Nov 4, 2009, 8:09 AM
I've been hit 3 or 4 times, but not recently. Several years go my city cracked down on the cops, so no more problems. I never paid more than 20 pesos.
Here is the story of my first hit. I've told the story before, but maybe some have not heard it.
I had just pulled into town at the end of 300-mile trip and was almost home. It was mid-afternoon. I was hot and tired from the long road and from a poor night’s rest. A cop jumped out from the shade of a building and waved for me to stop. I knew I had not done anything wrong, so I surmised that this would be my first encounter with la mordida. Tired as I was, I was determined that if this SOB wanted money, he was going to have to work for it.
He came up to my window and said very pleasantly, as they always do, “Buenas tardes, senor. Blah, blah, blah.”
When he paused, I replied with my worst Spanish “Lo siento, señor. No hablo español.” (I'm sorry, sir. I don't speak Spanish.)
He looked a little surprised and tried again. I replied with “No comprendo.” (I don't understand.
Then he used what I guess was his only English word: “Money!” In next several minutes he would repeat the word many times, but the dumb gringo just didn’t understand.
"¿Por que?” (Why?) I would reply. He would launch into a long spiel which I truly didn’t understand. “No comprendo” was my chorus.
"Coke,” he finally said holding out his hand.
Of course, I knew what he wanted, but I pretended to take the drug meaning of the word. That gave us a couple more minutes to get the dumb gringo to understand that it was the drink not the drug he wanted. I was determined to drag it out as long as I thought wise, so I continued to be very nice but very dumb. I was hot, but he must have been hotter in that uniform standing in the direct sun against a white pickup. When the veins in his neck began to throb, I decided it was time to end the game, so I suddenly understood.
"Oh, comprendo. Quiere dinero. Lo siento señor, no tengo dinero.” (Oh, I understand. You want money. I'm sorry sir, I don't have money.)
I though he was going to explode. I reached into my pocket being careful not to extract any folding money, and pulled out two coins – 5 pesos and 50 centavos. (50 cents and a nickel) I offered the coins, saying "No tengo mas." (I don't have more.) He snatched the 5 pesos. Before he could say anything else, I said “Adios,” and drove away chuckling.
(This post was edited by Rolly on Nov 4, 2009, 8:15 AM)