Over the Thanksgiving holiday Mrs. Trumpet was going to have a Tamale festival (2 to 3 days of making Tamales from scratch) and she put me in charge of getting the Masa (Tamale Glue for you gringo’s) and Corn Husks. “Sure I said, I will just head to………oh shit, I am not in Memphis anymore.” I conferred with my NYC Consigliore and she told me that she gets the husks from Amazon and the Masa can be acquired at any bodega in Spanish Harlem. Well it was Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving so I was screwed. I would have to venture up to E110th street.
On Black Friday while American’s were making jackasses out of themselves, I headed uptown to 103rd street at Lexington as I found a Spanish Market that carried the previously mentioned items. They were closed for the Holiday – FECK. As I stand on the street looking a tad out of place (white face in Spanish Harlem) I see a bodega that was written in Mexican. I venture in and ask the store clerk if they carry Masa and Corn husks, she “Yo no hablo imbécil Inglés.” Same goes for the other stock person, the lady buying a 2X4 of Modello Light and the cashier. I am about to walk out when a 6 year old girl comes from the back of the store and asks me in perfect English what I am looking for. Seriously I feel like Indiana Jones talking to Short Round as the little girl yells at her older sister that I needed Masa and corn husks. She wondered if I was running a Tamale sweatshop since I needed 5 pounds of Masa and 3 bags of Corn Husks. I told her that my wife was mean and she laughed. I paid, checked to see if my change was in US dollars and not Mexcian Pesos and headed home.
I get home and naturally I didn’t get the normal brand of Masa but as I informed Mrs. Trumpet “I had to take a donkey across the border to find this stuff, deal with it!” I venture down the street for a celebratory Cigar with my Persian Jewish Buddies and to watch some football.
Locked Up Tighter Than Dick’ Hatband
Hey Look, I can see the Mayan Ruins from here!
God Bless the Daughter of the Owner who helped me out. I figured that they were jacking with me but wait till I bring my favorite Illegal Alien from Chicago up here! There will be hell to pay!
They are serious up here in Spanish Harlem, they buried someone in a shallow grave in the subway!
*Editors Note- I am poking fun as the experience was pleasurable, granted we did have a language problem but that is just proof that I need to work on my conversational Spanish. LS come on up and I can take you to my favorite Puerto Rican pork store for lunch.