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Chicacabra (Chapter 15) Respect Your Elders

August 29, 2010



Yoly Solis

Chapter 15: Respect Your Elders


Vieja (vee-eh-ha)

Old lady.

Warning: Can be construed as term of endearment or ruthless jab. Use with discretion.



A sea of dyed, gray curls bobbed through the aisles of the Westchester Ross. Seniors were popular on Tuesdays, evidenced by the mobs of daughters, granddaughters, nieces and tag-alongs hunting greedily alongside walkers and canes. And even senior gentlemen prowled men’s clothing, casually scoping the women. Discount Tuesday meat market.

“I know for a fact that Yamila ordered a hit on her husband’s puta,” Cristina said.

“That must cost a fortune.”

“Cheaper than divorce.”

“I cannot commit murder in the name of love.”

“Killing a puta isn’t murder; it’s throwing away the garbage.”

“Do you think that Coconut Grove cemetery, where the caskets are only half buried, is the puta cemetery?”

“Probably couldn’t dig a hole deep enough to cover their culos.”

“Oooh,” Gisela said, holding a bright-pink tube top, “Look how cute. My Pedro will love this.”

At least the puta hit had been temporarily called off.

“No shopping carts left?”

“There’s one,” Maria Elena said, pointing.

The shopping cart was unattended, but it wasn’t empty. Cristina lunged at the cart then threw the towels and three bras out from its wired bed onto a display table.

“Who took my carrito?” A woman said.

The chicas ignored her.

“Look!  Here’s my stuff!” She grabbed her chosen bras off the table.

“Dios mío, who would do such a thing?”

“What did the carrito look like?” Another woman said.

“It had one of those long poles and the wheels squeaked.”

So this is what if felt like to hang out with Tony Soprano.

“Listen,” the other woman said, pointing. “That carrito is squeaking.”

By the time the ladies spotted their stolen cart, the chicas had stuffed it with clearance items.

“That’s my carrito,” the woman said.

“You crazy,” Cristina said.

The other chicas scattered. Joyce took her usual pose; mouth open and stone still.

“I know that’s my carrito. You took my things out and stole it.”

“You can’t steal a carrito, imbecil, it belongs to the store.”

“I’m calling the manager, ladrona!”

“Go ahead. El carrito belongs to this Anglo lady. The manager will believe her—he won’t argue with no Anglo. I know for a fact he can barely speak English.”

Joyce shut her mouth and tried to look intimidating.

The woman’s mouth opened and closed. Nothing came out. The other woman whispered in her ear. She nodded.

“Listen,” the woman said, cupping her ear, “I think that vieja over there has my carrito; it sounds just like it.”  

The women rushed to la vieja and successfully bullied her into releasing the prize.

“Nice try, bruja!” Cristina smiled. “What did I tell you, eh? Everyone’s afraid of Anglos.”

“That wasn’t very nice, Cristina.”

“Joyce, you need to understand that Miami isn’t about nice; it’s about survival.”

“You don’t need a shopping cart to survive.”

Cristina raised an eyebrow and sucked in her cheeks. “Tell that to a homeless person.”

Arguing with a Chicacabra guaranteed failure. She must remember that. 

The chicas appeared and dumped another pile of discount clothing into the shopping cart as if filling it high to avoid carrito theft.

“Look who’s here!”

“I thought she only shopped at Saks.”

“She’s full of crap.”

Air kisses smacked the air as the Teflon Princess approached.

Carmen looked them over then said, “Did you bring la vieja so we can get the discount?”

“How’s el ti-ti doing?”

“Ay, he’s limping. I’m not cut out to be anyone’s nurse. Unless of course, we’re role playing.”

She eyed Gisela. “So, how are you holding up?”

“I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I want to die! And Pedro has to go to the funeral. I’m looking for an outfit.”

She pointed. “You should do something about that turnpike crisscrossing your forehead. I’m surprised a toll booth wasn’t built on your nose.”

Gisela rubbed her face. She looked as if she were ready to cry.

“I wouldn’t talk about highways, if I were you,” Cristina said, “You’ve got enough mileage on your ass to earn frequent-flyer-puta-miles to Hong Kong.”

Joyce chuckled. Go, Cristina!

“Don’t get your extra-large thong bunched up over those cellulite-ridden nalgas. There’s a Botox party.”

The argument stopped. The chicas eyes widened.

“How much?”

