live from the 1994 world cup: cocaine cartels, jimmy dean and the turtle
by Turtle Jones
Hey, did I mention this site now has an About Page? Ok, got that out of the way.
Yea, we've got World Cup Fever. I know a lot of you aren't really interested in some guys in shorts kicking a ball around, but we try to keep our WC posts more about the stories behind the games (or, im some cases, about sex, because when it comes down to it, everything is about sex) than the actual game itself. No one really wants to read a recap of a game they didn't care about to begin with, so we won't bore you with the details of the goals and cards and groupings and whatnot. Hell, I won't even go into the whole homoerotic group hugs that go on after each goooooal, or the time some player scored and his teammate got so excited he went down on him right there on the field. No shit. Really happened. That's football. Soccer. Whatever.
But you know how we work here. If we're gonna write about
June 22, 1994 at Pasadena, CA
What the hell are you all putting on? On your face? That stuff? What the hell is that? Zinc Oxide? I have to do it too? What's with the colors?
World Cup 1994!
Face covered in the colors of the American flag. Patriotism shown in the form of capitalism. Another stripe across my face. Feeling, well, kinda stupid, but doing it just the same. Applying zinc oxide in the colors of the USA all over my face. What the hell was I doing...sheesh...ok...put more on...sheesh..one more star on my cheek...a little more there too...sheesh....hand me a beer...jeez...i feel stupid...
We have to go where? Ok. Pasadena. How are we getting there? Do we even have tickets? Is that the Rose Bowl? Where the hell is Pasadena? Jesus. Let's just go.
Welcome to the turtle's first experience in watching World Cup finals. We had no tickets and no food. Twelve pack of beer and no ride out of there. So we were kinda fucked. Just a whim to have some fun. Big place. We knew we could get there. Hitchhiking's easy to get to a show. To GET to a show. But since we didn't have tits, getting home might be a problem. Not knowing how the hell we were going to get back. Hey dude, it's cool. We can do it. So we got picked up. That's what we did. It was easy. Anyone who picks up a couple of hitchhikers covered in face paint slamming back Natural Light with cigarettes hanging out their mouths gets what they deserve. I wouldn't have picked us up. We kinda looked like stumble offs from the Manson farm. Looking like we wanted to kill someone to make some weird political statement. Something about beer, face paint and Camel unfilters. Fuck if I know. I stopped caring years ago. But someone did. Someone stopped. Actually the van picked us was filled with people who all looked the same. All face paint. Well, I guess my uniqueness idea had totally been blown to shit with the sunscreen. Jesus. We all looked alike. All the same. But, I had a secret weapon. Something they didn't know about. But, we can talk about that later.
Drinking beer the entire way. Everyone wondering what would happen in the game. Who would win? Who would advance? This is the farthest USA has gotten in along time. Would anything go wrong? Was anyone hurt today? Anyone not playing?
A lot of questions going around while the only one on my mind was "Does anyone have an extra ticket?"
Oh yeah. No tickets. Kinda like a Dead show, we needed a miracle. Damn. I'm ashamed I even know that reference. I think I'm gonna go cry now. But you all damn well know you went to a Dead show parking lot to score drugs at least once in your life, so you can't bag me on that one. Cause you know you did it too. Don't lie. I did it too. Stinky hippies, patchouli oil and dope. That's a dead show. And we all did it to get high.
Driving to the match with a bunch of people who were a little older then me (notice who i didn't say a bunch of old fucks cause I'm their age now) slamming back cheap beer as they all got stoned and shoved back cold hot dogs. Couldn't wait for the tailgate I guess. Asking them if they had any extra tickets. Yeah yeah yeah. I need a miracle and shit. Making fun of me starts in 3...2....1...
Two extra tickets!
Pulling off my shirt, I revealed the secret weapon. A huge "COLMBIA SUCKS OR HOWEVER THE FUCK YOU GUYS SPELL IT" written on my chest in black zinc oxidide.. Oh yeah, I was different back then. Well, not really. I still live for fun, but I went a little far on that one.
side note * If any of you are new here and don't know how World Cup works, it's like a war. Read the first post about it*
Let's go in. Oh yeah. We are going in. Two idiots dressed in shorts with face paint and halfway drunk. We should have been called the "turtle nation." Totally fired up and shot in the same second. That fucks your head up bad. Getting yelled at by Columbians while just walking by looking for a place to smoke a cigarette. Maybe you should put your shirt back on? Nah, dude. I hate Columbia. Why? I dunno. I just do. And this is still before we hit the gates.
Dude, you want to see out of control? This thing still had hours till it started. I still had beer and the tailgate was coming up. Slam your beers and get ready to make friends if you are out there. Talk fast. Pretend you can speak Spanish and get ready to laugh at some fucking wierd show on TV they are watching. You wanna eat? You better be able to talk. Rules of the tailgate. You gotta kiss some ass to get in on those chicken wings. It's like watching natural selection at work. Those who can't bullshit and make friends get no Jimmy Dean's Sausage Patties. And that's like death on the Galapagos Islands. No Jimmy Dean. No life.
