Travels with Georgie – Part 1

Updated: November 25, 2010

Reflections in the mind of George Crocker

Crocker_bogataMay 6, 2013: Fargo, North DakotaPreviously, on “A Crock of Gunt”…

Gunt: … When are you coming back to the States?

Crock: Well, I don’t know quite yet, Mark-O.  I kind of like it here.  Got an offer from a team here to do radio schtick for them.  I don’t know… who was it?  Seoul?  But Korean food?  Yuck!  KureNiihama-shi she-she-si? They’re my favorites.  The Ghosts.  What a totally cool and far-out name!  Sure beats the Badgers.  I told them I’d think about it, but that they’d have to bring my good partner “Money Gunter to Japantown to get me to do it!  You coming to Japan, Marky?

Gunt: I think not, George.  So what exactly happened to you after your arrest in Mexico?

Crock: Do you really want to know?  It’s a long story…

Gunt: I figure we’ll be hearing it sooner or later.

Crock: Well then… you see, when the plane landed in Cabo San Lucas, I was, like, totally stoked.  We were playing great ball, we were in the wild card lead.  Man, we were winning the pennant, I tell you.  George Crocker was going to see to that.  Anyways, I look out and I see these dogs prancing about as if it were some fancy-dancy dog show.  You know the kind – where they feed the dogs with engraved silver spoons…

(eerie time-space continuum music fading in and out with neither rhyme nor reason)

February 5, 2013: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – “What is with all these dogs?  I’d really like to get up.  I really need to pee.  Georgiana?  Honey?  What are we going to do?”  Crocker looked out on the tarmac at the International Airport in Cabo and grimaced as he watched each piece of luggage come off the plane.

“I really don’t know, George,” came the reply from his traveling companion, the young yet striking woman he met shortly after his arrival in Bogota.  George had no idea that those would be the last words she would speak to him.

“Really?  Those dogs need to sniff each one of those bags out there?  Really?  Can’t they just find a tree or something?  I know those American dogs like fire hydrants; don’t they have any of those here in Mexico?”  He shifted in his seat, reached up, and pushed the call button, and soon the flight attendant came.

“Señor, may I-a assist-a you?”

George looked up at her.  “Little lady, I am George Crocker, international baseball star.  You probably would want my autograph, but it looks like they’re going to be awhile out there, and, well, I gotta pee in the worst way.”

The attendant just stared at him.  “I-a know no Jorge Croacker, but-a you need-a to stay seated.”  With that, she walked off.

altSoon, the dogs moved on to another plane and began their endless sniffing.  “Crazy mutts.  Why are they taking so long?”  He turned to Georgiana.  “They remind me of this dog I had in K-Zoo.  Whacked out mutt.  Ran into the refrigerator in the locker room and was as kooky as a loony bird with a full count…”  Georgiana just shrugged as she gazed out the window on the other side of the plane.

Before long, Crocker had walked down the ladder to the tarmac.  He began walking to the terminal, whistling to himself, “George Crocker the star… Bogota going all the way… fans lining the street, cheering my name… trophies raised in Bogota.”  Shortly after entering the terminal, Crocker found his potty…

(as Crocker relieves himself, the baggage carousels hum with the theme to Dragnet)

alt“Dang mutts again,” Crocker said to himself as he walked from the restroom to the baggage claim.  “There must be fifty or thirty of them!  What in the world are they doing?”

As Crocker asked himself this very important question, he realized that the one piece of luggage that was getting the most attention from the “mutts” was his own.  He walked up to them, looking around for Georgiana, but she was nowhere in sight.  “Damn fine time to use the Johnny, Georgie,” he thought to himself.

Crocker walked up to one of the officers who were examining his bag.  “Excuse me, señor-o.  I’m George Crocker, and could I get my bag?”  He reached down for it.  In a blink of an eye, the officer had grabbed Crocker’s arm (“Hey, that’s my throwing arm!”), thrown him to the ground (“Easy, Officer Krupke; I got a game this evening!”) and had the cuffs round Crocker’s wrists before he could say, “Don’t you know who I am?  I’m George Crocker!  What are you doing?”

altDuring this entire interaction that took mere moments, “Officer Krupke” had opened Crocker’s suitcase and pulled out an elaborately wrapped box, beautifully dressed with elegantly tied bows.  The officer began to unwrap it.  “Hey, what in the name of Pat Lilly do you think you’re doing?  You can’t do that.  That’s for Señor Cordillera, the owner of the Mahi-Mahi.  You know… baseball?”  Officer Krupke ignored George and continued to work on the wrappings.  “Listen, There’s some mistake here.  I’ve got a game to get to, so if you could be so kind as to let me go.  Get Georgiana, she’ll clear this up.”  Crocker cleared his throat and let out a bellowing, “Georgiaaaa-naaa…,” but she had vanished.

