I don’t make a habit of listening in on people’s conversations, but sometimes – okay, that’s a lie – some of my best stories are the result of observation and selective eavesdropping. But I hold that what one sees and hears in the plaza lies in the public domain – and anyway – the two crusty rancheros were only talking about the weather.
WHITE HAT: I hate cold weather and winter is just starting.
DARK HAT: This is not cold, señor.
WHITE HAT: Not cold, you say? We’ve already had two snows, there was frost on my pickup this morning. My feet are cold and my nalgas are frozen to the bench!
DARK HAT: (Laughs) No, señor this is not what I would call cold.
WHITE HAT: (Indignantly!) No, señor? And just what would you call cold?
DARK HAT: Last winter I worked on the construction of the new road up in the sierra in Chihuahua. It was so cold we had to put our lunches on the motor of the tractors to keep them from freezing. Have you ever eaten a beef taco with frozen salsa?
WHITE HAT: No señor, I have never eaten a beef taco with frozen salsa.
DARK HAT: We had to heat rocks and hold them to keep our hands from freezing and falling off. Even the coffee would freeze in the cup!
WHITE HAT: (Only shakes his head. In awe or disbelief, I couldn’t tell.)
DARK HAT: Then, señor, when you had to pee it was even worse. Your zipper freezes. When you finally force it down and you reach in, your hands are so numb you feel nothing. And you can’t find the iguana. And you end up with a big icicle in your pants., That, señor, is cold!
WHITE HAT: Si, señor that is cold.
And the plaza is still as cold today. Even the street singers are afraid to venture out. Only those hardy Canadian mariachis could manage on a day like this. Don’t laugh! There really are Canadian mariachis! Reader Richard Best of Bowen Island sent this shot to prove i t!