Lady Writers Form Mini Crime Syndicate
Dark Batman and Robin turn to drug smuggling
Rochelle had been driving the same tired ghost-gray Toyota Corolla for a decade, and she was certain it would make an ideal drug-smuggling vehicle.
If you want to blend in south of the border (where the drugs were), then having a beat-up car was a no-brainer.
Last week, two otherwise unassuming suburban, white women decided to become drug smugglers for a Mexican cartel. They’d had enough of low-paying corporate and retails jobs. Shaundra, 47, brought along a Swiss army knife for protection. Her partner-in-crime, Rochelle, was not impressed:
“Honey, unless we are using that to open a bottle of burgundy, it’s probably not going to help.”
“Puh-leeze, girl — you think that rusty sword in the backseat is going to do us any good? Do you even have training in sword fighting?”
“I was on my college fencing team.”
“I had no idea.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me, Shaundra.”
After an extended evening of downing cheap Merlot, the ladies agreed their best bet for raising enough money to retire was drug smuggling. They’d recently finished watching The Mule with Clint Eastwood.
Rochelle, recently divorced and supporting two grown children, was tired of being a doormat, or as she put it more bluntly:
“Dammit! I’m sick and tired of being treated like a doormat!”
Shaundra was no shrinking violet — although, in a mild twist of verbal irony, her middle name is Violet — but she’d settled for a job as a legal secretary and her boss was driving her bananas.
She moonlighted as a freelance writer, which is how she met Rochelle.
Pastels and White Shoes
The ladies had a simple plan: drive to El Paso, locate someone who wanted drugs smuggled, dip south into Juarez, and return the same day. They would wear pastels, white shoes, and coiffed hair styles.
They would listen to Jimmy Buffet tunes.
They would not stop, except to buy Cokes with real sugar once they were across la frontera.
Shaundra pointed out they should each bring a second driver’s license, in case la policia pulled them over. She’d heard it on good authority you tell The Man (El Hombre) that yes, you would follow them to the police station to pay the fine.
“Si, Senor, we’ll go ahead and follow you to the station!”
But unbeknownst to the El Hombre, you’d given them a fake driver’s license so you drove somewhere else, like down the highway out of town.
This left the keystone cops with two fake licenses and a story to tell on Medium, where they, too, were probably making virtually no money.
So the ladies met up in El Paso. They didn’t know each other very well, having met only a month before after corresponding online. Both were Medium writers with large followings, and both were down to earning $145 per month because the platform changed its algorithm.
Professional Researchers, Amateur Linguists
The ladies re-watched The Mule, this time sober.
They determined that El Paso is the best place to meet drug smugglers, especially if they could find the right auto repair shop. Neither lady speaks Spanish — Rochelle opted for French in high school, and Shaundra only spoke a watered down version of jive because Airplane! was her favorite movie of all time.
But they had a secret weapon: they didn’t look like drug smugglers. They looked like touristas out for an adventure and dos o tres margaritas.
They met on a Monday afternoon and checked into a grubby El Paso Airbnb. For safety, they pocketed the pocket knife and drove to the creepiest auto repair shop in the barrio, where they began interviewing prospective employers.
Monday was a very long day. In the end, Shaundra got a proposition to make a “little movie” in Juarez, while Rochelle vowed to never again pound the pavement searching for a drug smuggling opportunity wearing the wrong shoes. She immediately bought herself a pair of Sketchers.
The next day, they hit pay dirt. A man called El Greco (“The Greek”) said he would hire them immediately but they would have to go into Juarez, drive south to Casas Grandes, and then drive across the border.
The ladies conferred and made a quick decision.
“No problema, Senor Greco — we can drive over today.”
“Fantastico!” he replied. “Here is your car. My apologies, it is old and uncomfortable — but very reliable.”
El Greco gave them the keys to a 1976 ice blue Chevette with a lot of special compartments. The ladies were unimpressed and somewhat disappointed but they both had excellent manners, so they thanked The Greek profusely for the opportunity.
El Greco handed them a map to the appointed location, telling them their contact was The Black Badger (El Tejon Negro). They shook their new boss’s hand, which was partially covered in engine oil, and smiled sweetly, before climbing into their lackluster, sh*tty Chevy.
El Greco smiled, tipped his black cowboy hat, and told them he would pay $2,000 and they would never run out of work.
“Adios, mujeres,” he said, as they rolled out of the body shop and pointed the nose of the Chevette south.
Mexican Prison is Worse than You Think
The story of what happened when Rochelle and Saundra drove to Casas Grandes, picked up five pounds of cocaine, and tried to drive across the border at Juarez didn’t end well.
A German shepherd named Roscoe took a special interest in their dented, dusty vehicle, then a border patrol agent named Brian confiscated their map.
Brian told them:
“Ladies, I am very disappointed.”
Neither Rochelle or Shaundra is wearing pastels anymore, as it turns out pretty duds can be traded for protection in Mexican prison. Rochelle hasn’t given up her Sketchers, however, as of this writing.
Neither knows when their plan went south, no pun intended, but they are both pissed off at Clint Eastwood for making it look so easy.
On the plus side, the gringas now speak excellent street Spanish.