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Chicacabra (Chapter 27) Happy Hour

November 21, 2010



Yoly Solis

Chapter 27: Happy Hour

Cheo Malanga (cheh-oh/mall-ong-ah)

Slang: Male Neanderthal, brain dead, empty headed

Distinguishing features: Gold chains, gold tooth, wears colorful polyester shirts and white shoes, pinky ring. When head not shaved, hair wet with gel to accentuate diamond stud earring.



“Manny will go crazy when he sees you, Joyce.”

He didn’t have to go crazy; all he had to do was stand still while she groped him.

Joyce stared at Gisela. “Are you sure you want to do this? Don’t you want to talk to Pedro?”

“It is time I tasted bread from another man’s bakery.”


They drove into the heart of Little Havana, even further into the bowels of the Chicacabra Empire than Versailles. Hidden behind lush palm trees, Gisela pulled into a paved driveway.

Ornate landscaping surrounded Casa Juancho’s Spanish architecture. Young men, dressed in white shirts and black bow-ties, ran to their car and valet parked ten feet away. Regardless of the wasted expense, the attention was a treat. She wondered where Maria Elena would park to avoid the fee.

A man wearing a linen suit opened the ornate wood doors. The smell was the first to hit her.

“This is a restaurant?”

“Ay, si, their food is wonderful, Spanish cuisine. I love their tapas.”

An aquarium, void of water, sat in the foyer area brimming with live lobsters. The aroma of garlic and roasted meat saturated the recycled, cool air. Joyce headed forward and caught a glimpse of a packed restaurant but Gisela pulled her arm back and guided her in the other direction, away from the delicious aroma and towards the music.

Brick walls and thick wood beams guided them towards a dark hallway until it opened up and salsa music screamed.

Scores of Social Security recipients lined the packed bar. Men stared hungrily as if their bodies could keep up with their imaginations. Toupees, overstretched face-lifts, girdles from thigh to neck, overzealous hair styles, and way-too-much make-up, ruled the bar area. Clearly, these senior citizens weren’t interested in each other—they wanted fresh, firm meat. Yuck.

They rounded the bar; cataract-ridden eyes followed them until they entered the adjacent room. A romantic setting (if it weren’t for the salsa music) posing well- dressed tables, comfortable sofas and even a recliner. This room was reserved for the middle-agers. Seniors peeked in every now and then but eventually returned to their geriatric lair for refuge from younger, dirtier looks.

The chicas sat at a prime table, which enjoyed a panoramic view of the meat-market. Tía Margarita sat facing away from the chicas and towards the crowd, clutching a purse, half her size, on her lap.

“Hi, Tía Margarita,” Joyce screamed over the music.

She waved her aside. “Move over. Ay, look at that one over there. He’s huge.

Joyce turned around. A tall, shaved-headed man jerked his chin up and sucked his front tooth in salutation.

“I think he likes you,” Tía Margarita said.

“Are you doing what I think you’re doing?”

“Why else would I be sitting here? You can see everything clearly from this position. Especially after a slow dance.”

Joyce tried not to roll her eyes.

“Hi, Cristina.”

“Did you see that puta over there? Look at those tetas, they’re lethal weapons they’re so sharp. I bet I can pop them, like a zit. Does anyone have a needle?”

“They won’t pop, they’ll just leak.”

“I don’t think fake tetas leak anymore.”

“We’d better ask Carmen, she’ll know.”

Joyce searched for The Gladiator. He was probably out towing another lonely woman from West Virginia.

Maria Elena sat chatting with Cheito and Henry.

“She has to keep the hoops. Without hoops under the dress then it’s not a quince.”

“I’ve seen your quince pictures,” Henry said, “the snowman look is so last year.”

“Shut up, Henry.”

“Hi, Maria Elena.” She sat next to her. “Uh, I’ve been meaning to ask you something. Since you know so many—”


Joyce sighed and spoke louder.

“Do you know anyone in lending, like for small business loans?”

“Loans? Sure. Cheito’s Tía is married to Lazaro, whose sister is married to the SBA executive in Miami. He arranged Hortensia’s loan for her nail salon. One of those women, minority, half-Cherokee blood line loans.”

“Really? She’s half-Cherokee?”

“Of course not, she just checked it on the application. It’s not like they do a DNA test or anything. But Hortensia won’t do house calls so we don’t go to her anymore. She won’t even give us free grief manicures.”


“So the terms are good?”

“Oh, yeah, real good. She has yet to pay any principal, and the interest she pays is so low, she bought a brand new Escalade with twirling tire rims.”

“Yeah,” Cheito said, “the rims alone are worth thousands.”   

“Look at Gisela!” Cristina said, pointing.

She danced a slow dance to a fast song with a man who looked like a caveman from the Geico commercial. He was pasted onto her like a groping octopus. And she was loving it.

Tía Margarita scrunched her face then dialed her phone. Cristina whipped out her camera and took pictures.

“Hi, Joyce.”

The Gladiator bent over and kissed her, full on the cheek. His warm, soft lips sent heat waves through body. She wanted to grab him and…

“Manny, look, Gisela’s puteando!”