Crocker sat there with the oddest look as Officer Krupke finished unwrapping the gift from the owner of the Bogota Caribs – a gift he was to deliver to Señor Cordillera that evening at a huge party at his palatial estate outside of town, not far from the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort the team was staying at.  He did not understand what was happening to him.  This was he, George Crocker; didn’t they get that?  World baseball star!  His collar felt tight, but there was little to do with his hands tied behind his back.  His sock felt caught under his foot and wrinkled, but with hands behind him, he could do nothing.  Then it happened…

alt“Señor Croa-Kerr, you are under arrest for the charges of smuggling of the narcotics.”  Officer Krupke turned and held the open package in front of George, displaying a large bag filled with a whitish powder and a second bag full of pills and vials.  With currish dogs yapping at him and a stunned crowd of onlookers – some innocent tourists, some members of the Bogota Caribs baseball club (and many of those snickering away, shaking their heads) – two officers grabbed Crocker by the arms and briskly led him away from the baggage carousels.  The air filled with the drifting sounds of, “There must be a mistake!  I’m George Crocker!  Don’t you know who I am?  I’m George…

(Crocker is escorted to an interrogation room to the sounds of the Mod Squad)

Crocker’s head was spinning crazily as he was hastily thrown to a chair in a small, 10×10 room with nothing but a wooden table and a few chairs.  Sitting on the table was a glass of water and a pitcher, condensation beading upon its surface, suggesting it was delightfully cool and refreshing.  George suddenly discovered he was thirsty.  He had needed to pee for an hour and a half.  Between the plane’s being in landing mode, then the long, tortuous delay on the tarmac, he had consumed little liquid.  But now, in this small, stuffy room, he could do nothing with his arms restrained behind himself.

A tall, stocky man came into the room and slammed the door shut.  He took a sip from the glass, the condensation dripping upon the credentials he had clipped to his shirt pocket.  Then he began in a loud, rapid tone, to berate George in rapid fire Spanish.  Crocker understood none of this.

“I’m sorry,” Crocker began, “I don’t understand.  Me esta su madre (Me this its mother).  George Crocker?” he tried his best to reply in Spanish.  “Los Puerto donde los casa de tu agua caliente (The Port where the house of your hot water)?”  But all this did was to cause his interrogator to burst out laughing, turn and open the door and shout something out to his comrades outside, who likewise burst into laughter.

The man – Pablo González, his nametag said – closed the door and turned to Crocker.  “Señor Croaker, you are-a in big trouble.  We no take liking to those who-a try to smuggle drugs into our-a country.”

George burst out, “There must be a mistake.  I’m George Crocker.  I would never do that!  Don’t you know who I am?  George Crocker?  Famous baseball star?  Why would I smuggle drugs?”  George looked at the ceiling and shook his head.  “Ask Georgiana.  Ask her.  She’ll tell you.  I don’t know what to say or where she went; the bathroom, I think.  You know, we sat on the plane for so long; we had to pee real badly.  You know how women are; they take so long in the john.  Go find her.  She’ll tell you.  I mean, really, do you honestly…”

“Señor, I do not-a know who dis Georgiana you speak of.  You were alone when you were arrested.”

“‘Cause she was in the bathroom, I tell you.  We flew in together from Bogota.  Gorgeous woman?  Brunette-ish black hair?  Great bod!  How could you miss her?  We’ve been together for, like, three months now.  Find her; she’ll…”

“Señor, you were with no one on the plane.”  Pablo González said.  “The passenger list showed no one by the name of ‘Georgiana’ on the manifest, and the woman on the plane next to you had a Mexican passport.” 

altCrocker sat there and stared at the tall man before him.  This couldn’t be true.  He knew Georgiana.  This was becoming such a nightmare.  She was the love of his life.  They had spent so many wonderful days together.  Was it all a lie?

No!”  Crocker screamed.  “This is all wrong.  I am George Crocker, and I demand to be released, for this is nothing but a huge mistake.  My Georgiana is out there, looking for me right now!  I’ve never taken a drug in my life – knowingly – and why in the world would I begin smuggling them?”

“Because, Señor, you have been for months.”

Crocker sat there staring forward at the man whose name was González, his jaw slack against his chest.  Seconds passed by as if they were minutes.  Then finally, Crocker responded.  “I, George Crocker, have a game this evening.  You must let me go.  This is a mistake!”  As he attempted to get up, he was unceremoniously shoved back into his seat.

“I think, Señor Croaker, you have played your last game of béisbol.  Come.”  González grabbed Crocker roughly by the arm, opened the door and threw him into the waiting arms of two armed officers.  “Take him to the jail for further examination.  Tell Hector I’ll be there soon.”

(with that, Crocker is carted ingloriously off to a local prison cell, like Steve McQueen off to the cooler)