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Drunk in Paradise

Guadalajara house

Guadalajara house

Drunk in Paradise

This is a sad story about three year old Miguelito and his parent’s dependence on alcohol.  We have spoken with the authorities, but until something really serious happens, they won’t do anything.

April 9, 2007

Political correctness is not big in Mexico.  Tact is considered a waste of time.  If your wife is fat you call her Gorda, and she doesn’t mind.  African Americans are negritos.  White folk are guerritos.

And then there is Chupitos.  Chupitos is a character who appears on game shows, talk shows, and gossip shows—the empty schedule fillers of Mexican television.  She is 40’ish, rounded, and quite drunk.  Her front teeth are blacked out, she’s dressed in rags, and she could use a good scrubbing.  She swigs, jokes, and staggers about the stage, a stereotype not much seen in the states since the drunks in Charlie Chaplin flickers and Crazy Guggenheim on “Jackie Gleason.”   In much of the world alcohol addiction doesn’t seem very funny—especially when it hits close to home.  Which is just where it has hit us lately.

Among the cast of characters in our block is our very own Chupitos, but she isn’t very funny.   Most of the time she and her husband are a quiet, solitary couple, struggling along through the day-by-day life of poorly paid Mexicans.  But occasionally they go on three-day binges, and then all hell breaks loose.

The first time I was out front talking with our neighbor, Meche.  Chupitos appeared out of nowhere with two corndogs on sticks.  “I need money for my baby.  Buy my corndogs!”  Now, this is not out of the ordinary in Mexico.  But the next part was, when Chupitos looked at me like fresh meat and offered something more intimate than a corndog.  When I politely declined, she switched her gaze to Meche.  “Oh, so he’s stumpfing you.  Don’t worry—I won’t tell your husband.”  (“Stumpfing” is not a Mexican word, of course—I’m struggling for acceptable alternatives to Chupi’s vocabulary, which is vivid).

Meche and I just laughed, and Chupitos disappeared.

A half hour later Meche was at the door.  “Chupitos is in Silvia’s house, and Silvia can’t get her out.”

Now Silvia and Pablo are our great friends—they have two super kids.  I rushed on over to find Silvia standing in her living room, with Chupitos planted on the couch, drinking tequila.  My first thought was “Silvia knows this woman, and they are having a drink together?”   One look at Silvia’s face told me differently.  She was holding her baby girl so tightly Montse’s eyes were bugging out.

“Hi Silvia!”  I’m not a real fast thinker, but I did pretty well this time.  “You said you wanted to go to the meat market, right?  Do you want to go so we can start dinner?”

“YES!  I’M READY!  LET’S GO!”  Silvia started out the door, in her slippers.

“I’ll stay here until you get back” says Chupitos from the couch.

Come to find out, when she offered kind-hearted Silvia the corn dogs, Silvia said she didn’t want them, but she would give Chupitos the 8 pesos she said she needed.  As Silvia turned her back to get the money, Chupitos entered the house and sat down.  “The sun is hot today—I’m coming in.”  She then asked Silvia for a drink.  “I see you have a lot of bottles here….”  Silvia, thinking she could get rid of Chupis, gave her a full bottle of tequila.

To her horror, Chupitos opened her bag, pulled out a shot glass, limes, and salt, and sat down to a good drunk.

We nearly had to pull her out of the house.

Chupis soon learned she wouldn’t get anything from us, so she widened her scope.  She ended up crashing a family party, pulling her tee-shirt up to he neck, and declaring that what the partiers saw is what they would get for the price of a liter of beer.  The wives ran her out.

Things have been pretty quiet with Chupitos until this week.

To Be Continued…

Dan and Omar
Chupitos and Miguelito

April 9, 2007

On Friday Pablo, Silvia, their kids Montse and Saul, and Omar and I took off early for the lake.  Heading down the hill to the supermarket we saw Chupitos half crawling home—she’d been out all night.  Her husband—who is a policeman, by the way—was passed out on the ground at the bus stop.

Yesterday was Easter, and last night around 8:30 five-year-old Saul showed up at the door with a little boy I didn’t recognize.  “His parents went shopping this morning and he is locked outside and they haven’t come back.”

Well, come to find out, Miguelito is Chupito’s son.  The couple had locked the house, gone on a rampage, and left him on the street since at least the early afternoon.  Miguelito is three.

By 10pm four families were in the park taking care of Miguelito and figuring out what to do next.  We had numbers of several social organizations for abandoned and mistreated children, but no one was working Easter night.  Miguel was fine, bright and alert and playing with Saul.  Periodically we would ask where his parents went (“Shopping.”), if he had relatives nearby (“No.”), if his parents could be in the house, passed out (“They left.”)  “What do you eat at home?”  “Nothing.  When I’m hungry, my mother hits me like this…” (miming a face-slapping).

We fed Miguelito—he hadn’t eaten all day.

We checked the house.  The gate and the door were wide open, but no one answered.

By one in the morning Silvia and Pablo decided Miguelito would stay with them, and that we would look for the parents at daylight.

Just then a car pulled up and Chupitos rolled out, holding a liter bottle of beer.  Miguelito went to her.  She looked at us, said “Gracias” and sat back in the car.

The driver’s side opened, and a very confused Good Samaritan came out.  “Is this where she lives?  She’s very drunk.  We found her hitch-hiking out on the highway and brought her here.  She said she left her son with a neighbor.”

Almost immediately the father showed up, sober and in his police uniform.  Silvia was ready to light into him, but it wasn’t time.  He held Miguelito, and the family went to their house.  Three minutes later Chupitos emerged and walked down the road.  We thought she might try to talk with us, but she just kept going, probably to the 7-Eleven for more beer.

It’s been quiet since then.

We’ve talked with the DIF, a government social agency, and they will interview Chupitos this week.  We are keeping an eye on Miguel, from a distance, to see that he isn’t being mistreated.  It’s all we can do for now.

Dan and Omar

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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.