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Mike's Random Thoughts From The Road #16
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1. almost everything of (monetary) value i had with me has been stolen. i've lost two cameras, and my laptop, (not to mention two passports, my driver's license and two sets of credit cards.)

music is massively important to me though and so the strange thing is that - if i can quote crosby, stills, nash and young for the second time on this website - "she is all that i have left, and music is her name." the two things that have not yet been stolen are my guitar and my ipod, both of which i have had for a year now. that's pretty cool.

2. yes. of course i realize that someone is breaking into my hostel room right now and stealing my ipod while i am at this internet cafe several blocks away.

3. the thief also probably stepped on my guitar and broke it while he was climbing over the bed to get to my backpack.

4. actually i'm not worried at all about the ipod getting stolen because of two reasons:
a.) i already know it will be stolen so who cares? i am mentally prepared for that eventuality, just like when pelicans take over the world (i have invented a never-ending fish which is sure to please my avian overlords.)
b.) i can control my ipod with my mind.

5. to elaborate on 4b, it's like this: whenever i have the thing on shuffle all i have to do is think of a song and it plays either next or next next. happens everytime. so given this talent, should said ipod be commandeered by a needy south american, i will simply choose the "explode" menu option (if i am feeling particularily nasty that day) or i'll command it to go to the bus station, buy a ticket, and ride on back to me.

i'm covered.

6. i hate thieves so much that i seriously would like to have an alarm on everything i own. but not actually an alarm. like i hinted above, i'd love to have an explosive inside each device i own, no matter how small or insignificant, that would automatically detonate when the thief got about 500 meters away from me. i wouldn't even want the thing back. i'd be 100% satisfied to hear the ground-rumbling explosion of the bastard as he turned to ash.

7. i am not a thief despite what they might tell you in bariloche, argentina.

8. they believe i am a salami thief there.

9. why? well, one day i had to catch a bus to mendoza and so i was packing all my stuff up for the ride. it's a 22 hour voyage so i was stuffing things into my pockets that i would need during the journey since your bags are locked underneath for the duration of the trip. one of the things i put in my pocket was a stick of salami i had bought from the supermarket the day before - i planned on snacking on it on the bus (critical since the food usually sucks.) now, i have grown particularily fond of salami on this trip, ever since having saussicon in france, so i treasure the brown meat sticks.

that's why i headed to the store to buy more. one stick simply wouldn't do it.

i walked into the same market i had been going to everyday for five days, the place i had purchased the salami, some cheese, some crackers, some water, and a couple bottles of wine the night before.

i forgot about the salami in my pocket. can you see what's coming?

i walked around the store for about 10 minutes, putting about four more sticks of salami in my basket, and grabbing some 1.5 liter bottles of water, a liter and a half of coke light, and some cookies and crackers - perfectly set up for the long bus ride. i went up to the counter, said "hola" to the lady, she rang up all my purchases, bagged 'em, and then i tried to walk out.

BUUUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

those things go off all the time for no reason though, eh? she told me to pick my bag up and go around the security device (that always makes me laugh - how worthless are those machines?)

so i did it, but as i walked through the machine again it was actually me that was setting the alarm off and the clerk's eyes shown with a light that must come over a detective when he finds a juicy clue in a murder investigation.

she grabbed me and told me to empty my pockets. i unzipped the two pockets of my red north face jacket (incredulous that she was actually searching me given that i had just bought 20 pesos worth of food) and pulled out my ipod, my headphones, my contact case, my ear plugs, my glasses..........and a big stick of salami.

she snatched it away from me. i tried to tell her in spanish that i had bought it the previous night, but i also puzzled over how in hell a piece of salami could set off a security system? the thing costs about 75 cents - they actually put a device on something that cheap?

so the chick would not listen to anything i said. i was embarrassed and angry. like i would steal something that costs 75 cents, with about 300 dollars in my pocket. like i would buy four sticks of salami but decide to steal a fifth. the absurdity of it all irritated me. so the manager was called over and the two of them stood there accusing me of trying to five-finger this hunk of delicious spicey meat. i kept saying (in spanish) that i had bought it yesterday. i tried to explain that i was traveling that day so i had the salami in my pocket for the trip. i tried to tell them i had never stolen anything in my life. i tried to tell them that i was a food inspector for the argentine goverment sent in to secretly test their meat and that i possessed all the necessary permits for legally robbing stores. they listened to nothing. the clerk examined the serial number on the salami and proclaimed that it was impossible that i had bought it the night before - it had been delivered just that day.

i thought i was going to lose it.

there is just about nothing worse in this world than some person in a pile of crap job who cherishes their scarce moments of power - especially when they start making stuff up.

i got nowhere with anyone, so i tried to snatch my salami back and run, because, as i saw it, the store was now actually stealing from me.

the manager held it out of reach and then told me she wouldn't call the police - (CALL THE FUCKING POLICE?!?!?! IT COSTS 75 FUCKING CENTS YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!) - if i could produce a receipt for it from the night before. of course i didn't have that, so i just grabbed my bags and ran out the store. they didn't follow me.

but god damn it was i pissed off when the food on the bus sucked and i was one piece of salami short of being happy.

10. i am in salta right now sick from the food. when i sat back to think of what it could have been i started laughing because i had eaten fish the night before and all i could think of was captain over in airplane when they asked him whether he had eaten the chicken or the fish (the fish was the bad answer.) he looks over at his plate and there is a full skeleton of a fish. absolutely hilarious.

11. surely you are finished with this random thoughts?

12. yes i am, but don't call me shirley.

roger roger, over over, what's our vector, victor?

keep on keepin’ on,
mike

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