Posts Tagged ‘Columbus Day’

Columbus Day Post: Down Mexico Way (From To Fetch A Thief)


October 12th, 2020 Posted 8:29 am

I’ve been in dives before – that comes with the job – but never one as divey at La Pulqueria. Dark and smoky with walls stained brown and a floor that stuck to my paws with every step, plus a smell of human urine that was off the charts, if off the charts means the most powerful I’ve ever come across, except for that one time on the freeway when a truck carrying a load of portable toilets wrecked right in front of us.

There was one customer at the bar, slumped over it and motionless, his hand around a glass, drool coming from the corner of his mouth. We stood as far from him as possible. The bartender approached. She was hefty, wore a low-cut top and gold hoop earrings that touched her shoulders, looked kind of puffy and tired.

“Pulque?” she said.

“Cerveza, por favor,” said Bernie.

She opened a bottle, took a glass off a shelf and set them on the bar, said something in that Mexican way I didn’t understand. Bernie laid a greenback on the bar. The bartender seemed to perk up. She said something else. Bernie said something that made her laugh. Did it also make her lean forward, giving Bernie an even lower-cut view? Bernie tried and failed not to look; I’d seen that happen many times. He raised the bottle as though to fill the glass, then paused.

“Salud,” he said.

“Salud,” said the bartender.

Bernie drank, but right from the bottle. I couldn’t help noticing the fly at the bottom of the glass. Bernie was fussy about things like that. That was one difference between us. There may be others, but none came to mind at that moment.


Happy Columbus Day!


October 14th, 2019 Posted 8:24 am

We don’t mean it in a harmful way. The urge for conquest, domination, and wanting others to believe as we, is part of what we carry in our genetic baggage. But, as the Katherine Hepburn character (a spinster missionary in southwest Africa) says to the Humphrey Bogart character (gin-swilling riverboat captain) in The African Queen:

“Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”


Happy Columbus Day!


October 8th, 2018 Posted 7:34 am

“Could have been a lot better,” says Pete. “Could have been worse. Weren’t Cortes and Pizarro worse? Isn’t there an element of historical inevitability?”

“Those twin conquistador obsessions – gold and conversions – are off-putting,” Spence says.

“Now you’re sounding like Bernie.”

“Is that a surprise? And speaking of the Chet and Bernie series, we’re contractually obligated to remind readers that HEART OF BARKNESS is now available for pre-order.”


Happy Columbus Day!


October 9th, 2017 Posted 8:40 am

“Columbus,” says Admin. “Could have been better, could have been worse. Weren’t Cortes and Pizarro worse? Most of it’s just historical inevitability. Continents separated by vast oceans. The development on one side of ships capable of crossing them. Suppose the Atlantic Ocean was only as wide as the English Channel. Then ‘Columbus’ would have been Phoenician or something even earlier. And all the migration would have been lost in the mists of early history and we wouldn’t be so riled up.”

“Um, er,” says Spence. “Those twin conquistador obsessions – gold and conversions – are off-putting.”

“Now you’re sounding like Bernie.”

“Is that a surprise?”


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