Sometimes I wish I could be a cartel member. What a life that must be. Imagine a life where your every waking hour is spent in the numb pursuit of supplying drugs. More realistically I expect most cartel members have relatively little to do with supplying drugs and much more to do with all the other daily chores which being in a big drug gang can bring. So, based on everything I have learned from the endless sub-rate Mexican drug cartel dramas which have been flushed out across our TV screens here’s a rough guide to a day in the life of a cartel member. For the sake of continuity my cartel member is male, but they’re not always so. Warning: includes gratuitous swearing and scenes of violence and drug abuse.
- Wake up. Take some powerful, mind bending, life destroying drugs to help in the process. Scratch balls and call your wife a bitch or something similar. Walk around in your boxer shorts for a bit as the TV blares out in the background and a dog barks. Not a nice dog. Not a friendly Labrador or a Highland Terrier called Angus but some fuck-ugly sin against evolution ironically also called ‘bitch’. Have breakfast which should always include eggs, re-fried beans, a cold Corona and some more drugs: you’ve got a busy day ahead!
- Make a phone call. Cartel members have roughly 300 cellphones each and use them in a dazzling array of sequences so that they won’t get caught. During a cartel member’s day he must talk to other members at every level of the cartel hierarchy. Obviously at the top is ‘El Jefe’ (or something like that) and he is one of the biggest cunts in existence. He is married to some poor browbeaten woman and has 4 stupid children, only one of whom he has any ambitions for, but that’s OK because they live in separate quarters. Instead ‘El Jefe’ spends most of his time applying oil to his upper body, stroking his collection of horses, having his hair stroked by Salma Hayek impersonators and of course making endless phone calls. Probably using his children’s phones. Beneath him are endless strings of other worthless cunts, most of whom spend their spare time waiting for an opportunity to take over the cartel and behead their boss. It is through this ludicrous matrix of fear, stupidity and phones that a modern drug cartel can become far more lucrative than any business model you’ll ever see on Dragons Den.
- Pack some drugs. For sheer ingenuity the modest cartel drug runner should get some kind of badge. It is he that is responsible for disguising the latest shipment of Grade A goodies and getting them across the border without detection. They are always wrapped in clingfilm (Sainsbury’s usually have a 3 for 2 offer on) and then could end up in soup cans, or in kids toys or even dispersed in some chemical solution (one capable of bamboozling the most conscientious sniffer dog) and then extracted at a latter date in a lab that would put the CERN programme to shame. After this back breaking toil it’s time to drink a cold bear whilst sweating bullets in some dark, shitty, fly-blown bar and ogling passing senoritas.
- Drive around a bit. Cartel members love to drive around a bit, usually whilst waving around a selection of guns. And machetes, I almost forgot about the machetes. The conversations during these journeys can be rich and profound but almost always involve people calling each other ‘punta’ and ‘motherfucker’ and ‘bitch’. Indeed those words are used like wildcards and can be inserted into any sentence to replace another word without any meaning being lost. Which is quite impressive. Bitch.
- Stab someone in the back. Not literally, at least not yet, it’s not even lunchtime for heaven’s sake. Such is the individual cartel members lust for power and glory that he is prepared to fuck over almost anyone in existence to get a bit more of it. And so in the course of a day every cartel member will attempt to stitch up at least 30 of his comrades. The only person they might think twice about is their dear beloved mother. But they wouldn’t think twice about it for long.
- Get a tattoo. No cartel member is worth a shit unless he’s half covered in tattoos. These often manifest themselves as spiderwebs which wrap around the neck and then lots and lots of religious imagery. Their devotion to religious imagery is intriguing as there can be few occupations less blessed with the love and peace of God and Jesus. Unless God and Jesus are both high level cartel members. However we all know that whatever the symbol involved all tattoos are absolutely shite and mean nothing whatsoever. Besides they tend to be for the lower level minions. Most cartel bosses wouldn’t be seen dead (or alive) with a tattoo on their fucking skulls.
- Kills lots of people and wrap them up in plastic. The willingness of cartel members to kill people in ghastly ways and mutate their bodies is frankly flabbergasting. Most of the victims are innocent, their awful deaths used as a ‘friendly warning’ to other cartels, and can be dispatched with in all manner of grizzly ways. Dissolved in a vat of acid, ripped apart with pick up trucks, dismembered with machetes and left to bleed to death. Charming. Even those with relatively straightforward ends such as a bullet to the forehead are still usually beheaded. Most are then wrapped in see-through plastic bags and hidden behind walls, hung from bridges or dumped in open graves. How cartel members get any sleep is beyond me, poor buggers.
- Have dinner with your wife and kids. Time with the family is very important to cartel members. An exhausted wife and a few terrified kids offer him a tissue of legitimacy in a cruel, judgemental world. So a quick hour necking tequila, smacking his children across the head and shouting violent threats at the woman lucky enough to call herself his wife is a golden time for all involved.
- Get killed. You’d think there would be 10 steps to this but the irony is that a cartel member never really knows when his time is up. And I’ve run out of ideas. One minute he’s spending every waking hour shitting himself with fear and the next he’s having a length or piano wire wrapped round his neck and his whole body wrapped in plastic while some other bastard pinches his boots and gun. They say life is cheap in Mexico, so he should have thought ahead and escaped to Arizona instead, to live the high life of a toilet attendant in a brothel. Or worse, a double glazing salesman.
I don’t know where the idea came from but I know I couldn’t have written that without the daily education that TV affords us. Thanks, TV. And kids, don’t do drugs. Yet.
G B Hewitt. 17.10.2017