Well, here we are folks, almost ready to go, and starting the NASA based countdown for the next Mexican adventure for the Danger’s clan. In less than 24 hours we’ll be boarding that big airliner and setting the controls for the heart of the sun, as we soar off for the tropics, once again. The hotel is booked, the locals have been warned, passport is ready and we’re locked and loaded for pterodactyl hunting during spring break in Cancun, Mexico. That’s of course unless the cave bats don’t get us on the way to the airport or the midnight hour airport transport driver doesn’t get too caught up tracking Bigfoot, Aliens or Bush conspiracy theories on route while listening to Coast to Coast radio, on the red eye special we’re traveling.
Three AM in the morning is a weird hour to be out and about, and sober, or relatively sober, in the middle of the week. There’s some really strange folks out there inhabiting the planet that most people never run into, late night transport drivers are some of them. One guy we had a few years back decided to take a short cut through our beloved Pinelands, home to New Jersey’s infamous and legendary Jersey Devil, on a dirt road, out by the cranberry bogs, in the middle of nowhere, near what we call our country cottage and right up the road from the abandoned luncheonette, out and about where a sole Mexican Aviator named Carranza made his final flight and peace with his maker in 1928. Of course, half way down the road, his state of the art GPS stopped working, and he needed our dead reckoning and familiarity with the terrain to bail him out, and get us back on course to the airport. Not before scaring the hell out of himself when an early buck bolted from behind the bog bridge that had us roaring with laughter, damn city slickers.
Yet another driver was the former King of the Drive-In Theater business in NJ, down on his luck, making bucks driving at night and pedaling his hard luck story about failed movie ventures, and lamenting the loss of the Drive-In business in the late great things, of Americana past. I sympathized with him, even as Mrs. D spilled my last cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream and coffee on the floor looking for the plane tickets. I miss drive-in movies, their double features, love in the backseat of a 55 Chevy, those funky refreshment stand ad trailers and the smell of ganga in the air when the second feature finally started somewhere past midnight, when it didn’t matter whether the hanging speaker worked or not.
Then there was the guy with the Coast to Coast Talk Radio buzz, who finally found someone, who knew more about Area 57, Burning Man and the Maya descending god Kukulkan than he did, me. We could have debated for hours and Mrs. D was working my shins like a beaver hitting soft wood on a backwoods pond as I kept putting torque to the conversation. As he was letting us out at the International Terminal, we agreed to meet in 2012 at Chichen Itza to celebrate the end of the world or the return of the little people, which ever came first. However, I bet he was great fun at a peyotl party in the late 60’s or 70’s seeking out the lizard king under the guise of some hyphenated pet detective, I think I still miss him.
Return trips aren’t half the fun, those guys are all business, fresh with local news, weather and sports, hell who needs Action News when I can get caught up on the local scene in 30 minutes from a guy who use to make YooHoo for a living, before the plant closed down. There was this one trip, just this past October, when I had an obvious Republican sentimented driver at his wits end, when I declared, along with my newly found democratic, African American friends, and the wash room lady who needed a lift, that if the R’s stole another election, we should all take to the streets, to take the country back from the Neo Cons, and fascists in control. I still remember his face as we were getting out of the van, him with our luggage in hand, us shouting “Attica, Attica, Attica” with our new best friends. Maybe, it was “Obama, Obama, Obama”, I don’t remember but hell it was fun, almost as much fun as the time I gave Spiro Agnew the finger but that’s another subversive story.
In any case, we ponder what’s to come, what new adventure will shortly be upon us in Mexico, what strange new turf we’ll uncover and the strange looks we’ll get from other travelers as our next driver debates us on the duality of man, as seen through the eyes of Stanley Kubrick, in Full Metal Jacket, and whether old cameras and diminishing horizon lines allow for the new American perspective, as we set the controls for the heart of the sun in Cancun, Mexico.
We’re goin’ in…it could be dangerous.
No sense in mentioning these bats, the poor bastard will see them soon enough…