When a large tractor trailer rig pulls into the narrow downtown streets of Mahahual, locals all know, something big must be about to happen. When two come in, with pictures of masked wrestlers flying through the air on their trailers, something much larger than just big, is going to happen. That’s right, big time professional wrestling had come to Mahahual!! And oh how Mexicans love their big time professional wrestling.
The trucks had wheeled into town early and the crews began to assemble the ring and bleachers at the festival glorieta area of the malecon, in what was probably the most beautiful setting the sport has ever seen. The official sized ring was placed in the center, lighting poles stood up all around and speakers, so the announcer could let all of Mahahual’s residents hear the goings on, even those like Buster who cared not to hear, were tested. All was ready to go in just a few hours. The big show would start that evening at 7:00 and by 10:00, the show would be over, the residents would be totally entertained and Buster would finally be able to go to sleep. That was the plan, in Buster’s mind anyway.
Buster’s on The Beach was closed on this perfect afternoon, but as usual, he was forced to spend a few hours fixing one of the many things that seem to so often break in his old building. This day it was a new sink in the ladies room. And from the grumbling sounds Buster was making from the cabinet below, it was not going well either. Lucky for him though, the Livin’ and Dryin’ in ¾ time Boys were there to help. More to supervise actually, but it was helping in their eyes, and therefore justified the beers they were guzzling from Buster’s cooler.
“So the sink just fell off the wall, just like that,” asked Ernie. “If it cut her leg like you say, you’re lucky she didn’t sue you. “
“First, this is the Caribbean and steel wall brackets, like everything here, including me, rusts. I’m beginning to think plastic rusts here. And second, this is Mexico, people don’t sue you for stuff like that here,” laughed Buster as he tightened the last water line on the new sink. “In fact, if she had done that up at the Coco Loco, old Don Jose would have made her pay for the sink!”
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Ronnie jumped through the door and yelled, “Let’s get ready to Rummmmmmmble! Ramblin’ Ronny is in the house!” He had on his much beloved, and stained, WWF Rules T-shirt and a multi-colored “Nacho Libre” wrestling mask. “Vamanos guys, rasslins’ starting in a couple hours. I want get there early enough to get in the front row. You never know, ol’ Ramblin’ Ronny might get into the action.”
‘”Well let’s get Ol’ Ramblin’ Ronny a little liquored up before he goes then,” said Buster as he poured a double El Compadre and slid it over to Ronny. “Hell, I might actually go now, just to watch this.”
“You guys probably didn’t know this but back in my younger days, I was a pro rassler myself,” proclaimed Ronny as he downed the tequila and slid the glass back across the bar for a refill.
“ Somehow Ronny, I believe that,” laughed Buster.
“I got paid for rasslin’, so I guess that made me a pro. I didn’t do no TV rasslin’ or nothing like that. I rassled in fairs though and got paid pretty good for an 18 year old kid back then.”
“You mean you actually would wrestle other Jethros that came out of the crowd,” asked Giles.
“Not usually, but I did that a few times too. No, I rassled bears. Hell in South Carolina when I was kid, it wasn’t a fair if there wasn’t a big old fat lady and someone rasslin’ a bear. That’s how I got my scholarship to college. A scout from the Cocks was there and bet on me to win and when I threw that bear, he came and asked if I ever played any football. The rest is Gamecock history.” He again slid the empty shot glass across the table toward Buster and his bottle.
“Yea, very little history if you look at your stats. That sterling 2.1 GPA was double your career tackle total,” laughed Buster.
“Hey, they had to keep a few of us smart guys on the team to keep the team GPA up,” said Ronny with his sly old dog grin.
The guys were all laughing away when they heard the sound of a lady at the door clearing her voice. “Hmmm. Can I come in,” she asked.
The tall and attractive lady, wearing a small bikini top, that was having to work very hard to cover the amount of space it was intended to cover, came into Buster’s and introduced herself as Katy, from Colorado, down for a month or two to get away while her rafting business that was shut down for the winter.
“Who wants to go rafting in 0 degree weather, so we just shut down for the entire winter. I decided this year to lock up the condo, left the cat with the neighbor and since I love Mahahual, I’m gonna hang out for a while. Ronny told me you were looking for a bartender, so here I am. I was the best bartender in Boulder during my college days and what I don’t know, the girls here will help me with.” With that, she proudly popped out her ample chest to make sure all knew which “girls” she was talking about.
Buster Looked over at Ronny and gave him another shot, and a dirty look.
“Buster, you said you were needing a new evening bartender,” pleaded Ronny with way too much interest in his voice. Never before had he or any of the Boys ever seemed to show any interest in Buster’s staffing problems but now all the sudden, all seemed interested in the unfilled bartenders position. “I mean look at her Buster. This is a woman who bought herself that set of shiny new ta-tas and just wants to put them to work and have a little fun in the process. What in the name of big boobies is wrong with that! Katy, take the girls out and show them to Buster like you did me out on the beach today and he’ll see what I mean. Those two big’uns there will have every guy in town in here drinkin’ your overpriced tequila.”
