After Hours Booze In El Paso And The Back Door To America
Assuming you read part 1 of this story, you know we left off with our heroes facing a potential zombie.
Quick recap: Needing booze after hours and being miles from anywhere, a friend and I decided to see if we could find a place called Casetas, just across the U. S.-Mexico border somewhere in the Fabens/Tornillo area.
Somehow ... our directions were very sketchy ... we found the bridge and eventually wound up in a perfect spot for Quinton Tarantino and Rob Zombie to film a movie together. There, in the black of night, we were approached by a rather creepy young boy. (Read Part 1 Here.)
He didn't make a sound as he approached us and, when he was about 10 feet away, a mangy looking dog came out from under our car and went toward the boy. They both walked those last few steps quietly and he whispered something in Spanish.
Now, my Spanish is terrible, as was the young boys English, so our conversation involved a lot of hand gestures, "what's" and "no hablos". Somehow though, we got the message across as to what we wanted but things looked "cerrado".
He motioned for us to wait and faded back into the night. The dog stayed by the car, watching us. Can you say creepy?? The boy soon reappeared, pointed at the store and motioned for us to get out.
Looking in the direction he pointed, we saw a single lightbulb come on in the back of the store and soon after, a figure approached the door. The boy said "Mi Abuelito" and motioned for us to follow.
The man couldn't have been a day under 100 and had clearly been sleeping when the boy went and got him ... he was wearing his pajama top, jeans and worn out slippers. His English was worse than the boys but, between all of us, we all made our points.
Before you could say andele, we had 3 or 4 bottles of liquor, 2 cases of cerveza and a pack of smokes, all loaded by the kid, purchased for a very low price. So low, we left double the amount requested and bought junior some candy.
Back to the bridge we went. Still dark and spooky but we were in a better frame of mind going back. Cracking one of the tequila bottles probably helped relax us. Then we got to the bridge.
To be continued ....
Just kidding, we inched across that decrepit bridge as I told my buddy that this was why I wanted him to avoid the pharmaceuticals. He asked if we were going to be searched and I said "yes". "How do you know", he asked? "Because", I said.
He kept asking as we approached the officers and I explained to him that being in a rental car, driven by a guy with a New York driver license, over a bridge not many knew about, at 2:30 in the morning, was kind of a red flag.
Mind you, my only only real concern here was having the booze we (thought) we risked our lives to get confiscated. The Border Patrol asked their usual questions and, sure enough, said they had no way to tax the booze and, even if they did, we had too much of it.
Insert "F" word here.
Then, one of them looked at my ID and said; "your name is Glenn"? I said yes, he then asked; "are you the Glenn from KLAQ"? I said yes. "I knew it" he whooped, "I listen to you all the time".
Now, Garza isn't my real last name and after explaining how Garza came to be, the officer looked at his partner and said; "these guys are ok ... let 'em go".
We and our cargo headed back to the ranch. Way off in the distance, I swear, I heard a dog bark and young boys voice triumphantly yell "vamanos".
That bridge, built in the '30's, has long since been torn down so, don't look for it.
A newer, more modern bridge replaced it a few hundred yards away. It may be shinier ... and it's probably much safer ... but it will never have the charm of that old one.
Nor as great a story. Because, honestly, I'm never doing that again.