Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason
captured on tape, the crew decided to get away and sort out what to do with the footage later on.
A soldier spotted their retreat, and called after them.
When the crew had not been approached to give up the footage by dinnertime, we realized
the army didn’t know who specifically had the footage, and that the Little General would be
reminding us that anything detrimental to his army's image was dangerous to have.
At 19:55hrs his spies left the bar. This was the cue for everyone to leave, or at the least
stand behind the large commercial refrigerators behind the bar area.
Leblanc and I abandoned our chess game at the exposed corner of the bar, and with drinks in
hand we joined an AP photographer and an ABC camera crew sitting on the floor in front of the
The Swedes seemed to be entertained by our strange game, possibly thinking that we were
clowning for their attention when the sniper's shot crashed through the glass at the stroke of
curfew, 20:00hrs, as had happened every other time the General wished to make a point.
Instantly terrified, the ladies scrambled the full length of the room on all fours, while we
adjusted our watches to official time for curfew’s sake.
"What a hoot!" I told Bonnie, who stared as if I had a booger hanging out of my nose.
I pressed on with accentuated glee, having interpreted her gaze as dazed wonderment at the
ways of a world she thought she understood.
"Not two minutes later," I chuckled, "four spit-and-polish bodyguards framed the Little
General's waltz into the room. With exaggerated sincerity, he apologized for not protecting us as
well as we had the right to expect from him. 'Fortunately,' he told us, pointing to the hole high on
the inside wall, 'thee sni-per was not a marksman. Maybe eet is better for you dat we doan catch
heem. The next one could be a good shot—no!'
"The guy burst out laughing," I told Bonnie, sniggering where ever my narrative required a
comma, "but seeing that he was alone, he translated his remarks for his bodyguards. Three of
them saw his point before it was fully made, and they guffawed in the transparent way
subordinates must. The fourth man, we figured he was the sniper, struggled with the possibility
that the General might 'catch heem' as a show for the American congress!" I laughed harder.
Bonnie blandly asked me what happened next.
"You really had to be there," I said, chortling awkwardly.
"I can see it clearly enough. What happened?"
"Acting barely inconvenienced," I said with strained delight, "most of us were having
trouble containing ourselves in this cartoon-like sea of contradiction. You should have seen it…"
"I am about to."
I explained that the General's unbridled arrogance emanated from physical features that
were a cross between Elmer Fudd and Baby Face Nelson. His height and girth, about equal at
five- foot two, put a huge strain on a wide brown belt that held matching pearl- handled revolvers.
Far from emulating Santa Anna, he looked like a miniature Michelin Tire man impersonating the
Lone Ranger. It was even money amongst us whether he could have reached his guns. Priceless.
"O n the other hand," I continued upon seeing that I was alone in my merriment, "he knew
that we knew he was a psychotic prick: he had ordered the killing of the four Dutch journalists
that Manny had told me about, to convince me not to even think about fucking around with the
rules. Anyway," I concluded in a rising tone, to entice at least a grin from Bonnie, "the Swedes
staring in opened- mouthed incomprehension at the bizarre situation was more than some of us
could take." I paused to feign the need to regulate my breathing. "And the General was thrilled
that we'd finally found our sense of humor!" I burst into laughter, just as I had six years earlier.