king arthur and the black booger brigade of bedlam

Sometimes I’m afraid of appearing too… immature. Perhaps this post is a large pill towards the healing of my uptight appearance-conscious nature. Enjoy!

I was on a week-long mission trip to Mexico–the drug trafficking center of Juarez, to be exact–where my group’s job was to build this family of 8 an extension onto their “house” (which was more accurately a 15×8 cinderblock hut with a very ornate fence bordering the property). We partook in various jobs such as: painting, laying cinderblock, yard work, or clearing debris from the Black Widow spider commune that some might call a back yard. But the job I always seemed to get stuck with was the cement mixing. This wasn’t so bad in the sceme of things. I’d rather have strained muscles than die from a spider bite in a country where “shady” is one of the better words I’d heard used to describe medicine for us gringos.

Our team of Mixers was a riot. We’d make up songs, do dances, fight off the Painters with globs of cement when they decided to test a new method of “kamikaze painting”…. Each block for the new room had to be fixed with cement, so there was no stopping this all-day job. Might as well have fun with it! And we didn’t have a big truck mixer or even a small mechanical one. We had shovels and rakes and our breaking backs for that labor.

the sword in the stone, or the finger in the noseEvery day after finishing the job the Mixers would all go out to the main road and have Black Booger contests. Cement dust would get trapped by the wonder of creation that is the nose and–if not disturbed for the entire day–would turn pitch black and cake up like chewing gum…a gold miner’s dream dig. If you got your finger out at all you might as well have been crowned the King of Camelot. We’d go for size, color, and flicking distance.

I lost pretty early on simply because I’ve never had shovels for fingernails like most other girls (and some guys), but I was stellar in the flicking compitition! You think spitting seeds is a sport? Try launching rubberized nostril gunk off your finger and getting it past 10 feet. Can it be done? Will it be done? I think we need a rematch to tell.

During this trip we also lived a half mile from an open sewer line, but I think that’s another entry…