Thursday, October 29, 2009

"La Mordida" Lives!

In a recent post about bribes, I mentioned the various names that exist for the process of extracting money from you -- when you don't want to pay up.

In Italy it's "La Bustarella," the little envelope. In West Africa they call it "A bit of dash." Latin America employs the term "La Mordida," the bite.

And it seems to be still going on.

Recently some American tourists, driving around Cancun, were stopped by the police and charged with drunk driving, though they had not been drinking. It was explained that the cops would have to take them to jail unless they came up with three hundred dollars.

They paid up. The N Y Times reports that "The officers' 'mordida,' which translates as 'a little bite,' is standard practice in Mexico."

But one of the women in the car was a state senator from Minnesota; she began a campaign, writing officials and news organizations on both sides of the border. She ultimately received a check for 4,000 pesos, about $300.

So it seems you can still get bitten, but you can also get unbitten.

8 comments:

lakeviewer said...

This practice can bite back, alright. Most people will not take it sitting down.

Oh My Goddess said...

I'm the Tooth Fairy around my house, and the going rate for a newly jettisoned tooth is $5.00. "It's what so and so got!" I remember getting fifty cents from my old TF.

Who's bribing who?

Berowne said...

True. But so often one isn't in a position to do much about it.

Berowne said...

>>...the going rate for a newly jettisoned tooth is $5.00. <<

Man, that's steep! However, as you know children are always open to carefully reasoned, cogent arguments. All you have to do is point out that the tooth fairy business has suffered to some degree along with other businesses during this recession, and the TF sincerely regrets that he/she/it is not able to come up with the five clams at this time.

However, bright side, at the last meeting of the TFI, Tooth Fairies Inernational, held in Zurich this past summer, it was agreed that even though three bucks is all they're able to cough up now, they are all looking forward to the merry, carefree days of five smackers per tooth again some time in the future.

willow said...

Gosh, my kids only got 50 cents a tooth. I would go broke with three mouths of teeth at five bucks a tooth.

I like how the conversation turned to teeth here.

Jeanne said...

I had some friends who ran into this in Cabo San Luca a few years back. They played dumb and the cops let them go, but after that they stayed within the confines of their all-inclusive resort.

Berowne said...

>> I would go broke with three mouths of teeth at five bucks a tooth. <<

It did seem awfully steep to me.

Berowne said...

>>I had some friends who ran into this in Cabo San Luca a few years back. <<

The price of an all-inclusive resort at Cabo San Lucas is a kind of built-in "mordida." :-)

 
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