For a few years in the bloom of youth a crew of us would periodically attend a local NFL home game. The point of which being much less to exhort the efforts of African mercenaries than to leer at cheerleaders and enjoy the camaraderie of drunken bullshitting. Though there was one game when even those pleasant diversions seemed insufficient, and so we trooped out of the stands looking for misadventure.
One of our party suggested the day would be a complete loss if the second half were to commence without our viewing it from one of the stadium’s lavish luxury boxes. We all agreed that was certainly the case, with the only acknowledged impediment being our lack of box-seat credentials–and that wasn’t impediment enough.
So we slipped past a disinterested guard on the mezzanine and made our way to a stately row of locked doorways. About to either give up or simply knock, a middle aged guy emerged in almost perfect synchronicity with our approach to one of the doors. So I grabbed the handle before it could swing closed, smiled broadly at his confusion, and said “Helluva game, huh?” He hesitatingly agreed that it was, but finally proceeded on his way allowing us to stroll in unmolested.
Now this was a spread befitting men of our self-perceived stature. Free food and drink (free for us, at any rate), attentive waitstaff, and soft leather seating made our noses quickly grow long looking down disdainfully at the common dregs beyond our polarized plate-glass. Yes, this was the life for us. How could we have not thought of this sooner?
There was a momentary pang of annoyance at being interrupted in the midst of an engrossing 17th retelling about that weekend with those girls. Though, bound by etiquette, I paused to look up and ask, “yes?”
Who the hell are you?
Well, that wasn’t a very nice question to ask. With more contemporary sensibilities I would have been suspicious we were being profiled as people highly unlikely to spring a hundred Gs on a luxury suite. And profiling is literally 20th century German national socialism. But I didn’t realize that at the time, and so simply conceded that we were undocumented ticket holders fleeing the war and poverty of the cheap seats.
I suppose our host must have dimly comprehended his moral obligation to grant us permanent asylum in the luxury box of our choice; though his nativist, xenophobic impulses ultimately prevailed. Shaking his head in disbelief he said.
Alright guys, you can stay the rest of this quarter. But at the start of the fourth you’re out of here or I’m calling security.
Sure, go ahead and call your brown-shirted box-seat border guards. No fan is illegal! But the truth was I had had a hilarious time already and knew our little gig was definitely on a timer. So Q4 was fine with me. But I was the pragmatist among idealistic antifa. And one of them stood before our accuser and announced that if he was going to talk to us like that we would just grab one or two more drinks for the road and leave right then and now.
I didn’t find this threat to leave to be a particularly well-conceived gambit given the frailty of our negotiating position. An opinion I subsequently shared with my friend as we were being escorted out the door a few moments later.
And though we laughed about the experience that day and many after, there was an important lesson beyond the one to not hire narcoleptic guards. That lesson being: never look a gay Mexican in the mouth.
I don’t actually know if Mexican economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo is gay. But I do know he negotiates like a drunk in someone else’s box. Discussing the looming NAFTA renegotiations, a perturbed Guajardo asserted that if Trump was going to talk about his siphon-hose of a country like that, then the Mexicans will just pack up their free-trade agreement and leave.
“If we’re going for something that is less than what we have now, it doesn’t make sense to stay in,” Guajardo said.
Beating numberless competition, I present the world’s dumbest Mexican. Of course it’s probably just the bluster of machismo, but what he’s saying is that zero is better than 80 if Mexico can’t keep having 100. And 80 is an important number for the minister to remember. Because that’s the percentage of his country’s exports sold to America. Having this enormous market (and source of national wealth) severely constricted would likely result in an enthusiastic return to the tradition of tumbling heads at Chichen Itza.
Poor Guajardo simply has little room to preen. Mexico exports their Indians and underclass, imports jobs and billions in remittances, and then presumes Trump will quake at their threat to scuttle the whole one-sided arrangement.
Why wait until the fourth quarter?
Speaking in favor of a “Mexico First” policy (excluding his citizen’s country of residence) Guajardo has said his delegation will “absolutely” walk away from the negotiating table if the wall and remittances are placed upon it. Ahh well, que sera sera. If Trump decides Mexico isn’t really offering us anything more than millions of uninvited Mexicans, he may just accept Guajardo’s offer to leave the luxury trading box right here and now. That would mean higher tequila prices for us, and Venezuela for them. Once the wall gets built that’s a trade I can contemplate with calm composure.