Thursday, May 14, 2015

Getting the Kahlua (aka Yet Another Weird Title)


My recent weekend in Mexico made me think of something that happened when late Other Half and I lived in Tucson. Sometime in the 1980s, I forgot exactly when, my non-drinker aunt went on a Caribbean cruise and discovered Kahlua.

Ken and I traveled to New England every year, in late August or early September. My aunt asked me to bring her a bottle of Kahlua. The liqueur is made in Mexico, so she thought we could get it cheaper in Arizona.

I knew we could get it even cheaper In Mexico, and I knew who could help us do that. We had a friend who lived in the city, but her family lived in a small town in the U.S., across from the international border. So one Saturday, Ken and I and our friend, whom I’ll call “Maria,” made a trip to Agua Prieta, Sonora, to buy a bottle of Kahlua.

First, we stopped at a shop on the U.S. side of the border and changed about twelve dollars into pesos. Then we borrowed a car belonging to Maria’s family, crossed the border, and went to a shop where Maria was acquainted with the owner.

Maria did her best to persuade the owner to give us a lower price, but he was having none of it. I really wanted the Kahlua, so I reluctantly paid full price. I don’t remember what that was, but I do know that it was less than I would have paid in the States.

When we crossed back into Arizona, Maria took a shortcut down a dirt road. A pack of four or five stray dogs appeared out of nowhere and ran in front of the car. Sadly, one of them didn’t make it to the other side of the road. I freaked, but there was nothing we could do.

On the way home, we ran into a thunderstorm near St David. I wanted to pull over to the side of the road and wait it out, but Ken vetoed that suggestion. As we approached Benson, the storm worsened. Sheets of rain and high winds pummeled the truck, making it difficult to see any vehicles in front of us.

That’s when Ken decided to get off the road. He pulled into a truck stop on the outskirts of Benson. We sat at the counter because a lot of people apparently had the same idea Ken did. And there was a private party going on in the dining room.

Shortly after we arrived, the power failed. The lights blinked twice and went out. About a minute later, a woman in the dining room screamed. Her scream was followed by a very loud crash. I figured someone had dropped a tray loaded with glasses and dinnerware.

I turned to Maria and said, “I think somebody goosed the waitress.”

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