About that time, the laughing Katy lifted her bikini top and said, “Girls, meet Buster.”
“Whoa,” said Buster, backing away giving her the polite golf clap. “Bravo and very nice to meet you girls. I don’t know about the bartender’s gig, but you and those girls are welcome here anytime. Can I buy the three of you a tequila as a matter of fact.”
As Buster poured, Ronny asked, “So what do you think Buster. Are you going to hire her. It’ll be great for business.
“I’m real sure I would get more business, including you too Ronny. But I can’t hire you Katy, you’re not a Mexican. If I hired you, a Mexican who really needs the job, will be losing one that really should be theirs. As much as I would love to hire you Katy, you and the girls there of course, I could never do that. Nobody can actually, because you are here on a tourist visa, which means you can’t legally work here.”
Giles, in his best “bandito” voice said, “But Buster, it’s Mexico. Papers, we don’t need no stinking papers.”
Katie looked at Buster in disbelief and said, “Are you telling me you do not want me! I have standing offers from a half dozen places all along the malecon but because I wanted to work for the “famous” Buster, I thought I would give you first shot. If you don’t appreciate it, just say so. Legal-schmegal, everyone in this town will hire me tonight .”
“Ah, and I beat you to the first shot,” said Buster as he slid the glass across the bar to Katy with a smile. “And my guess is that you chose Buster’s because you knew the tips would be larger here, which they are, and not because of me, but thanks anyway. I can tell, you’re a smart girl. Go to where the money is. No problem though. It makes old dudes like me feel good anyway.”
Buster had seen her type many times before. Foreigners, nice enough like Katy usually, who decide to come to Costa Maya, and in their desire to have fun and enjoy themselves, maybe even just flake-out for a while, too often trample on the locals without even realizing it and this Katy was one of them. Her “having some fun for a few months”, could be the difference between a local family having enough food to eat or not. Jobs are scarce in Mexico and good ones, even more so. Americans should know that better than most, but too often they forget, unless it is their job being taken by an illegal worker.
“Look Katy, nothing personal, but you’re really just another wetback here. A beautiful one with two beautiful little, or should I say bodacious, wetback friends, that is for sure. And if I were ever going to be tempted to hire a wetback to increase my profits, you and the girls there would be at the top of my list. I promise.” With that, Katy began to calm and even gave a small giggle. “But when I was a contractor back in the US, I had a strict policy of not hiring illegal workers. Never did it there and I’m not going to do it here. Mexican jobs need to be for Mexicans.”
“So why is it all the others will hire me but you won’t,” Katy asked.
“Yea, I would like to know that too Buster, you dumbass,” asked Ernie, still staring at Katy’s two girls.
“There are a lot of things I don’t do, that the other places around here do,” said Buster. “That is probably why we are the best too. And now Katie, if you can, put the girls back in their rooms, they are really starting to distract me, and I’ll pour us all another tequila before we head out to watch Ronny wrestle.”
They all laughed as Katy covered up and Buster told her which of the places she, as a wetback, should work. He didn’t want to lose a friend, or three of them in this case, and he also knew he wasn’t going to save Mexico by not hiring her. Why lose a friend and not save the world, so he gave her the best advice he could give a wetback friend and told her to work for Don Jose. She would make good money and he had friends in high places, so working a wetback is no problema at his place!
They sat around for the next hour sipping tequila and listening to Ronny’s “rasslin’” stories. He had gotten ahead of the others with the El Compadre, so when the time arrived to finally leave, all were a bit tipsy, except Ronny, who was loaded for bear and God’s very own drunk. Bullet proof! It was time to go watch some big time professional wrestling!
The show was really a hoot too and for those living in small town Mayberry Mexico, the big time professional wrestling was quite a fun diversion for all who would have been otherwise spending the boring evening playing dominoes, watching soccer at the dusty football field or cleaning the days catch in the shallows, as the birds flocked around to pick up the scraps. Just another evening in paradise, waiting for the Norwegian Jewel to arrive the next day. For the most part, the good guys won, and looked good doing so. Same for the few bad ones, who also won a couple. The kids yelled at them all and the parents mostly laughed, but a good time was had by all. Well, almost all.
Ramblin’ Ronny passed out before the first match and missed the entire show, and the guys figured that was best at the end. If Ronny could throw a bear, they figured his old wore out ass could still throw one of those Nacho Libre guys pretty easy too, especially with all the rocket fuel in him, so they let him snore away and nobody got hurt. As the crowd filed out, the Boys poured Ronnie into a taxi and the roadies tore down the show, so that by midnight, the trucks were rolling toward the next little town for some more, big time professional wrestling!
And so it goes when you are livin’ and dyin’ in ¾ time.