About five years ago, I ran into one of my cousins who was born and raised in México, but then came to the U.S. I had not seen him for years, so we had to catch up on what we had each done since the last time we met. The last time I really talked to him was, well, I actually couldn’t remember the last time I talked to him. But I’m pretty sure it was in México when he was still a boy. So I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was a landscaper. How cliché! A Mexican landscaper! But he actually owned the company because he started his own business. I wondered why I didn’t see him for the last three or four years and he told me that he was living in México. And he left it at that. But I wanted to know more. At first, he was hesitant to say anything else, but then he opened up. The reason I hadn’t seen him in years was because he was working in México. And making a good living, too.
Of course, I pressed him for more details, but he didn’t require much pressure because loves to talk. To be truthful, I’m not sure that I believed everything he told me. But he told it well enough to sound believable. Well, it turns out, so he said, that he started selling marijuana on a small-scale and his business grew, probably because of his talkative personality and charisma, and he eventually became a major distributor. Soon he started transporting marijuana to the U.S. Eventually he was arrested my the Mexican authorities. He was convicted and jailed. From what he told me, I would never want to be in a Mexican jail. They don’t feed you there. You live in squalid conditions. If someone doesn’t bring you food, you don’t eat. I asked him if he felt safe in jail and he said that he did. Well, because he had a gun in his cell. How did he get a gun in his cell? It was easy, he told me. He had money saved up from his “landscaping” business and he had friend bring him a gun to jail. How did the friend sneak the gun into jail. That was easy, too. His friend hid the gun in a bag of marijuana. When the guards at the jail looked in the bag, they asked his friend what was in the bag and his friend bribed the guard and was allowed to take the gun hidden in the bag of marijuana into the visitor’s room and he gave the marijuana and gun to my cousin. Amazing! He told me he was sentenced to fifteen years in jail. I did the math and asked if he shouldn’t be sitting in a Mexican jail right about now. He said yes, but since he had money, he was able to bribe the jail authorities to mark him present whenever they took roll call. So here he was in Chicago telling me this story that sounded too unrealistic to be real. But I did enjoy how he told it. The moral of the story? Don’t believe any story anyone tells you. And don’t believe everything that you read on the Internet!