- Mexicans

Tony put in as little time at his Second Chances basement office under Slimp & Fallon as he could, while feverishly rewriting his IRS exposé The Accountant the IRS Threw in Jail for NOT Filing Fraudulent Returns as a thinly veiled novel retitled Whiskey Willie and The Accountant the IRS Threw in Jail for NOT Filing Fraudulent Returns, by ‘Tony Fields’. Fictionalizing his book allowed Tony to take out some literary revenge on some of his real-life antagonists, by mocking and parodying them. Tony turned his family, employees, clients and business associates into grotesque caricatures, while making ‘Tony Fields’ a sympathetic, tragic figure.

Tony was making quick progress on his book, until a large group of Mexicans with a pair of American Pit Bulls began renting the home next door. Tony had been freed from the torment of barking dogs ever since his divorce from Gwen became final and he dumped all her dogs off at the Fresh Kill Landfill in Staten Island. The neighboring Pit Bulls barked and howled all day long. A half dozen cars were constantly pulling in or peeling out of the next door driveway. The crazy Latina women screamed in Spanish all day long and the Tejano music blasted all night. The only thing that Tony enjoyed was the aroma of the Mexican food cooking night and day, but all that did was make Tony crave enchiladas and tacos.

Tony’s yard was fenced in with a four foot picket fence which he feared could easily be jumped by the angry Pit Bulls next door. He decided to replace the fence on the side of the house that faced the Mexicans with an eight foot board-on-board cedar fence. Any fence more than six foot required a zoning variance which Tony ordinarily would have scorned. However, Tony had just been fined for adding an outdoor circuit without a permit, so he decided to play by the books and apply for zoning approval ahead of time.

 

 “A fence exceeding six foot in height requires approvals from the six homes surrounding you. They don’t have to do anything, you are just required to mail out notice to them – certified - detailing your proposed project. It is usually just a formality. So long as no one files an objection with the town, you can start your project in a month.”

“Why do I need permission from all of the neighbors? I am only putting the fence up on one side of the property.”

“I don’t know sir, but I’m sure the neighbors at that side of your house will appreciate being singled out like that.”

“I don’t think any of them even read English or are even in the country legally. I am not worried about them objecting.”

 

Just two days after mailing out the certified letters regarding his zoning request, Tony heard back from the Woodbridge Township Department of Planning and Development. “I’m afraid one of your neighbors has filed an objection to your zoning variance request. You are not going to be able to put up your fence.”

 Tony steamed. “But, it is my property. What is their objection?”

“They think the fence is racist.”

“That is ridiculous.”

“Well, your four foot fence suited you just fine for your previous, Caucasian neighbors.”

“The previous neighbors didn’t have two pit bulls! Nor did they blast Mariachi music outside at three in the morning!”

“You are lucky, sir, that they have the two pit bulls. Otherwise, we would require that you tear the four foot fence down, too.”

“But they are not even citizens. The Pit Bulls are the only thing American over there.”

“Our records show that there are no animals licensed in that house.”

“So, their dogs are illegal, too?”

“We prefer to call them undocumented doggies.”

 “There are about twenty illegal aliens living in that house. Doesn’t that violate some fire code?”

“We prefer to call them undocumented neighbors.”

“I see them hopping over my fence when they think I am not watching. I’m afraid to even go in my back yard now. They trained the Pit Bulls to jump my fence whenever they have to go. Isn’t that trespassing?”

“Can’t you just learn to share your property?”

“That is what Columbus said to the Indians.”

 “There is no such thing as an illegal neighbor.”

“Why do they have more rights than me? I was a taxpayer for years in this town, until I stopped paying my mortgage.”

“And, we are very grateful for your past support, Mr. Violette.”

“I’m almost looking forward to the day when Chase finally forecloses on my property.”

 

Tony tried to redirect the emotions of his rage against his neighbors into energy towards finishing his book. He began spending most of his waking hours in his office in Slimp & Fallon’s basement, preferring it now to his home with the Mexican neighbors. Still, Tony experienced constant cravings for Mexican food and he had tired of the Taco Bell drive through. Finally, he found a Mexican restaurant off of College Avenue that delivered in New Brunswick.

“Brunswick Burritos, pick up or vamos?”

“Ah, vamos, I think. Delivery.”

“Si señor.”

“Beef enchiladas with refried beans and chili tamales.”

“Si señor.”

“Fifty five hundred Livingston Avenue. Bottom floor.”

“Qué más?”

“Christmas?”

“No, mas food. Qué más?”

“That’s all I want.”

“No, $25 minimum order for vamos.”

“Twenty five dollar minimum for delivery? But you charge a $5 delivery charge!”

“Qué más?”

“Never mind” said Tony, hanging up the phone. “Twenty million illegal aliens in America, but you can’t get anyone to deliver a damn taco.”

Still craving Mexican food, Tony went upstairs to the law office looking for someone to order food with to get the order over $25. The famished receptionist, Missy, wanted in.

“Okay, Mrs. Missy: what did you want to order?”

“I’m not married.”

“Oh, I mean Miss Missy.”

“Actually, it’s Missy Christie.”

“Miss Missy Christie?”

“Just call me Chrissy: it’s a combination of Christie and Missy.”

“Okay, Miss Chrissy.”

“I want beef tacos, cheese enchiladas and chicken quesadilla.”

