Interview with a Random Peruvian Street Merchant

Trip Start Feb 22, 2007
Trip End Aug 22, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, April 11, 2007


After reading all the poop and hooker jokes, it´s easy to forget I have a Journalism degree. So in honour of my two former TV professors reading this blog, Lionel Lumb and Chris Waddell, I decided to flex some journalistic muscle and hit the mean streets of Lima. A sort of Jay Walking if you will, but actually funny because it doesn´t involve Leno.

My interview subject, well, I kind of forgot to ask for his name, but I´m sure all the greats--Tom Brokaw, Peter Mansbridge, Ron Burgundy -- have done the same at one point in their illustrious careers, so here we go. Oh, and one more thing, he sort of interviewed me.

(Program starts with Sara and Steve sitting on a park bench, watching a lovely sunset, when a Random Peruvian Street Merchant sits on an adjacent bench and begins his interview)

RPSM: Hey my friends, where you from?
Steve & Sara: Canada
RPSM: Oh Kah-na-da, very cold in Kah-na-da (hugs himself in mock shiver)
Steve: Si, es muy frio.
RPSM: Peru flag and Kah-na-da flag very see-me-lar, no? (pulls a Peruvian flag out of his nap sack and shows us that, yes, they are in fact similar). 
Sara: Si
RPSM: Peru flag very buu-tea-fool (pulls flag closer to his chest, almost kisses it and smiles).
Sara: Si

(fade into commercial break)

Writer´s notes: I´ve decided to have Sara say nothing but ¨Si¨ in this story for no other reason than to piss her off. 

While we´re here, in italics, do you remember that CBC program from a couple years ago, ¨The 50 Greatest Canadians.¨ Good, because I don´t, I´m sure it was another smash hit for the CBC´s Entertainment Division. Anyway, my research shows that the top 3 vote-getters were 1. Tommy Douglas (commie), 2. Terry Fox (poor man´s Forrest Gump) and 3. Pierre Trudeau (actually pretty cool, since he nailed a lot of babes), but after interviewing the Random Peruvian Street merchant, I´ve found this list to be a sham. And not just because the cast of ¨North of 60¨ failed to make it.

(3...2...1...and we´re back)
RPSM: Kah-na-da....Ben Joan-son es from Kah-na-da (while using one hand to administer a fake needle injection, then repeating twice more and laughing). ¨Very fast man.¨
Sara: Si
RPSM: And mucho musica in Kah-na-da. See-lean De-on es from Kah-na-da, no?
Sara: Si
RPSM: Ahh, and Bree-an Ah-dams?
Sara: Si (says this ¨Si¨ more enthusiastically because she loves Bryan Adams...she even likes Kevin Costner because he too was involved with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Needless to say, this has been a stumbling block in our relationship).

(and we´re off, 4 minutes people)

So, there you have it, the 3 Greatest Canadians: 1. Ben Johnson 2. Celine Dion 3. Bryan Adams. Really, the only noticeable admission I see is Bret Hart. After playing the genie in a stage production of Aladdin, I figured he´d be a shoo-in.

(Latest crappy Molson Canadian commercial finishes and we return) 

RPSM: Where you go?
Steve: proximo?
RPSM: No, before.
Steve: Ah... Fuimos a Colombia y Ecuador.
RPSM: Nooo.. Ecuador people like monkey (furiously starts scratching his head and under his arms).  
Steve: Like monkey?
RPSM: Peru people no like Ecuador people, Colombia es coo, but no Peru. Muchu guerra weeth Peru (vibrates as he shoots off rounds with his invisible machine gun). Ecuador, no goo.
Sara: Si (while remembering the iPod she had stolen in Quito)
RPSM: And Joe-orge Buuush, no goo (shaking head and waving finger side to side). Mucho guerra. Tony Blair tambien. No goo.
Sara: Si.
RPSM: En Kah-na-da, who?
Steve: Stephen Harper.
RPSM: Ah, Stee-ven Har-pier.... es goo?
Steve: El es amigo a George Bush.
RPSM: Oh, no goo (shakes head disapprovingly).

(We go to yet another commercial break)

There are way too many commercials on T.V., am I right people? Old maid chirps in, ¨That´s why I bought a TIVO, I don´t know how I lived without it (this is met with unanimous nods of agreement from around the water cooler).

(Not sure what that was, but bear with me, we´re just about done)

Que es tu trabajo? (or ¨What is your job?¨)
RPSM: (In a sweeping motion that if vocalized would´ve sounded like ¨Funny you should ask,¨ the Random Peruvian Street Merchant jumps up from his bench and sidles up beside Sara and I on our´s. Then, from the same bag he pulled the flag from earlier, the Random Peruvian Street Merchant, for the first time, reveals himself as a merchant (this wasn´t exactly a twist ending for us either). ¨Eet´s for cerveza.¨
Steve: Ah, bottle openers, cuento es?
RPSM: 10 soles (pronouced: so-lays...value: about $3 US). Do you like? (quickly pulls out four more with designs such as ¨Incan Gods,¨ a ¨llama¨ and ¨Machu Picchu¨....basically they´re crap).
Sara: Si (proceeds to buy three of these collector´s items for 20 soles. Not a bargain by any standards).

With his business concluded, the interview ends abruptly. He thanks us...for being suckers, and we part ways. But not before we both take our picture with him and shake hands goodbye. Sara and I agree that he was a lovely Random Peruvian Street Merchant who fully deserved our $6 US.

 (The credits start rolling over a montage designed to make me look like a true-blue reporter. First, I´m shuffling papers at my desk, then I´m running in slo-mo with a microphone towards a burning building, and finally, Anderson Cooper´s personal favourite, I´m in a boat pulling Katrina victims out of the water....that oughta do it. We fade to black....Announcer´s voice pipes in: ¨Now stay tuned to FOX for a side-splitting episode of Old People Falling¨). 
So, maybe I can´t hold a candle to Walter Cronkite and I don´t deserve to lick Edward R. Murrow´s boot straps, but I do believe my first foray into TV news will put me on the map. To ensure my show´s success in the ratings I already took the liberty of naming it ¨Dateline: Peru.¨

But if it doesn´t work out, I´ll go the Pat O´Brien route, host trashy entertainment gossip shows and leave coked-up voicemails on the phones of random hot babes. Especially the ones who are ¨so f·^*n´ hot, you just want to get some coke and go crazy.¨

Now that would be ¨goo.¨  


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