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What would you do for a Klondike Bar cash?

What's crackin' friends?

I didn't post after Tuesday of last week, 'cause frankly I had no time. The convention I was attending was a whirlwind of activity from early morning to late evening. And by the time I made it back to my hotel each night the last thing I wanted to do was pay the Hyatt $20 a day for Web access, so I could log onto the Internet for 30 minutes.

At any rate, I hope you guys had a good last week and a good start to this one.

So on to business. If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I'm a huge fan of true crime stories. Part of that comes from my twisted sense of curiosity, and part comes from my years as a crime reporter, getting to see some of the grime up close.

Anyway, one of the best non-journalistic works of true crime I've ever seen is the documentary Cocaine Cowboys.

If you're not familiar with it, it is the true story of dozens of random people involved in Miami's legendary coke trade back in the early 1980s. No worries. I'd argue that the documentary doesn't celebrate the criminal life, as much as it peels back the layers and engages the "everyday people" who made it happen, the people whose actions inspired the TV show Miami Vice. Go to YouTube.com, and you can find snippets of Cocaine Cowboys. Every so often, someone will put the entire documentary on that site. But I don't condone intellectual content theft, so if you want to see more than the snippets, I encourage you to go buy the DVD.

So today, Cocaine Cowboys II is out.

And I'll tell you what fascinates me: half  the people featured in these documentaries are "normal."

I mean they don't fit any of the stereotypes most of us have built up in our heads of what a coke trafficker looks like or acts like when he's not doing "business."

I was stunned the first time I watched part one at the people who could have been any suburbanites anywhere in this country, who matter-of-factly described how they helped move millions of dollars worth of cocaine from point A to point B.

And after a while I drew the conclusion that the only anomaly in play in this documentary was that these were perfectly "normal" people who simply decided that they had a price. And their price had been quoted. And at that point they switched off whatever moral and ethical gages they normally lived by, reasoning, apparently, that with enough money even a conscience can be scrubbed clean.

I've always said I don't have a price. When I was in college, every so often on 10 cent wing night at Friar Tuck's Tavern, someone would pose the question: What would you do for a million dollars?

Would you deal coke? Would you use your personal vehicles to ship large quantities of it? If you're straight, would you engage in a homosexual act? If you're gay, could you force yourself to do the deed with someone of the opposite sex? Would you spend a week naked, walking to all your classes wearing not a thread of fabric? Would you eat poo? Would you allow your twig and/or berries to be lopped off?

Yeah, I know the questions range from the silly to the gross. But you know how these games go.

Anyway, maybe I was a prude, or maybe I was in denial, but I was always the one who insisted that I didn't have a price, that I was the unfortunate victim of too much pride.

I'm not so sure about that these days. If someone asked me to do something really stupid for a million? Well, as long as it wasn't something that could get me locked up, I might give it serious consideration. A million bucks isn't much in the grand scheme, but it's something to smile about in this economy.

What about you? Do you have a price?

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og

I've done a lot of stupid things for free. yeah, why not? Legal, and non fatal? in a heartbeat.

Hell, I'd kiss a hog for ten bucks. Or maybe Hillary.

No, not Hillary. But the hog, yes. The hog I could explain to the wife.

BobG

Depends on what it was; there are a lot of things I wouldn't do for any amount, and others that aren't that big of a deal to me.

chaz

I have a price...and it keeps getting lower with every passing gas tank....but as BobG said...depends what it was...hey, drive a car from a to b...sure...kill someone...err, no. No way I am trading in my man card either.

so if anyone needs a runner.... :)

Khallid

Everyone have a price. I was once of those goody too shoes individual that once stated I would not do any wrong and would work hard for everything I have. Not anymore; I have a cousin that does not work a any tax paying job in the US and drives a benz, range rover and other high end vehicle. Paying for gas is not a problem for him what so ever. I could go on and on but I'll stop there.
My point is I worked hard, I was honest and it got me no where.
Yeah, I muled a couple of times and paid for school. I am so happy I dont have to anymore. It was a means to an end.
Overall Everyone have/has a price.