Maybe I'm going a little far on that one. Jimmy Dean wasn't that good.
I wander around the parking lot looking for someone I can attach my parasitic teeth into and get some free food. Maybe beer! Someone. Anyone. Who looks cool.....the Columbians over there. They look cool. They are having fun. I want to be there. Now. I want to be there. Follow me. Maybe they have some Columbian version of Jimmy Dean. Or maybe they have Jimmy Dean but it's called something different. Jesus Desories. It's like Jimmy Dean sausage with a side of cocaine. And maybe a few beers. And maybe more cocaine. Whatever it was. It smelled good. I like like Columbians. They cook good smelling food type stuff, so they must be cool. These are my friends now. These are my friends now.
Oh yeah. USA fans?. They aren't too much fun. They don't know how to do this right. I wanna get high and all my stereotypes about Columbians are coming out in full throttle. Cocaine cartels. Cocaine cartels. Cocaine cartels. All Columbians have cocaine. I think it comes daily in the mail to them. Cocaine....cocaine.
These guys were big. Not only were they big, they were loud. Walking up to them, I kinda killed the idea of asking anyone for dope. I've already got lucky enough from getting a ticket. Why push it? Let's just get a free burger and call it a good day. These guys were the kind who you think, that might be a gun in their hand or a chainsaw. Or maybe I watched "Scarface" too much. Didn't matter. They drank a lot and ate alot of BBQ. Hey, that's cool in my book. Let's have some fun and get this going. Call me an asshole American all you want. As long as I can call you a Columbian cocaine cocksucker we can be friends. Just hand me a burger. I can be friends with anyone as long as they hand me a burger. Even the English.
See, you have to realize that this was the first, and so far the only time, that a British team has not been in the World Cup finals since they started to participate in the tournament. So they were kinda, well, pissed. I guess there's no other way to explain it. They were pissed. Their fans who had bought tickets six months before and flew to the USA? One word, dude. Pissed. So when one of them started yelling at the crowd about how bad Columbia and USA sucked while I was getting a hotdog, you know I had to say something. "Hey kid. Look around you. Do you see who you are surrounded by? Might not be a good idea to keep yelling that. This is getting a little ugly here kid. Cause they will stop you before you start. Just think about it before you tell us all we are pig bastards motherfuckers again cause here's your warning."
Hey, sorry England. You didn't make it but hell, we didn't get that far so who am I to say anything.
Walking downstairs. Tired from the heat, beer and frustration. Just wanting another beer, and a smoke. Then I heard it. I heard a cheer. The entire floor was jumping! People were screaming! Something happened! Something so loud it blew my ears out. See, this is back when I could hear. Now things are a lot more muffled. But this place went wild! What happened?
Slammed my beer and ran up to see what was going on. Pushed people out of the way to see. What was going on? Who scored? Are we out? Are we in? Do we advance?
We are going to Palo Alto!
They are going home!
We had won.
A Columbian player had shot on his own goal keeper. Trying to pass it back? I dunno. I really didn't see it. Hotdogs deserve a man's full attention. Hotdogs demand to be praised and worshiped and covered in mustard! Cause that's what they do! Worship the dog of of the gods!
Plus they are fucking five bucks a pop so might as well suck every meaty goodness out of them cause eating one of these means you are out of beer money for tonight. But damn, they are good.
Anyways. Whatever happened happened. Scored on his own team. Passed it back to the keeper as his eyes were focused somewhere else. The keeper had missed it.
That player had put us through. The Columbian. Simple mistake. He put us up in the ranks, but killed his own team. But, this was not good for him. You could see it in his eyes. He looked terrified. He had signed his own death warrent and lit his last cigarette. His team hated him. His country hated him. He was kinda in a bad situation.
When I saw the way his team looked at him at the end of the game I knew this was no good. He might have fucked up bad.
In 1994, defender Andrés Escobar scored an own goal in a World Cup match against the United States; shortly after the team returned to Columbia, Escobar was murdered. For his mistake.
That's World Cup.
Sometimes shit happens.
And sometimes it's all fucked up.
I told you this was serious.
This is World Cup. -T
note from M: Turtle's a pretty good storyteller, isn't he? You can just picture him sitting by a fireplace, telling stories to all the wide-eyed kids in his family who have gathered to hear his tales. Well, no. Scratch that. Don't want to frighten the kiddies or worse, turn them to a life of debauchery. More like sitting around with a bunch of people like you and I who stare at him incredulously half the time saying you did what? How are you still alive? I don't know about you but I enjoy the hell out of his stories and I just want to thank him for sharing them with me and all of you. He spends a lot of time on this stuff (including the underground stories) and sometimes, for various reasons, these things aren't always easy for him to write. But he does, because he likes to make people smile and laugh. It's what he does. And I think he's pretty good at it. -M