ZEBRA STRIPES, PINSTRIPES, AND EXTREME DONKEYS.

Did I ever tell you about the time that I went camping in the Mexican desert by accident?

It was in the mid 1980s and I was performing my show in the USA.

I had some time off, so I went to have a wee look around.

I had got as far as the city of San Diego, when one night I met up with some young American guys in a bar.

We got talking, and drinking, and they were a really good laugh.

It turned out they were on a cycling trip, from San Diego into Mexico, and down into Baja California.

map_baja

Wow! What a great trip!

Well after a few drinks they invited me to come along with them, and after a few more drinks I agreed to go.

We shook on hands on it, sealed the deal with Tequila slammers, and staggered off into the sunrise to get a couple of hours sleep before the big Mexican adventure.

TequilaShot-1

They already had their bikes with them.

So first thing the next morning, I took my hangover, and went to the bike hire shop, where I hired a bike.

All six of us met up at the designated spot, got on our bikes and crossed over the boarder into Tijuana, Mexico.

postcard, tijuana, large letter linen

Let the adventure begin!

It was only as we were queuing up at the border crossing that it became apparent that the American lads were planning to camp out in the desert, I had just assumed we would be staying in hostels or cheap hotels.

No worries, this is supposed to be an adventure, I’ll just buy a tent in Tijuana.

Now there are a lot of things that you can easily buy in Tijuana; drink, drugs, women, donkeys, big Mexican hats, but it turned out that tents were not really big on the list of things that people wanted from a trip south of the boarder.

pinataShop

I tried a few shops, and with my very basic grasp of the Spanish language tried to buy a tent.

No luck!

I was about to give up when I saw a sort of hardware store place, one of those shops that seems to sell a bit of everything.

The shopkeeper was grumpy, and didn’t speak English.

I was hung over and grumpy and didn’t speak Spanish.

By now I was wishing that I had opted for a bungee jump instead of a cycling trip.

Let the adventure begin…

I could not get the guy to understand what I was after when suddenly the gods of stupid adventures smiled upon me, and there at the back of the shop, on a top shelf, I spotted a cardboard box with a line drawing of a tent on it.

tent best

Bingo!

I pointed, and shouted: Tent! Tent! Tent!… Tent!  I’ll take that.

Luckily I managed to shout loud enough and for long enough for the shopkeeper to hone in on the item that I wanted.

It must have looked like a slightly angry adult version of that kid’s game where you get hotter and colder depending on how close to the hidden thing you get.

The shopkeeper and myself had both gotten hotter, well sweatier.

Finally he got down the box with a drawing of a tent on it, I paid my money, took my tent and left.

I don’t know which one of us was more relieved?

Me to have bought my tent, or him to have gotten the noisy Gringo Loco out of his shop.

Ok ready, let the adventure begin…again!

I strapped the box to my bike, met up with the rest of the team, and we set off.

beardy bike

We cycled for 7 hours out of Tijuana and into the Mexican desert.

It was a long, hot, dusty road.

I was knackered, the American guys had trained for this ride, I hadn’t been on a bike in years.

In Tijuana they famously have Donkeys painted to look like Zebras and you can get you photograph taken with one.

Zebra donk

I don’t know how or when this tradition started but all the Zebras in Tijuana are just donkeys badly painted with stripes.

But understand me when I tell you; the scraggiest, skankiest of those donkeys looked more like a zebra than I looked like a cyclist.

My legs were sore, I was too hot, and my arse was redder than Cardinal Keith O’Brien playing truth or dare.

mexican Bike-600x353

Eventually we stopped at the place were we would be camping for the night.

The American lads all set up their high tech tents.

Tents which sprung open at the slightest nudge, and had only to be placed on the ground and you were ready to move in for a night of high tech camping comfort.

Fancy tent

I found my self a good spot, cleared the ground of twigs and rocks, unstrapped my cardboard box with a line drawing of a tent on it.

Only to discover that it wasn’t a tent!

Instead of a tent, I had bought myself a Wendy House!

Wendy house 3

 I slept for five days in the Mexican desert in a fucking Wendy House.

 At least when it got too hot I could roll up my windows.

——————————————————-

When the fleas are more important than the dog..

Last week Gideon Osborne was trying his best to stop banker’s bonuses from being capped, while still trying to tell us that it was in OUR best interests!

evil osborne_2210362b

The big threat that we are always told is that if we don’t keep rewarding these parasites for their failures they will up sticks and move elsewhere.

Here is a poem that I have written in response.

champagne_1291852a

The bankers have gone over there.

The streets have now fallen silent,

The country is all in despair,

For the jewel of our crown has left us,

Since the bankers have gone over there.

Our women don’t look quite as pretty,

Our children now struggle to smile,

Since things have gone quiet in the city,

For the heroes have left the Square Mile.

Now the country is engulfed in darkness,

No laughter, no pleasure, no smiles,

Our children can’t have happy childhoods,

Since bankers moved to the Cayman Isles.

But the streets of Bermuda are happy,

And Switzerland is overflowing with joys,

While we tremble in fear and damnation,

Since we lost all our golden boys.

But some glorious day they’ll return,

Like the birds that come in the spring,

We’ll see pinstripe suits again in the city,

And every church bell shall ring.

And we will work hard at our jobs to pay them,

And every one will give them their due,

Because they need all the money we pay them,

They’re not mortals like me and like you.

What’s a banker without his big bonus?

What’s a banker without his big yacht?

What’s a banker without all of his millions?

They deserve everything that we’ve got.

Now the streets have all fallen silent,

The country is all in despair,

For the jewel of our crown has left us,

Since the bankers have gone over there.

bankers haopoy

One comment

  1. fionalongmuir

    “I slept for five days in the Mexican desert in a fucking Wendy House.” This is probably the best sentence I have ever read in my life. Was waiting for the punchline, didn’t expect that one haha. Hats off to ya sir.

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