along. We’ll pose drinking champagne and eating lobster on our balcony over at the Quinta Sol Hotel. How funny would that be. Maybe even sitting on Juan Carlos’ boat and what the hell, get more girls. A rich man can’t have too many pretty girls, is what I say.”
“ That is funny. Mean, but kinda funny!” laughed Buster. “So what will you do with the check?”
“No worry. The last photo will be the check on fire. That should slow his heart beat back down to normal before too long.”
“Ronny, how do you get yourself into these sort of things,” laughed Rick.
“Same way I get myself out, usually doing something stupid, just like this. And speaking of stupid, you remember that guy at the Coco Loco that I talked to a while ago. Remember I said he didn’t know I was local? Well he also gave me a coupon for a free shot of El Compadre. I told him I had a some friends who might want to come, so looky here, he gave us all one. Looks like a few extra too. What say we take these and go down to the Coco Loco, have some tequila on the house and stiff the waiter on his tip. Maybe I’ll put on a show and burn that check in front of everyone while we’re there. I’ll say this dude went to Clemson and that I’d rather starve than take money from a Clemson man. Buster, you got the camera?”
“I always have the camera when you are around Ronny, and yea, an El Compadre on the Coco Loco sounds good. Let’s cha cha!”
With that, the boys got up headed for the free tequila and a Ronny show. Hey, it’s not like they can go golf!
And so it goes, when you are Livin’ and Dyin’ in ¾ Time!