Chapter 24

We’ve ridden for almost an hour in silence. Well, I was silent. Herminio and Jose have been going on and on about string theory and its effect on third-dynasty Chinese architecture, or maybe they’re jabbering on about what kind of dish soap the Mexican astronauts will be taking to Mars—I really can’t tell. Whenever I hear a word I recognize I smile and nod, as if I‘m following along. I’m getting kinda tired of feeling like I’m visiting my own planet.

Okay, my turn. “Hey, Jose, sorry to interrupt, but do you know what has always bothered me?  It’s that everyone on Gilligan’s Island has been stranded there for months, maybe years, and yet nobody hooks-up. Don’t you think that’s kinda strange?“ Herminio smiles. Jose nods. Good. ”Now the Howells are married so you leave them out.  Married people never have sex, but it’s obvious that the Professor and Maryann got chemistry. Heck, they might even have normal-looking kids, so where does that put Ginger? The hottest babe on the island and the two doofiest dudes. You think the skipper and Gilligan would fight over her, or do you think that Ginger would just have the Professor make a mechanical dildo out of bamboo, a coconut and some vines? Personally, I think Ginger and Maryann were doing it in the girl’s hut all by themselves and the boys, well, they just, you know, do what lonely guys do.”

They nod and smile like they know what I’m talking about. I would say that’s pretty pathetic, but that’s probably what I looked like when I was doing it.

I think we’ve finally arrived at our destination. We must be visiting one of their friends. I guess I’ll just follow them up to this pen. Jose whispers something to Herminio and he laughs and whispers, “Cows here make bull happy.”

A thin, middle-aged Mexican steps out from behind a shack. He’s dressed in levi’s, a white, long sleeved shirt, and a white cowboy hat.  He smiles with a face that looks like an old eraser—dark, hard and shiny. I’m being introduced to Don Guerrero.


He seems to be giving me the once-over, like he either doesn’t believe I’m their nephew, or he’s never seen a white dude before. He smiles. “Mucho gusto,” he says at last.

Why the silence? Why are they looking at me? Oh! “Mucho gusto Don Guerrero.” Shoot, I blew that. He gives the boys an “Oh well” look and leads us to the gate and opens it. I guess we’re going to take the bull back home with us. I’ll let Herminio do the honors; bulls are always mean aren’t they? How are we going to do this? Do we use some kind of leash? Isn’t he going to try to ram us?

Herminio walks into the corral and just shoos him out, like he was a stray cat or something. Don Guerrero closes the gate behind him. This is going to be interesting. Don Guerrero says something in Spanish to us. Jose replies. Me and Herminio just smile and nod. Thank God! Someone else does all the talking. I’m his nephew and I don’t speak a whole lot of Spanish, I mean, I do, just not as fluently, and certainly not that fast.

The guys are riding and talking all the way home, just like before, only I seem to be picking up a little more Spanish here and there. I should probably talk about real subjects in case they are learning English too. I don’t want to offend them.

The horses seem to be doing all the work of making sure the bull doesn’t wander back to where his girlfriends are. I don’t think we were needed much at all, except to make sure that the horses got the job done. I guess if a cowboy or, vaquero has a good horse, or caballo, then all he has to do is go for a ride. Wow. Nice job. This is pretty cool; being a vaquero.

The country around here is really nice. Lots of trees and plants and some springs and creeks. Frogs and birds and flowers. I’ve never seen these blue flowers before. They are really long, with lot of mini buds on them, and they smell so . . . flowery. Why would anyone want to leave here to go wash dishes in the US?

Jose points to some trees on a hill. Yeah, nice, trees. Hey, isn’t that a coyote? Holy shit. “What do we do?” I ask. “Protect the bull?” I should put my horse between the coyote and the bull.  I kick the horse to a jog. Oh no!  I pull the reins in quickly and stop. Why would I want to get in between the bull and the coyote? Who’s gonna protect me?

I look over at Jose. He’s not-laughing again, and don’t think I didn’t notice that quick little smile between them. Herminio points to the coyote and make a little sign with his thumb and first finger. Then he points to the bull and moves both his hands far apart. Okay, I got it. The little coyote isn’t going to be taking down a big bull. Great sign language by the way. He was probably just pointing out the coyote for me.

Herminio points to my horse. “Calma te.”

He wants me to calm down. I’m making the horse nervous. Sometimes Spanish and English are almost the same.

Jose pulls out a pack of gum from his shirt pocket, and offers me some. Sure, I’ll have some chicle. “Gracias.” Herminio takes a piece too. Since we don’t roll our own cigarettes and we only have one cow on this cattle drive, gum is the next best thing.  I’m feeling more relaxed already. The horse is more relaxed. This would be the perfect time to play the guitar and sing.

“Hot,” Herminio says.

“Yep,” I look at my shirt and notice it’s getting muddy from my sweat and the dust the horses kick up.

“Drink?” He offers me his canteen.

“No thanks.” I’m okay for now. We’re probably not very far from home anyway.

The ride is hot but pretty, and the hills are beautiful. I always thought Mexico was a giant desert with cactus and rattlesnakes and coyotes. I’m sure there are some of those too, but here it looks more green. The trees are short and broad, little creeks feed all kinds of wildlife in the valleys between hills. There are birds everywhere

“Tree,” Jose says, pointing to a nearby tree.

“Yes.” I think Jose is showing off his knowledge of one word English sentences.  I’m beginning to feel like I’m in one of those old westerns where the indian guide talks like, How, white-man, you speak with forked-tongue. That type of thing.

“What kind of girl you like Pancho?” Jose asks. “Herminio like big tits.”

“I like big heart,” replies Herminio. “She need grande chi-chis to carry it.”

We all laugh at that one.

“I like skinny,” says Jose. “And face nice.”

They both turn to me. “I like sexy.”

They talk between themselves a bit and Herminio asks, “Big tits are sexy, no?”

Well, he has me there. “Yeah, they’re pretty sexy alright.”

“Legs and nice face sexy too, no?” asks Jose.

“Yes Jose, anything can be sexy if you want it to be.” This seems to confuse them a bit and they jabber on for a few minutes, leaving me to wonder how I can use this conversation to have some fun.

“What then is sexy for you Pancho?” Jose asks. “You like big butt?” They both laugh like crazy. What’s wrong with a big butt?

“I like sexy clothes, a pretty face, big chi-chis, skinny legs and waist, and a nice tight butt.” They went along with my list until I said butt. That seemed to set them off again. It must an inside joke.

Herminio is the first to pipe in this time, “Pancho, what is tight butt? Big? Small?

“Small.” Jose puts his vote in quickly.

“Yes, small, round and firm, you know?” I use my hands to help describe these features.

“Oh, yes” they both nod. “We know tight butt. Yes.”

“I like tight jeans with long thin legs and a tight little butt. And I like skinny waist and big boobs with a tight shirt and many open buttons.” They seem to understand sexy now. They’re both smiling and looking off into the distance. I think their lists have just changed.

Mike J Quinn About Mike J Quinn
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