Monday, June 8, 2009

Reality vs. Fantasy- A Burger King Tale

Something happened to me on Friday that I've been stewing about. A situation arose, I chose a course of action and as soon as it was over I started rewriting the scene in my head with fantasies of how else it could have gone down. Part of me really, really wished I had done something different, but alas, upon reflection, I made the best choice for me and my character. Here's how it really went:

Scene: Burger King, day, woman (that's me!) sits reading a book while her son creates chaos in the play area. Tattooed gringo man enters BK and starts to approach woman. She realizes who he is and wonders what he wants, her heart pounding in anticipation of a confrontation.

Man (in an Alabama accent): Maam, I see you wearing the uniform for (insert my company's name here) so I know you teach English, can you help me out? My wife and I are trying to make a phone call back to the states, we're staying in a hostel and lost all our money, can you spare a few dollars so we can make a call?

Woman (calmly, hiding her incredulity and anger): Sorry, I've got nothing, just had enough to pay for my son's lunch.

Man (nervously): Ok, just need to find two freaking dollars.....mumble mumble

Man walks away, bothers other patrons in BK and finds someone willing to give him a few pesos.

the end

Now here is my fantasy about how I might have played it......

Scene: Burger King, day, woman sits reading a book while her son creates chaos in the play area. Tattooed gringo man enters BK and starts to approach woman. She realizes who he is and wonders what he wants, her heart pounding in anticipation of a confrontation.

Man (in an Alabama accent): Maam, I see you wearing the uniform for (insert my company's name here) so I know you teach English, can you help me out? My wife and I are trying to make a phone call back to the states, we're staying in a hostel and lost all our money, can you spare a few dollars so we can make a call?

Woman: Really? Really? You're a tourist in a hostel but you know that the name of the company on my shirt is an English school in Cancun? And you mention a wife but I don't see her or a ring? Oh, and how about the part that I know who YOU are MIKE. What, you don't remember me? But you were in my apartment, back on Sayil! Yes, in my apartment when I wasn't there stealing my stuff, my jewelry, DVD player, my camera with my Belize pictures still on it, you must remember that, you scored that day! And you don't recall when we caught you robbing another apartment in the complex and the neighbours beat the crap out of you? No? Not ringing any bells you $%@#$%?

Man (with jaw on floor): But, but....uh,

Woman: And you don't recall being hauled off to jail? Or coming back to the same apartment complex to try to rob it again and being accused of assaulting the property manager? Oh, I remember you quite clearly MIKE. And I know you are a wanted man in the USA aren't you? The police told us you were wanted in connection with a methamphetamine operation but they couldn't do anything. Love the Hell's Angels tats by the way. And gee, let's see, you're in Mexico illegally too, or did you get an FM3 permit to beg and scam people in restaurants? Hold on for sec while I call my friends in immigration.....

Woman kicks man in the nuts and ties him up with her belt as she calls her immigration friends into action. The friendly neighbourhood police officer shows up to help her out, holding Man down while they wait for the INM officers. INM shows up with the paddy wagon and promptly removes man from BK, thanking the woman profusely for her good deed in finding this illegal criminal in Cancun, telling her that he will be extradited immediately and sent to jail in the US for his crimes. The police, immigration officers and the woman shout "Hip hip hooray for justice!" and raise their large sodas in a toast.

the end

Well, the end of my fantasy. All the things that I could have said to Man are true, it was the man that robbed us years ago in our first Cancun apartment, he lived in the same building . I think he recognized me as he was making his pitch (LYING) to me, but he couldn't back down after starting, he took my "No" very quickly and walked away hiding his face. I know I did the right thing in just letting it pass, but man, the fantasy sequence (especially the nut kicking part) sure makes me smile! Sometimes I wish I was better at confrontation, but I think it was healthier (and safer) to just let this one pass. Too bad, he really deserves that kick!

What would you have done?


Sara said...

That's crazy. So the first part, the robbery, happened in the US?

I honestly think that given the fact that your son was there with you, you did the best thing.

I've had sort of an ongoing dialogue like this about what I will say to my stalker. Luckily, he doesn't know where I live, but a week ago he invited me and my boyfriend (!?!?!) to his birthday party. I sooo wanted to respond, but I didn't.

I think you chose well.


CancunCanuck said...

Sara- No, the robbery was in our first apartment here in Cancun, but the thief was this American guy. And creepy stalker? I think you did well to just not reply, cookooo!

Amanda said...

I think you chose well too. Though if you ever see him again, I suggest kicking him in the nuts.

CancunCanuck said...

Amanda- I've seen him twice before the BK incident, both times while driving. Fought the urge to run him over.

Kelly said...

I would have done the same thing - he's clearly not someone I would want to risk pissing off since he's a CRIMINAL. Plus, Max was there! You made the right decision.

Steve Cotton said...

I guess I am in the minority here. But I know your wit, and you could have easily used it for a separate fantasy scenario.

Something like: "Hi, Mike. Wow, good to see you. Short on money? How could that be? What about all those things you stole from me? Silly me. Of course, when you fence stolen goods, you never get a good exchange rate, do you? Bummer. Where is the justice in that. The jackboot of the man is always on the neck of the good people. But, let me help you. [To BK customers] Hey, everybody. This is Mike. He's a crankhead. If you have any spare change, give it to him. Otherwise, he's liable to steal your car. [To Mike] Anything else I can do to help?"

