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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Why you shouldn’t believe the worst about expats

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Baja at Spring Break. Photo: Courtesy


A listener to NPR’s program “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” didn’t fall for a story that made elderly expats in Mexico out to be an international shakedown gang.

But the story, broadcast today in the United States, made for an amusing “Bluff the Listener” segment. 

It went like this, as read by Tom Bodett:

Spring break on Mexico’s Baja coast accounts for half of the annual revenue of their visitor industry.

The other half is largely made up of expat American retirees living out their golden years in the luxury of their beachfront condos, street smart golf carts and water aerobics. The two groups are natural enemies.

So retirees Richard Corson, Travis Mason and Aaron Knapperstack figured out a way to profit from the conflict of interests with what can only be described as a protection racket — protection from them.

Nothing repels a young, drunk college kid with their parents’ credit card from a bar like a pair of golf carts parked out front. And nothing clears a hotel pool faster than the sight of baggy arms in a rubber swimsuit. So the self-described “prostate posse” or “the gang who couldn’t pee straight” — at this point the audience is in stitches — work the mean streets of Cabo, threatening livelihoods.

“Hard Rock Cafe, pay us $500 or we bring our wives to happy hour with cottage cheese and Tupperware.” “Grand Marriott, $1,000 keeps us from blowing spitty bubbles off of the paddle boards in your pool for the entire month of March.” “You’ve heard of the heartbreak of incontinence? That would be a shame, nice place like this… Fifteen hundred bucks.”

The “prostate gang” was finally foiled when the Federales removed them by force from the nude beach whose lifeguard refused to deal. Police found thousands of dollars in protection money hidden in their fanny packs.

The two other stories involved banned spray cheese being smuggled into France by U.S. expats, and 120 Romanian tourists ducking a $1,200 check in a restaurant by forming a conga line and dancing out the door.

The latter story was the true one, and their leader has been arrested.

Believing the worst of American expats cost the player the grand prize — Carl Kasell’s voice on her voicemail. Which is quite an indignity for an NPR listener to endure.

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