Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Legend of Pepito

So I had a request from someone to retell of how I acquired my little donkey Pepito who keeps me company at work. So I am obliging him with the story here. This post is dedicated to BP in honor of unique people who are looking the world over for other unique people.

It all began with a wedding invitation.

My ex-roommate was getting hitched in San Diego in front of his closest family and friends before moving to Spain. So I packed my bags and headed out to San Diego alone. I was on the cusp of a breakup of a three and half year relationship. It was the first trip of my long string of travels that started this blog. I was attending a wedding alone and I was utterly depressed. I tried to put on a happy face for my friend Art and his wedding party. No sense in pulling them down in my downward spiral.

My other good friend Lupe also lived in San Diego, so the next day we headed out to Tijuana for some good old fashioned fun to take my mind off my life falling apart at home. I had never been to Mexico amazingly enough and I was determined to go. So, we hopped into the rental car and drove to the border at 10am.

Lupe and I walked over the border and began eating immediately. I had migas and the best refried beans I had ever eaten. We wandered the streets shopping for tequila and stopping to eat literally every hour. I ate eggs, beans, tacos, lobster, and drank beer, margaritas, and Coke in a bottle. I think I ate so much I literally wanted to puke. I missed hanging out with Lupe. I liked being able to catch up on life and talking about old times in Hawaii.

After drinking and eating all day long, Lupe and I decided to head back into the city. We ate dinner in downtown and then his friend Carlos called. It seemed that Carlos was disappointed that he missed out on good Tijuana fun. So at midnight, off we went, back to Tijuana.

Lupe and I were joking around about the Donkey Show all day long because he is, after all, a filthy sailor and I had just watched Clerks 2 the week before. So as soon as we hit Tijuana for the second time that day, we came up with the most brilliant idea ever in our drunken stupor. We decided to buy a donkey and take him out on the town drinking with us all night long. We managed to find a cart at 1am and bought a large ceramic lawn donkey for a cool $10.

Off we went into bars, clubs, and the streets with said donkey who we aptly named Pepito. We clicked pictures of bartenders, taco vendors, and ourselves with Party Pepito cracking jokes and drinking A LOT of beer.

We ended up at a club with hundreds of people packed into a tiny dance floor. The bouncer at the door eyed Pepito and told us that we had to check him. Check our donkey? So we stood in line waiting to check our donkey, something more ridiculous than us carrying him around and buying him drinks. The manager of the club actually came out of his office, took Pepito lovingly in his arms.

“I will take care of your burro!” he said in his heavy Mexican accent.

He whisked Pepito away into his back office as we stood there giggling like a bunch of children. Several beers later we decided that any place not good enough to have Pepito out in the open was not good enough for us. So we waited patiently in line to pickup our beloved donkey holding our ticket that simply said, “El burro”. When we found ourselves in the street again, Lupe became paranoid about being in the street in policia view and becoming prime targets for arrest. So we quickly entered the No Cover Club (not even for Pepito).

So we found ourselves in the most disgusting strip bar I had ever been in. There were fat naked strippers strutting around the stage and huge bouncers eyeballing us suspiciously. We sat with our bucket of beers and thought of ways to get a stripper to take a picture with our adventurous donkey. No one obliged. The bouncers inched closer and closer, ready to pounce and probably beat our asses. In our last ditch attempt to get a picture of a lifetime- we made our move. I set Pepito on stage with a Tecate and managed to snap off a picture. The flash filled the entire club. The bouncers stood up and I picked Pepito up and took off running. We all ran for our lives out of the No Cover Club and out into the night.

Now, I was ready to go home. I had the picture of a thousand words so now all I had to do was get Pepito over the border and into the US and A. We stood in line with hundreds of drunken partiers. We managed to crawl through brawls, drunk college kids, and police with donkey intact. The boys left it up to me to get Pepito past the border. There I stood, drunk as a skunk, trying desperately to bring Pepito to freedom. The border patrol was not amused when she looked up at me with a big shit eating grin plastered on my face and my arms around my precious burro.

“Where are you from ma’am?” she asked in a deadpan voice.

“America!” I exclaimed.

“Where in America, ma’am?”

“Oh, uhh, Texas!” I said brightly.

“And how much was your donkey?”

“10 whole dollars!” I announced proudly, not even blinking.

“Go on through.”

I could not believe my luck! They didn’t even x-ray him. I could’ve smuggled 10 pounds of cocaine in Pepito and gotten away with it! So I rejoined my drunken cohorts and celebrated a successful night with my Pepito.

The next morning I woke up after an hour of drunken sleep and had breakfast with the wedding party that decided not to go to Tijuana. I lumbered downstairs in a hangover haze and checked out of my room. My ex-roomie, Art came into the lobby and announced to everyone there, “Oh my god, is that a donkey?” He grabbed Pepito and looked at me accusingly and asked, “You went to the donkey show, didn’t you?!” I wanted to die of embarrassment. Over breakfast I had to explain to 15 people, including Art’s parents, why I had a donkey and what I did in Tijuana.

After breakfast, I strapped Pepito into the front seat of my car, pulled the top down on my rented convertible, and took my donkey to the beach. I slept off my hangover in the sand and happily tucked away the night’s memories away in my head. I headed over to the airport that afternoon. I began to worry about getting Pepito onto the plane. I wrapped him in my beach towel and sent him through the x-ray machine and hoped for the best. The x-ray operator came around and pulled me aside.

“ Um, we broke your donkey.”

I stared at my donkey feeling completely devastated. We had survived 15 hours of Tijuana bars, clubs, strip bars, and border patrol only to be injured by the San Diego Airport. I sniffled as I picked up Pepito and his broken leg off the conveyor belt.

I managed to get Pepito all the way home in 2 pieces. So, here he sits with me in my office and keeps me company. Since then, we acquired for him an afro wig for Halloween, a funeral tie in November, and a friend from Australia (Kangaroo) and Puerto Rico (Rooster). Viva el burro!

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