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Author Topic: Member Interesting, Hair Raising, Humorous or Otherwise Unusual Experiences  (Read 6905 times)

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    • Renwable Revolution
Quote from: AG
As a Spanish speaker, I can tell you that the word "titere" (three syllables, accent on the first syllable, pronounced Tē-Tĕ-Rĕ) does not just mean "puppet"; it is used far more often as a pejorative label for people without scruples that will steal anything not attached when you are not looking. It fits.

I didn't know that. That is just perfect.

Glad to be of service. I didn't even know the "puppet" synonym meaning of the word "títĕrĕ" until I was a teenager. The correct Spanish word for "puppet", which I learned early on, as any child that watches puppet shows becomes familar with, is "Marioneta" (Marionĕta - accent on the short ĕ).

I learned the hard way in Puerto Rico how títĕrĕs operate. In that society, poor males are incorrectly all branded as Títeres (poor females are also incorrectly harshly judged across the board, but in the area of immorality, not larceny).

The middle and upper classes in Puerto Rico are as well represented by a significant portion of Títeres as the poor, but people pretend that is not the case. Of course, all those doing the pretending are mostly from the middle and upper classes. I know all about it. Mea culpa.

When you were a kid, did you have a lock for your bicycle? Well, that doesn't work in Puerto Rico unless that lock has some heavy duty chain and the chain is wrapped around a telephone pole or something like that. Also, the chain has to go through BOTH bike wheels and the frame or the part not chained will not be there when you come back.

My old man bought me a nice new Vespa scooter a long time ago when I was young and inexperienced in Puerto Rico. Having spent most of my early childhood in California (1 year), Washington State (1 year) and Kansas (7 years), I reached my teenage years without locked doors and locked bikes.

I had already become "acquainted" with how to properly lock bicycles in Puerto Rico. My new Vespa, looking almost exactly like the one below, was a lot heavier than a bicycle and had a good lock on the steering wheel so I thought no títere would try to steal it.

I went to see a new sci-fi movie with a buddy that lived up the street from me. I parked the Vespa right next to the ticket window under strong lighting by a well traveled street. It was not there when we came out of the theater. It was a long 4 mile walk home. >:(

I went to see the first Planet of the Apes movie and the Títeres made a 🐵 monkey out of me. That's when I began the dark path to become a Republican.

It took several decades for me to understand the truth that I avoided facing back then. Thanks totally to God's TRUTH, I faced the fact that the Upper Class Títeres were, and still are, the direct cause of the routine theft poor títere modus vivendi.

But that was later on. When I realized that, if they had taken the Vespa without busting the steering wheel lock, more than one person (i.e. a GANG of Títĕrĕs!) had worked together to carry off my Vespa, I could, and did, blame the poor living in the "arrabal" (ar-ra-bál = shanty town/slum) about a mile from that movie theater.

I don't know if I was right about who stole the Vespa, but I was right about the habits of many residents of that particular arrabal.

About 4 years later, I was a licensed flight instructor at a small flight school. A friendly, quiet fellow who took a few classes in instrument flight training (he already had a Private Pilot's license but did not have an instrument rating for flying in zero visibility weather) asked me to be the flight instructor on an "instrument cross-country" flight to Miami and back. He offered $5,000 for a trip that I would not charge, at the most, more than $300. 👀

I said it was a good deal, but what else was going to be in that rented aircraft on the way back? He said we would rent a flight school Cessna 172, fly to Opa Locka Airport (just north of Miami) in Florida, and just leave the aircraft parked at Opa Locka airport overnight. We would spend the night at a motel. He would pay, of course.

The "boys" would load the cargo secretly and call him when the plane was ready to go. I would never see or speak to any of them. These people were professionals. The plan was to fly to Puerto Rico, with one legal stop for fuel required at South Caicos, and one surreptitious illegal stop at an abandoned airstrip (Tortugeros - about 25 miles west of San Juan International Airport - our official legal destination because you have to go through customs when you stop outside the USA on the Opa Locka to San Juan trip). At Tortugeros the cargo would be swiftly unloaded and we would proceed to San Juan and go through customs like good 😇 little pilots.

The cargo was Cannabis. I told him I had no issues with Pot and thought it was ridiculous that it was illegal. I told him I could use the money but would have to think about it. He then invited me to "see something".

I followed him in my 1967 Chevy Impala to, of all places, THAT arrabal :o I spoke of above. As soon as I parked the car, at least five young men with the stereotype títere characteristic predatory shifty eyed look appeared out of nowhere. My short, unassuming companion immediately changed his demeanor. He strode up to the group and told them in no uncertain terms that they were not to touch my car for any reason. They all bowed their heads submissively and walked off.

We then walked into the arrabal. It was like walking into the middle ages, but worse. All the "buildings" were shacks made with mismatched plywood panels, coca-cola metal signs and cheap corrugated metal roofs. Electric wires, WITHOUT a meter in sight anywhere, were strung willy nilly among all the structures. We walked on a sort of boardwalk about a foot above the ground over rivulets of some dark liquid flowing under it that smelled of sewer water. That was their "plumbing" system.

I heard radios playing but people did not show themselves. I could not imagine people living that way. And who was this dude that commanded so much respect and knew his way around this arrabal so well, if not a gang leader of some sort? I was not worried because I knew he wanted my pilot skills. However, I was pretty sure that I would have difficulty getting out of there without injury if I didn't play nice with him.