The Gladiator searched the dance floor. The caveman’s hairy hands had dropped much too low for a public setting. How come she couldn’t get some of that, eh, Gladiator?

His handsome features frowned; his jaw percolated. He looked even better angry. The music slowed to a sexy, rhythmic ballad. He looked at her. His chocolate eyes glowed. Oh, my.

“Let’s dance, Joyce.” He grabbed her hand forcefully. Shock waves rippled through her body as he led her to the dance floor. He encircled her waist; she cuddled inside his strong arms. Ay, ay, ay.

They bumped into another couple—Gisela and the caveman. “Hi, Gisela,” The Gladiator said, “why don’t you introduce me to your friend?”

Gisela waved him away like an annoying fly and closed her eyes. He glanced back at the chicas; they stood, openly gawking.

Forget Gisela, Gladiator. Let her drink from the caveman’s cup, eat his bread or whatever she’s going to do. Now, about you and me…

“Joyce, I need you to go back to the table with the chicas.”

Disappointed, she pouted her newly glossed lips.

“Please, Joyce, this could get ugly and I don’t want you to get hurt. Please?”

“Get hurt?” Don’t worry about breaking my heart Gladiator; all I want is…

“Oye tu, cacho de maricon!” A man’s deep voice bellowed over the music.

The crowd suddenly froze; the salsa music pounded.

A pink, bald head crashed through the crowd. His gold banded, pinky finger gyrated in the air, pointing at the caveman. Sweet, poetic Pedro had turned into Mike Tyson.

“Pedro!” Gisela screamed. “What are you doing here?”

“What am I doing here, what am I doing here? La pregunta es: What are you doing here, rubbing your culo against this Cheo Malanga!”

The caveman turned to face his accuser. “Who are you calling Cheo Malanga, maricon-son?”

The crowd swallowed Joyce. She lost sight of her Gladiator. She craned her neck but couldn’t see Pedro’s face, only the crimson red of his wide forehead bobbed back and forth. She tried to push through but Tía Margarita and Cristina beat her to it.

Joyce caught a glimpse of the caveman and Pedro slamming their chests against each other like gorillas. Their gold necklaces were certain to get entangled.

“Pedro, leave now and go back to your puta,” Gisela said.

“Si, sinvergüenza,” Tía Margarita said, “she’s waiting for you at the puta condominium.

“You’re my wife; what are you doing here with these putas!” He pointed at the crowd.

Women at the bar hurled insults back at Pedro. If he had hair on his head, they would’ve torn it all out. Hmm. Perhaps this has happened before?

“I’m going to kick your ass, maricon-son. Step outside; I’ll show you what a real man is,” Pedro said.

“Why does everyone pick on the gays,” Cheito said, “It’s not fair. I’m a real man; I could kick his ass just as good as Pedro.”

“Yeah, right. Me, I wouldn’t get near his ass; it’s probably too hairy,” Henry said. “By the way, Cheito, it’s time for a trim.”

The crowd erupted. Everyone had a stake in this fight. She stood on her tip-toes. Gorgeous Gladiator tore the two angry men apart. Gisela wailed; her waterproof mascara dripped down her cheek. She looked like a Picasso painting. Tía Margarita and Cristina consoled her without interrupting shame-glares and insults at Pedro.

The Gladiator rushed Pedro out of the bar. Before the grand exit, Pedro screamed, “I love you, Gisela! Te amo con todo mi corazón!”

The bar women booed.


After an hour or so, the drama settled, but her Gladiator never returned. Instead of taking Joyce home, The Gladiator had taken angry Pedro home. Life sucked.

“Let’s eat,” Maria Elena said.

“Shouldn’t we call The Glad–, I mean Manny, and ask him what happened with Pedro?”

“I don’t want to know,” Gisela said. “I am ready to live my life without that ball and chain.”

“Chains-s-s, gold chains.”

“Where’s the cave–, I mean the guy you were dancing with?”

The chicas looked around.

“See? He could have been the love of my life and Pedro ruined it for me. Pedro ruins everything!”

She looked as if she would wail again; instead she walked away with trembling lips. “I need to fix my make-up. I’ll meet you outside.”

Joyce, Cheito, Henry, and the chicas waited for their cars.

“Tía Margarita, why did you tell Pedro that Gisela would be here?” Yeah, you old Chicacabra, you ruined it for me.

“It worked, didn’t it? He’s jealous; he’s suffering, just like he should. That puta isn’t looking so good anymore. Now he wants Gisela back more than anything.”

“Sure,” Joyce said, “but she’s so angry at him, she doesn’t want him anymore.” Not to mention how he took my Gladiator away.

Tía Margarita stabbed a finger in the air. “You have no choice; you must get these two anormales back together.” 

“Me? Why would I–”

“You cannot be with Manny until Gisela returns to Pedro’s arms. She wants you to join her in her misery and Pedro wants the same for Manny.”

“What? That ridiculous, Gisela wouldn’t do that to me.”

“Ay, she doesn’t mean to, neither does Pedro, but their sucking you and Manny into their badly written tele-novela. And if you don’t do something about it, you will never taste the honey from Manny’s—”    

“Okay, I get it, I get it.” 

To be continued… 

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 7:24 am

    makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

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