Amazon: A survival story
I'm about to share with you the brutal story of my survival in the hellish Amazon jungle. About me? First, I will tell you my name. A fake name, because I just can't use my real one. Anyway. So I'm Joe Hernandez, but my friends call me Bazooka Joe, which is also a fake nickname. Let's say my former bosses are not really loving sweethearts, so the less you know the better for you and me. I might be 46 years old with scars all over my face, but I would not bet on that if I were you. I'll cut through my own crap and tell you the real story of what happened in 1993, somewhere in the jungles of South America.
Plane decides to crash
I was flying a shipment for the Colombians, and the capos were not joking with this one. 3,000 kilos of puro, one gram of hash and the teddy bear of Escobar's daughter, Waldo. No need to say if the authorities caught me with this load, I was grilled. I was flying low to elude any unwanted attention to my bright yellow Cessna. Everything was fine and dandy until I heard a few loud bangs on my left. I thought nothing of it as it was the usual ruckus produced when a freaking toucan flies right through the engine. I started to guess it was more serious than some damn bird roadkill when the plane started shaking uncontrollably. I kept cool like I always do, took a pull on my cigar and looked out the windshield.
On the left wing was a fucking meteor where there was an engine two minutes ago. Just as I thought about how I would proceed to behead our buffoon mechanics with a butter knife, the plane got in a nosedive worse than a drunk transvestite trying to dance on ice in high-heels. I fiercely grabbed the stick and tried to pull up in a desperate maneuver, but realized I had a freaking baseball bat in my hand seconds before hitting the tree line. I don't remember anything of the impact, but I regained consciousness on a huge coat of coke I had been snorting the whole time. High as a kite, I thought the capos would not be too happy about this, but I had a chance to redeem myself if I could heroically save Escobar's teddy bear from this mess. I went back in the plane which was engulfed in flames and had clowns dancing around it (it looked like it at that time). I retrieved the thankful Waldo and got out of that damn cuckoo with only third degree burns. As the coke started to wear off I lit another cigar by stroking a match in my nostril and got moving. It would be an ordeal. One hell of a freaking ordeal.
Alone with boas and baboons
I followed a river, swimming in it to gain time. The feeling of fresh water on my open wounds was a welcome change and the tickling sensation produced by the fierce piranha bites was great. I was keeping the teddy bear afloat with a small raft made of branches and tree sap, a cuddly rescuing technique I had learned in the cartel. My progress was eventually stopped by a huge waterfall and I dragged myself out of the water. Just as I was reflecting on how I was beginning to feel a fondness for Wally, a huge freaking boa came out of the lush vegetation and swallowed the poor cuddly whole. Now I'm not the kind of guy to lose my cool, but this was just too fucking much. I proceeded to slaughter the reptile with my teeth, screaming maniacally as I did so. It was relaxing. I retrieved teddy bear from its stomach and arranged this goddamn piece of trash's skin to make a comfy, state-of-the-art snake hammock. I slept while holding the cuddly, but only to keep it safe from other hazards coming out the treacherous forest of course. It's not what you think! Moving on...
The next morning I ate raw boa steak and mixed a few spiders in to for texture (I have a sensitive palette). Also, spiders are full of friendly Omega-37 fatty acids, vitamin S and Uranium 21. You should try it. Anyway. I then proceeded to hack my way through the jungle, burping from time to time (thanks to the boa steak I guess). I came to a clearing to take a break, licking Wally to clean it. All of a sudden, screams of wild animalistic jubilation came to my ears and a pack of overexcited monkeys invaded the place. Well if it wasn't my lucky fucking day: a herd of baboons in mating season. They were looking at Waldo in a manner that was a little too kinky for my taste, not to mention that they were frantically jumping on me. I saved my skin and my backdoor virginity by diving into a lake and swimming like hell.
On the other side, I was safe and sound with only a couple hundred leeches on my body, which I kept there since blood renewal was the new health fad. I got back to the river and I could tell I was getting close to some form of civilization because I was starting to see trash littered around. I had my guard down while plucking a parrot and the unthinkable happened: good old teddy bear was fiercely attacked by a goddamn croc and was stuck in a death roll maneuver. Needless to say I got more than a little fucking pissed. I dove in the water and quickly got Waldo out of that damn thing's mouth by basically taking his place. I paused a little bit while the croc was rolling me around like a whirligig, thinking this had the pleasant feeling of a merry-go-round at the fair. I then caught the croc at his own little game by strangling him to death. I retrieved Wally, who was remarkably unscathed (thank God!), and got an idea. Now, I don't often get ideas, but when I get some they are great. And they work. Occasionally. So I thought what better way to blend in with my environment than skin that croc and use it as a Halloween costume. I had done so with a guy from a rival cartel back in the days and it had its effect. I punched two holes in the reptile's eyes so I could see where the hell I was going and soon I was on my way, navigating through the hardcore wildlife the Amazon had to offer. Wally was on my crocodile of a head as I was swimming, wearing a camouflage suit I had made for him with my army pants. The croc's tendons really came in handy there, if you're ever in the jungle and want to sew yourself some comfy slippers, give it a try.
After swimming downstream non-stop at a relaxing pace for four days and nights, I finally saw a boat, which was a nice change from the piranha packs and hammer-equipped trouts. I went right towards it, finally we were saved! I was surprised at first to be welcomed by a shotgun blast from the first humans I had seen in a week, until I realized I was still technically a crocodile. Luckily the pellets missed Wally, richocheting on my teeth instead. I fiercely shouted at them not to hurt the teddy bear and they stopped shooting, in awe at the mighty anger of a speaking croc. They finally welcomed me inside their boat. We made it back to some crappy city after fishing for giant river tuna and freshwater elephants. As I was kicking back and trimming my beard with my Swiss knife, I looked around and Wally really seemed to enjoy himself.
Escobar is not happy
I knew I had a very unpleasant task on my hands, and it was to call back my former bosses. In this business, when you mess up, they have a habit of finding you and make you eat your own balls before gutting you alive. Or vice versa. But I had a bargaining chip: Waldo. I told Escobar he had no chance of seeing the teddy bear in one piece unless he let me get out of the game with my life intact. He immediately accepted the bargain and swore that he would leave me alone. He also promised not to send me any junk e-mails. I put Wally on the next chartered flight for Cochabamba (first class), kissed him goodbye and... men like me don't cry, ever.
This is where I am today: a man living a normal, peaceful existence. Like your average Joe, I sometimes do odd jobs, like ripping toenails out for a confession or knocking out some teeth for a buck or two... but I still feel a strange void in my life. Call me a softy, but I fucking miss Wally.