Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The Mercado at the docks in Mazatlan - Notice there are no women, they're all inside bargaining.
There is no more pitiful sight than that of a full grown male shuffling behind his wife as she shops in a native bazaar. The poor devil has no idea what he’s there for, or how much the experience is going to cost, or how long it will endure. Young men try and enter into the spirit in an effort to be supportive, but over the years the pure horror of the experience dulls the talents of the most cowed among us.

Unless you are among the very oldest of our clan, there is little you can do to avoid going along in support, dreaming of the day when the shopping bug leaves our partners. It’s a long wait.

As even the toughest cannot escape there are some things you can do to lessen the pain of the experience, and in an effort to help I would like to offer my suggestions.

Firstly, under no circumstances ever make a choice as to the item your lady wishes to purchase. If you choose blue against red, for instance, you will be wrong; either later that day or certainly some time down the road. “I never liked this one, you know, but you wanted me to buy it!” I’m proud to say that I have not fallen for this trap in over 20 years.

Better to ask what she likes about the item and then if that doesn’t make her mind up buy both of them; believe me, compared to the cost of the trip, it’s a bargain.

Secondly, try if possible to stay outside the bargaining area, or as I like to call it,”The killing zone.” It’s not a pretty sight to be in the proximity of one of your brothers, as he is eviscerated in a bout of bargaining that he cannot possibly win. You can’t come to his rescue no matter how pleadingly he looks in your direction. It’s a brutal business.

Notice in the picture that the little man is smiling. He is in that happy state where he sees S.W.M.B.O looking at his wares, and totally ignorant of the pain he is about to feel. And it won’t end there. He has a family at home who will rip him to shreds when they learn that the blue widget he worked so hard to acquire has been let go for a whisker more than he paid for it. Women are ruthless about the fact that his family may not eat again until the next cruise ship calls.

If possible you can suggest that your lady take a wander around and see if she can find the same item elsewhere, and then return to buy it later. That way the final horror can take place while you are enjoying an adult beverage in some local watering hole. You won’t find too many of your kin there, as they will be blundering around in shock as their women make purchases and they fail dismally to show the correct amount of enthusiasm in the whole ghastly business.

I'm afraid that having seen the light of battle in Madam's eyes I did retire to a nearby bar for a Pacifico and two shots of Jose Quervo.  I felt I deserved it!

1 comment:

  1. ha ha, these blogs are hilarious! I don't know whether to feel bad or seriously enjoy my giggle about the "Blue widget" and the guy not eating until the next cruise.

    Madam & the "light of battle in her eyes".......CLASSIC!