There is so much about my first trip to Mexico that do not recall. Not that it was nearly four-decades ago, but because it was a booze-fill weekend where I had no one other than myself to be responsible for or to.
There were five of us, and I sat in the middle, in the back seat of the rented car we were using. In fact, aside from me, the only person I can remember with any certainty is Mike O’Gorman, whom I nicknamed “Jughead,” as he reminded me of the Archie comic book character of the same name.
Up until that time, I had not ventured very far outside of the San Antonio area for worry that I might get lost and have to explain why I didn’t make it back to base in time for morning-time muster. So going to Mexico was a big deal for me and I could hardly wait to get there.
The quickest route was to take Interstate 35 to Laredo and crossing the border into Nuevo Laredo. It was only two-and-half-hour drive but by that time we each chomping at the bit to wet our whistles and meet some South-of-the-Border beauties.
Once across the border, we began asking around for the best watering-hole to be found. This is the last fully cognizant memory I have until Monday morning when I woke up in the trunk of our rented car and being hustled into our barracks get ready for the duty-day.
The particular saloon, bar, club or what have you – the name also escapes me – was full of American Expats who were more than willing to buy (I never spent a dime all weekend,) a round or seven for a group of servicemen on furlough. My haziness kicked in shortly after this point in our adventure.
Aside from drinking, what I do recall is following a couple of fellow American’s from one place to the next. In one instance, we even stopped to get something to eat as we hadn’t eaten anything since morning.
In my mind’s eye, when I reflect back on that moment, it seems like it was nighttime. Anyway, I ordered several of whatever, deciding that the last one had to be the hottest they could make.
Talk about being instantly sobered. First, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see and then I couldn’t stand, having slid off my stool onto the floor and beneath our table.
In retrospect – I can honestly say that I passed out. When I awoke, which was not even seconds after dropping on the floor, everyone was laughing and I did my best to join in, but I think the sudden expulsion of food and alcohol from my body made it a difficult matter.
But, still unwilling to give in, we continued to other places, all on foot to find drink, food and awful side-street exhibitions. Because I had gotten sick, I was no longer as drunk as everyone else in my party.
After being served our drinks, a portly naked woman walked onto the center floor, which I had assumed was a dance area, guiding a mule on a lead. What she proceeded to do with that animal, I refuse to even bother giving words to – it was disgusting, but not wanting to seem uncool in front of American Expat friends, we laughed and carried on like it was the greatest show on earth.
Except for ‘Jughead,’ he wasn’t laughing – instead he was rubbing his face in her hairy-spot like he’d never seen one before. I nearly got sick for a second time.
After witnessing that, I decided I was going to have to wash that sight out of my brain by killing a few memory-cells in whatever alcoholic swill served to me. It didn’t take long for me to become so drunk that I couldn’t really remember up from down or left from right and I stayed there until around two in the morning on Monday.
In reality, I had awaken long before we got back to base. However the more I kicked and louder I screamed to be let out of the ‘god-damned trunk,’ the greater the howls of laughter came from the back and front seat’s of our car.
The booze must have caught up with at some point in the trip back because I have no memory of going through the front-gate of Brooks Air Force Base. In fact, it was a shock to see sunlight once the trunk opened and I was being half-lifted, half-dragged into Building #512.
Afterwards, I decided that if I ever returned to Mexico, I’d either be by myself or in the company of a pretty woman. So, being the romantic that I am, a few years later I went there by myself and wound up in jail for a month.
Oh – and as for O’Gorman and that woman – he claimed he had no memory of doing such a nasty thing and swore up and down that we were making it up.