Michael Yayo

Coke is just powder that goes up your nose. Nothing wrong with it...cigarrette's kill people every single day.

Graft

Would you post a lie in an article you write?

James B.

Og, ha ha! Definitely watch where you plant your lips!

C'mon Bob G., that was too easy an answer. We need specific examples of what you might consider.

Chaz, at least you're honest. Let's tally: Man card is off limits, but you'll "run." Gotcha. Right now, I'm with you on the man card. No running though.

Khalid, I admitted my take on this isn't so stringent as it was when I was a kid. But I still have no problem saying I would reject criminal activity. Of course, it's easy for me to say that, 'cause I haven't been faced with desperate circumstances yet. So I won't knock you for what you say you did back in the day. I don't know all your circumstances back then. But I will applaud you for knocking it out after you got on your feet.

Michael, I know you're not that naive. I've heard of drunks stabbing each other over a pack of cigs. But I've never heard of anyone getting gunned down over a cig deal gone wrong.

Ki

Khalid,

Not everyone has a price. Scumbags like you have a price. MOney isn't everything..."benz range rover" you sound like an idiot who's watched too many rap videos.

And maybe working hard and being honest for you didn't take you anywhere because you're an idiot. Warren Buffett, worked/s hard, didn't cheat to get there, richest man in the world.

Once again Khalid, you are morally vapid and an idiot.

James B.

Graft, that's a deep question. I feel like I should be insulted, but I'm not. The answer is no.

But again, we can all take the high road when we're not faced with tough circumstances.

The thought of lying in a story makes me nearly sick to my stomach. And I'm not being melodramatic when I write that. I'm serious.

On the other hand, if I found myself knocked down a peg or two or 10, I don't know what I'd do. For example, let my wife's doctor say she's sick and the only way to treat her is an experimental $1 million procedure not covered by insurance. If, subsequently, I couldn't raise that loot through honest means, and someone offered me $1 mill to plant a lie, and I knew that lie wouldn't cause the loss of someone else's life or the ruination of someone else's life, then I'd probably consider it.

Yes and no questions become a hell of a lot more complicated when we consider the real "human" impact in them.

James B.

Ki, I missed that Benz Range Rover part of Khalid's comment first time around.

I won't rehash what you wrote. But I will say to Khalid, that is a pet peeve of mine. In the snippet of your personal story that you put in your comment I felt something akin to sympathy. In the description you gave of your cousin though, I felt a little anger. Not 'cause he has nice things that I don't have, but because of how you're suggesting he got 'em. I've gotten discouraged over that too and have felt like I'm getting nowhere on the relatively straight and pretty narrow. But guilty conscience is a killer. I'm way past the age where I can justify something bad 'cause other folks are getting away with it. Trust me, I try all the time. Doesn't work for me...usually.

briliantdonkey

excellent post as usual. I would LIKE to think I wouldn't and don't have a price but I guess it comes down to what it is I would have to do and how it would affect whom. I am one of those wierd people who has(annoyingly at times) a hell of a conscience that would likely drive me apeshit till I turned myself in. Then again, if pushed far enough or if I took enough of a backstep into being 'that desparate' who knows what I would do. Here is hoping I never have to find out.

BD

BTW, I will have to check out those movies. Sounds like something I would enjoy.

BD

og

You MIGHT die from smoking. But you will CERTAINLY die if you're alive. OUTLAW LIFE NOW!!!!

What asshattery.

mark

James, For a million dollars I would become a Miami Dolphins fan for one season. That would be hard earned money.

Say It

Now, is this a million before or after taxes?

BobG

For a million dollars I would not kill someone in cold blood, or have gay sex, or deliberately injure a child, or cheat on my wife. That is not the limits, but everything else would have to be discussed before being considered or rejected.

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