Of course, I used to get paid for doing tis type of stuff. But, you iould have pulled it off -- no trouble.

1st Mate said...

I like Steve's option, but I guess having been a mother myself I'd take the same one you did. Besides, chances are few people in the place wouldn't have understood anyway unless it was spoken in Spanish. What would have been ideal would be if you had a phone that took photos and you snapped a quick shot of him, with some innocent comment like "Ohhh, cool tats!"

Mauricio Mastache said...

Hey Canuck, is this guy the same asking for money in yaxchilan Av. together with a short black hair skinny woman, telling everybody his daddy in texas send her money but she needs to call Texas. and ask you for money??? I think I know her.

Gaelyn said...

I think you did the right thing, including the fantasy. Especially the kicking in the nuts. What an a-hole.

Sher said...

Hi CacunCanuck,
I would have done what you did, especially if my kids had been nearby. Better to just let it go. However, having said that, if there was a better time in the future to turn that guy in, I would sure do it!

WBSD is almost here! Please visit for updates and the link list.

This should be a fun one with the theme of food! Can’t wait to see what the posts will be like on Saturday!

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

WriteToSaveMyLife said...

Hey I've been reading your blogs and really enjoy them. I just started my own yesterday, I would love for you to read and follow mine. Max is adorable P.S.

Cheers, Suzanne

Matt Swift said...

I probably would have gotten aggressive and confronted him. Sounds like a dangerous thing to do, especially for a woman and her son. You did the right thing.

Kelly said...

You've probably seen this, but my mother-in-law was checking it out the other day (she's a blogger, too!) and I thought I'd pass it along just in case:

Have a great one!

CancunCanuck said...

Kelly- I am glad I didn't do anything, especially with Max there. Don't mess with methheads could be a good slogan..... :)

Steve- Ok, I want you in my corner please! My wit is reserved for "witty repartee", I can banter with the best but in a confrontation situation, I am a blubbering mess. I find my witty words a few minutes after the encounter and often wish for a "do over". Usually it's a good thing, the clever barbs that eventually come to me could be lethal to the unsuspecting. ;-)

1st Mate- I would have loved to have announced (in Spanish) to the whole restaurant what was going on, I'm sure he wouldn't have understood anything. I think the "mom" instinct kicks in for sure, I honestly didn't want him to even know who Max was, I have enough kidnapping nightmares without thinking about a "real" bad guy having his eye on my boy. I was glad Max was high up on the climbing equipment.

Mauricio- Oooh, might be the same, my husband has told me that he has seen him on Yax. It's an old "scam" (decepcion) that he is working, people in Toronto used it all the time, so it could be another pendejo on Yaxchilan. :)

Gaelyn- Hallelujah amiga, he sure needs a kick. (He did get a good beating from the neighbours when he was caught crawling out a broken window with a DVD player under his arm. When the police arrived and saw him on the ground getting kicked, they said "Gee, too bad he fell out that window", they didn't stop the kicks for a couple of minutes!)

Sher- I wish it were so easy to turn people in, it is a bit of a complicated situation! A few years ago there was a guy I knew in town, it turned out he is wanted for murder in the US. Another friend did all they could to get him extradited, but even the FBI couldn't do anything and they knew who he was and wanted him back! Anywho, looking forward to the group blog effort! Does candy count as food? ;-)

Yo Quiero Cancun- Hi Suzanne, welcome! Glad to have you join us here. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures, hope it all works out as planned. :)

Matt- You could take him, you've got better tats and fewer addictions, lol! I feel certain I did the right thing, but a girl can fantasize about kicking butt sometimes, right? :)

Kelly- Thanks, big fan of problogger, I follow him on twitter too. Great resource!

Jonna said...

You did the right thing Canuck, it's never as satisfying as the fantasies but it was the smart reaction. Meth heads have no brain and what passes for one connects the dots in a whole different pattern than we do, you just can't predict how they will react or see things. Life is never as satisfying as the comics, I hate that ;)

Anonymous said...

I have a simple rule for things like this. Can I take him? If yes, he'll get a mouthful of my thoughts on the subject at hand. If he doesn't like it he'll also get a mouthful of knuckles.

If no, I move along. The twat who robbed me at gunpoint last year...he wasn't big. If I bump into his acne scarred features out and about and doesn't have a weapon, I'm going to skip the first part and go on to the second. If there's no one around, I'll steal from him. Every item of clothing he is wearing. That's all I want. I'll start a little pavement fire with them, and wish him bon voyage on his way home.

Yes, I plan confrontations too.

But you had Max, and that changes everything. My fantasy above applies only if Paola isn't present.

Heather said...

I think i would have done the same thing. Just like you, in my dreams I wish I would have wanted to hurt him but in reality, i would have just let it go.

My Way said...

Wow. Yeah. That one kinda hit close to home. I wish I would have been able to the same thing to someone I know.

You did the right thing though. Max was there.


Sucks that they get away with that shit.

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