A Cure for the Common Kidnapping

I’ve not made it a secret that I am currently in Mexico. In and of itself, this action goes against all kinds of rules I’ve set to keep my own paranoia in check. There are dozens of reasons that exist in my head as to why revealing your current location is a bad idea. Here are just a few: 1) It let’s people know you aren’t home, and if anyone in your social network is actually a closeted cat-burglar, or even worse, someone on the take for full-time cat-burglars, then pretty much you are letting them in on the most delicious piece of information they can obtain – an empty home, the contents of which they might already know about if they have had the pleasure of visiting your abode. 2) Perhaps someone will get jealous that you are on vacation and they are not. Maybe this will lead to nothing more than a lit sack of poop on your doorstep one night, or maybe it will fester deep inside them and the next time you just happen to be strolling along the edge of a cliff with them on one of your many cliff excursions, they’ll push you off, just because you had the nerve to boast about having seen yet another lizard, but referred to it as a ‘lagarto,’ because you are a smug user of local languages. 3) You are putting it out there to the entities that control the big life puzzle – I’m not sure who they are, but Matt Damon’s last movie made a compelling case that there could be men in trenchcoats assigned to making sure your life goes as planned – and maybe they had been previously buried in piles of paperwork, too busy to notice that you had slipped off your preordained grid to get a few rays in sunny Mexico – but I digress… What was the title of this post? Oh right.

We hadn’t been in Mexico, on our own in Mexico, more than a few moments when my wife told me that if you are kidnapped, America’s leading kidnapping insurance provider suggested you immediately ask for a bible. All good. I know how to say enough in Spanish to do that, and I get why it might work – we’d more likely be seen as human beings, our captors – despicable as they may be – are probably a religious lot, and the very mention of the Bible might give them just enough of a push to be a tad more decent with us as they bound, gagged, and threw us into a dark cell somewhere. That they would be in fear of God at all given their decision to abduct people and hold them for randsom might strike you as odd already, but I have a bigger concern. If my wife saw this little tidbit on Gawker or CNN, why wouldn’t they have too? I mean, they’ve got money right? They kidnap people for huge sums. It stands to reason in my mind that they would use some of that money to buy computers and pay a monthly subscription for internet access like the rest of us – probably makes some things easier for them. At the very least, they need to entertain themselves while waiting for phone calls from distressed loved ones back in the states. And if they have those things, aren’t they running a few google searches themselves like, “What might someone say when I kidnap them that isn’t true?” Am I just to assume that because they are considering hauling me away due to the fact that they mistakenly believe my family has donut money, like in that Kurt Russell film, that they don’t have the smarts to research what kinds of tricks captors might play on them?

Perhaps I give a little more credit to the dwellers of all things underworld than America’s leading kidnapping insurance provider. Or perhaps, I’ve got heat stroke. Let’s call it fifty/fifty.

Paradise Lost on Me

On any given normal day, my own delicious blend of paranoia and internal struggle to believe that only good things are coming my way prevent me from doing some of society’s most mundane tasks. I might skip a subway ride into the city if I don’t particularly care for the aura of the souls already inside the train’s cars – or especially if someone I only believe to be capable of unspeakable acts of crazy is boarding right before me. If a stranger is looking to gain entry into my apartment building, most likely you will catch me going into the back entrance as to not have to be the one who lets them in to see a friend – in fact, I’ve been known to just go sit across the street and wait them out, because we both know they just want to gain access to go rape and rob some poor soul who lives a floor below me.  Even a trip to the bank can seem like an insurmountable task, just because I’ve become convinced the police officer who guards mine has it out for me and is looking for the slightest indication that I’m up to no good to gun me down. I know these things are unlikely, but I can’t shake the thoughts completely – even when there are no tangible pieces of evidence to suggest that any of these types of things occur with any kind of frequency.

So, when I say that I am heading to Mexico for a little rest and relaxation, you’d be right to snort or chuckle – is it really possible for this guy to head to a place that the media routinely showcases as the closest worst decision a traveler can currently make? Will the crystal blue waters be enough to distract me from the idea that at any moment a character straight out of a Robert Rodriguez shoot-em-up will come take me and the Mrs. for the type of ride no one wants to take – and that our heads will become his trophies, as some cartel finally looks to step across that supposedly firm line in the sand that says they won’t touch the tourists in their conquest to be Mexico’s most notorious organization? And of course, there is always the possibility that what little Spanish we picked up in Costa Rica, coupled with our good-looks, will only lead to a small misunderstanding that ends up seeing us as permanent drug mules due to the belief that border patrol agents turn a blinder eye to a couple of skinnies who can carry a convo. Why, oh why, are we headed to the very country my own black-ops friend suggested we steer clear of for our honeymoon just a short year and a half ago when there are so many other beautiful beaches in the world?

I have no answers. Sometimes, even when you live with permanent level 9 paranoia, ego plots the course and the denial that it wields fills you up all comfy with the idea that if you’ve given adequate thought to every worse case scenario, none of it will come to fruition. Unless of course you mention it in some blog post, then it’s some sort of double negative as they pertain to jinxes – and well… you still go, because you already done paid for it. Wish us luck!