“How can such a little person order so much food?”

“It’s Friday. I don’t keep any food in my apartment, so I have to stock up on calories for the weekend.”

 “Okay, but you have to call in the order.”

“Why do I have to call in the order?”

“Because, I just hung up on them.”

“Oh, alright.” Missy called Brunswick Burritos. After nearly ten minutes of attempting to relay the order, she gave them Tony’s American Express number.  “They won’t accept American Express. They say it’s racist. Only Visa or Master Card.”

 Tony shook his head. “I am surprised they take Visa, since none of them have a visa.”  After reading off Tony’s Visa card number, Missy proceeded to give them ridiculous driving directions to the office. “Why the hell did you tell him to get on Route 1?”

“That’s how I get here from home.”

“Where do you live?”

“Pennsylvania”

“Pennsylvania? Why do you work as a receptionist in New Brunswick, New Jersey, if you live in Pennsylvania?”

“This is where I interned during college. I just never left.”

“But, you are a receptionist. Were you a law student at one time?”

“No. Communications. The internship classified just read: wanted, pretty blonde to make coffee and answer the phones.”

“Why would you answer an ad like that?”

“I was lucky to get the job. I lied on my résumé.”

“What did you lie about?”

“I didn’t know how to make coffee.”

“Still, it is ridiculous to drive all the way here from Pennsylvania five times a week.”

“I am right over the bridge, in New Castle.”

“But what about the expense of the commute?”

“Mr Slimp drives me in every day. I mean, I drove myself at first, but I kept getting lost.”

  “Well, the directions you gave were as if they were coming from Edison.”

“That’s because I know how to get to the Menlo Park Mall. I mean, sometimes I wind up at the Woodbridge Mall by mistake, but I am always able to find some mall.”

“Well, they are by Rutgers. They are in New Brunswick. We are in New Brunswick. There’s no need to get on the highway.”

“I know it’s not the shortest route, but it is the only way I know for 100% certain that they’ll get here.”

“He is never going to find us.”

“It’s alright, I am pretty sure he didn’t understand what I ordered, anyway.”

 “I should have just stopped at Taco Bell, again.”

“They’ll be here in a half hour. I guarantee it.”

A half hour later, the topographically-challenged Missy attempted to redirect the English language challenged Alejandro at Brunswick Burritos.”

“Even if he understood your indecipherable directions, the guy you are talking to isn’t the guy driving here.”

“I know. He said he would pass the new directions over to Jesús.”

“Why didn’t you ask for his cell number?”

“He said Jesús doesn’t speak English very well.”

After 60 minutes, Tony told Missy to call back and cancel the order. “I am not eating hour-old Mexican food. I’ll have the runs for a week.”

“They said he is almost here. He is just having trouble finding a parking spot. Plus, they already charged your card.”

Finally, a half hour later, Tony called himself. “This is Tony Violette. We called about two hours ago . . . beef tacos, cheese enchiladas, chicken quesadilla, the enchiladas, refried beans and chili tamales.”  

“Si señor, is there problem with order?”

“Yes, it never arrived.”

“Si señor?”

“The food: it isn’t here yet.”

“The driver, he twenty minutes.”

“What do you mean: ‘he twenty minutes’?”

“He twenty minutes.”

“‘He left twenty minutes ago or he will be here in twenty minutes’?”

“Si señor.”

Tony heard knocking on his office door. “Okay, I think I hear him now, thanks.”

“Si señor.”

At the door with Tony’s order was Jesús, his Mexican neighbor who went to the town and prevented Tony from putting up the fence in his own yard. Jesús said nothing and held the food back from Tony when he reached out for the bag. “I paid over the phone. I gave them my credit card number.”

“How do I know that was you?” asked Jesús.

“Don’t you recognize me, Jesus? I am your next door neighbor.”

“Si, señor, the fence guy. But I still must see ID.”

“You want identification from me?! You’re an illegal alien!”

“You must have papers, señor.”

“That’s racist!” shouted Tony.

“No papers, no food.”

Tony grabbed the bag of food from Jesús, spilling guacamole and chalupa on the floor. “The empanadas better be in there.” Tony slammed the door and locked it.

Twenty minutes later, Jesús returned with a New Brunswick police officer.

“Sir, I have a man with me who says you stole a bag of food from him.”

“Jesus, your second advent!” said Tony, coyly.

“Jesús, not Jesus” said Jesús, to Tony. Then, pointing to Tony, “That is the man, señor.”

“I paid for it, officer. It is my food.”

“Someone pay over phone, be he no show proof that it was him.”

“He knows who I am, officer. He is just trying to get back at me for some border dispute that I am having with his people.”

The policeman frowned and shook his head. “Sir, I am not interested in your politics. Let me see your ID.”

“Did you ask to see his ID?”

“He hasn’t been accused of a crime. That would be racial profiling.”

“Well, I am accusing him of a crime: filing a false report.”

“He hasn’t filed anything. You are either going to show me your ID or I will place you in hand cuffs and we will look through your wallet down at the station.”

Tony shook his head, pulled out his driver’s license and handed it to the cop. “You know, we put up with a lot of crap from the Mexicans, just because people like the food. It’s not like we need Mexicans to make Mexican food. There’s no secret syrup.”

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Where is Bourbon Billy? : Mexicans

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