With a little more than single file walking room, after meandering along the boardwalk through this arrabal mess for about 40 yards or so, he stopped. All the shacks along the way on either side were basically all leaning on each other this way and that, so it was hard to tell where one shack ended and another began except for the electric wires strung above them. My companion said I could take absolutely anything I wanted from what was inside this particular shack. I looked in and saw at least thirty or forty radios and TVs of all sorts. THEN I KNEW who had stolen my Vespa many years ago. This place was a poor títeres stronghold! I thanked him, but told him I needed no stereo or TV equipment.

My inner thought was to get the hell out of there. Another terrifying thought was that now that I had been shown what was obviously a treasure trove of stolen merchandise, what would they do to keep me from telling the police about it? I needed a ciggarette.

I tried to look relaxed and told him I was planning on getting married soon and could sure use that $5,000 (hoping to keep the fellow from getting angry), but needed to think about the trip more. I launched into a discussion of technical stuff like avoidiing radar, transponder operation, the procedure for landing at an unlighted field at night, and so on, to buy some time to get to my car.

All that said, I was not bullshitting him. I had actually thought about that stuff in a nuts and bolts type of way. In fact, I was no saint. If I thought I could get away with bringing in a load of Pot to Puerto Rico (my companion said it was from California -lol!- and to think people always thought drugs went only from South America north to the USA), I would have done it. Also, I mentioned the Vespa I had stolen from me years earlier and he said he would track down who had done it and make sure I was reimbursed. I said I would love to see that happen, as I was grounded for way too long without my Vespa.

I reached my car, thanked him again for the offer, and said I would ponder the plan and discuss options with him if I agreed to make the trip. I drove off, immensely relieved to be out of the arrabal and determined to never step foot in there again. And NO, I had no plans to tell the police about the stolen merchandise. The pollce down there are crooks too, but who operate with even more impunity than the petty theft títeres enjoy.

A few days later the fellow showed up at the flight school and asked me what I had decided. I told him that I would tell no one of him or his plans, wished him success, and repeated my belief that Marijuana should be legal. I carefully added that I was not concerned with the merchandise he showed me and would not discuss it with anyone. BUT, I had decided not to make the trip because I understood that I could not make just ONE trip. I said I knew they were serious dudes in this business and knew how their repeat business "business model" functioned. I did not want to be coerced into making many trips. I told him I was sure I could successfully make one trip, but making a habit out of it would land me in jail. I told him I did not want to go to jail.

He said that they were "Family", and they would never try to force me to do anything against my will. I remained quiet. He never got mad or lost his temper. For that reason, I figure I was dealing with a very tough customer. I'm sure he had me watched for a long time afterwards, and would have given me "the business" if I had talked about what I knew from him. I never saw him again.

Another pilot at Isla Grande Airport, where I was teaching flying at the time, entered the drug smuggling business around the time I was approached. A fellow who's last name was Zorniac owned and operated a small flight school. He had a light twin for teaching the multi-engine rating but he had something far more attractive to drug smugglers.

In addition to the flight school, he had an air taxi service with a short field aircraft that flew cargo instead of people. This specialized (i.e. STOL) plane can land and takeoff from a small parking lot or a short beach, so it is an ideal smuggler aircraft.

The offical peformance stats on this STOL (short take off and landing) aircraft are way too conservative. I've seen them take off and in less than 30 feet! True, fully loaded they would need more runway, but drugs are not heavy cargo, so the maximum load take off distance listed below does not apply to drugs and the very thick (the closer to sea level, the shorter the takeoff run for the same load) air common to South American and U.S. drug smuggling operations.

The PC-6 is noted for its Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) performance on almost any type of terrain - it can take off within a distance of 640 feet (195 m) and land within a distance of 427 feet (130 m) while carrying a payload of 2,646 lbs (1,200 kg).

Since 1959, these planes have been made and sold hither and yon. They say they will produce the last one this year, 2019. Now you know why that particular plane had such a long production run. I guess the new "plan" for the drug smugglers is to use STOL drones. Why pay a pilot when 😈 you can smuggle drugs without one?

A few years later Zorniac was caught and sent to prison for smuggling drugs. I don't know if the dude that approached me was involved with Zorniac or not, but considering the cartelization and territoriality of crime bosses everywhere, I do not doubt it. I never saw a picture of the polite fellow who approached me in the paper on the Zorniac bust, so I guess he knew how to hide better than Zorniac did. 

Now that I look back on the folly of my youth, I realize that the blame for the habit of engaging in unprincipled behavior by humans who become títeres must be viewed in the proper perspective (i.e. the amount of larceny damage they do). The títeres doing most of the damage are those in the "upper" (SEE: Orwell) classes. The rest of them are just following the example of the títeres at the top.

I was raised to make a habit of lying to myself about who the real good people are and who the really bad people are. Virtually ALL of my blood relatives and in-laws think that's fine and dandy (the alleged "Christians" refuse to admit it - the others just grin - they are ALL birds of the exact same "feather").

God has taught me to stop that. I often pray that God rescues my blood relatives and in-laws from this soul destroying evil. People who lie to themselves are serving evil, and if they do not repent of serving evil, end up being evil.

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 05:56:54 pm by AGelbert »
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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