“Twenty for lips, thirty for brows, and forty for foreheads. But with that many lines, he may want extra.”



“How come he didn’t call me?” Maria Elena said. “When he was selling funeral plots, Amway and water filters, he called me all the time.”

“He doesn’t need to call anyone. With prices like that, word gets around.”

Joyce yanked Gisela’s arm. “Gisela, this doesn’t sound like a good idea. We’re talking about needles here.”

“What’s wrong with her?” Carmen said.

Joyce spun around. “Nothing’s wrong with me, Carmen, I’m just saying what does this guy know about injections, or Botox, or anything?”

“He’s gay. He knows everything about cosmetics. By the way, it wouldn’t hurt you to get a little work done. You look like you just woke up.”

This is why Joyce kept her mouth shut; to stay out of the line of fire.

“Oh look, I love this tank top,” Gisela said.

Carmen’s left eyebrow rose. “Hmmp. You’d look like the Himalayan Mountains in that top.”

Gisela crossed her arms. “I’ve lost four pounds.”

Carmen looked her over. “Of course, your earlobes don’t slam against your shoulders anymore. What’s your workout, Pilates?”

Gisela’s lips trembled. 

Heat climbed up Joyce’s neck. The kind of heat she hadn’t felt in a very long time.

“Carmen,” Joyce said, stepping in front of Gisela, “we know you’re perfect in every way—at least physically—but there isn’t enough Botox, silicone, lipo or foundation to cover up that poor excuse for a personality you carry around. But to be so desperate as to imprison an illegal immigrant boy-toy in your house, well, you’re just pathetic.”

Tía Margarita released the colorful underwear. The other chicas gawked as if she had pressed the trigger of a nuclear bomb.

Carmen raised a plucked eyebrow, puckered her collagen lips and stared at Joyce. After a sigh, she crossed her arms and said, “You’re not as insipid as you look.”

And that was that. No bitch slapping, no insults, no sideshow at the senior citizens day at Ross. Tension diffused like a wet firecracker. The chicas turned their attention back to the clearance rack. All was normal, with the exception of the wide grin plastered on Gisela’s face.

After the clearance hunt–an effort that would have shamed a prowling leopard–the chicas headed for the fitting room.

“Vamonos, vieja,” Carmen said, “I’ve got to go.”

As ordered, the chicas turned around and followed the Teflon Princess to the cashier.

Carmen handed Tía Margarita the cash, and with receipt in hand, she said good-bye. 

“Don’t forget the Botox party and the puta surveillance. Call me.” She swung her hips towards the door but before the doors closed she turned and said, “You too, Joyce.”

Joyce shrugged then waved. She liked it better when Carmen treated her like the invisible, insipid Anglo.

Once the retailer’s door closed behind Carmen’s tight ass, the chicas tackled Joyce. Kisses, hugs and screams startled her. She couldn’t breathe; their excited voices reverberated inside the noisy store.

“Did you see her face?  I thought her Botox would to boil!”

“No, no, no, silicone boils, Botox melts.”

“I never thought Joyce could do that.”

“I knew it all along; Anglos are scary.”

Joyce tore away from their jeweled fingers. “We’re scary?”

“You sure are. You’re like a pressure cooker on high. You hold it in, hold it in and then you explode. That’s why everyone’s afraid of you.”


“Yeah. Remember the Japanese? That chino Admiral said, oh crap, we really pissed off the Anglos.”

“He didn’t say that, he said they had awoken a sleeping giant.”

“Same thing. And ever since then, they bow to every Anglo they see.”

“The Japanese bow to everyone.”

“Yeah, n-o-w. They bow to everyone after the Anglos kicked their ass, that way they don’t look so wimpy. And I don’t know what those Moros are thinking, pissing off the Anglos. There won’t be a camel left in the desert once they’re through with them.”

“I love America.”

“My Pedro would look so good wearing Arab robes. He’s very sexy. He would look like Omar Sharif.”

“Yeah, except for the no hair thing, and the height thing, and the gold chain thing…” 

“You see them bowing sixteen times a day. Just wait and see; they’ll be bowing like the Chinos soon.”

Joyce bit her lip. Cristina should host her own talk show–except she’d be flooded with death threats.

To be continued…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Shelby permalink
    August 29, 2010 4:51 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this! I forgot how great this was when I first read it a while back!

    • MEXICAN HEART...ATTACK! permalink*
      August 29, 2010 5:49 pm

      Thank you, Shelby!


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