Tuesday, January 12, 2016

El Cheapo

So, I misread another headline recently and for a while was convinced that there was a notorious South American drugs baron called 'El Cheapo'.  In reality, of course, he's known as 'El Chapo' and was recently recaptured by the authorities after meeting Sean Penn whilst on the run. But just for a while I thought that he was 'El Cheapo', the low budget drugs lord who watches every penny.  Actually, if he had been 'El Cheapo' then it would have explained why he was meeting a Hollywood actor in a budget hotel - less to do with security that the fact that he was a tight wad.  Being a crime lord on a budget undoubtedly meant that he insisted that rivals were rubbed out with a single shot rather than a hail of bullets in order to save money.  Or, even better, have them rubbed out using less expensive alternatives to firearms: a pick axe handle or a piece of two by four from the local DIY store, for instance.  

Yes indeed, I thought, 'El Cheapo' was the drugs baron who never got a round in during the annual crime lord meetings these criminal masterminds undoubtedly hold, lived in a modest three bedroom semi detached house and drove a sensible family estate car.  His cocaine was probably the most diluted on offer, cut with the cheapest supermarket economy talcum powder he could find.  In fact, all his 'bling' would probably have been gold plated crap from the likes of Argos and he probably did his weekly shop at the South American equivalent to Lidl.  But sadly, of course, 'El Cheapo' turned out to be simply another artifact of my speed reading.  Which is a pity, as I like the idea of a highly parsimonious drug king pin, who instead of flaunting his ill-gotten gains, lives modestly and with an eye for a bargain, thereby ensuring he doesn't draw attention to himself and has money in the bank for a rainy day.  It would be a case of the criminal underworld mirroring the legitimate economy, where, nowadays, corner-cutting in both public and private sectors in order to save pennies is the order of the day.  But, alas, 'El Cheapo' turned out to be 'El Chapo', a common or garden fugitive drug lord brought down by his own vanity as he tried to arrange a movie deal to put his life on the silver screen. 



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