I was trying to find the blog post I had written upon returning from our cruise last year but apparently I didn’t write one. I guess all you need to know at this point is that it happened.
Day 5 of our 7 day cruise took us to Cozumel, Mexico. Well, actually from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen by tender. Actually from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen by tender and then from Playa del Carmen to Tulum via bus. The important thing to take away from this is that we ended up in Tulum, Mexico, to tour the Mayan ruins. It was hot – oh, so very hot – about 100 degrees – not a cloud in the sky, and a bit muggy with little-to-no shade to speak of. I expected that. Other things I expected: gorgeous water, expensive touristy trinkets, and lizards. Also, largely thanks to another trip to a tourist town in Mexico when I was in high school, I expected there to be shop venders being pushy and rude in an attempt to lure you into their stores and guilt you, if not intimidate you, into buying something. I knew that would be present so I was ready to avoid it at all costs. I even prepped Erin for it, telling her to just not interact with them if they attempt to speak to her and hang on to me at all times (I was physically brought into a store when I was 15).
And so, as we walked through the sandy parking lot of this tourist destination we saw in the distance a few shops, a Mexican restaurant named Frosty’s and a few American shops like Subway. As we approached the shops I saw a line of natives standing nearly shoulder to shoulder waiting for the fresh, ignorant Americans to get close enough for them to swarm in on. Thankfully most of them landed on other tourists but just before Erin and I were in the clear a short gentleman with a giant smile approached. “Hello, sir! Come here!” I knew what he was up to so I just said “No, thanks” and attempted to move on. “Hey, hey, buddy…” the guy continued, “my name is Charlie Brown! You should come to my shop!” “Okay, buddy,” I started back, “maybe when we’re finished with our tour.” “What’s your name?” he asked. I said the first thing that came to my (slow) mind: “…Charlie.”
My hope was that he wouldn’t see us when we came back but he definitely did, and even referred to me as “Charlie” the entire time. He lied to me about his name and I had lied about mine, but I half-kept my word by walking by his shop and peering in – same ol’ junk in every Mexican souvenir shop – and made my way to Frosty’s for some tacos and a margarita.
Yesterday I was made aware of the #charliecharliechallenge. A Spanish-influenced child’s game a la Ouija or Bloody Mary where you draw out a simple grid on a piece of paper creating two “yes” (“si” for our Spanish speaking friends) boxes and two “no” (“no”) boxes and overlay the design with pencils. Apparently the idea is you summon Charlie, whose identity is up for grabs – either “a child that committed suicide, a victim of a fatal car accident, or even a pagan Mexican deity who now convenes with the Christian devil” (more at the Washington Post) – ask him to “come out and play” and then allow him to answer your life’s questions, presumably from beyond the grave, by rolling your pencil over a “yes” or a “no”. It’s adorable and has likely given many a freshman girl with dreams of going to the prom with a senior guy who will wear his Atticus hat to the show hope.
Now while, just like our silly children’s games we played when we were young, this game is extremely harmless and it’s been said that no Mexican demon named “Charlie” exists according to any group of people, that hasn’t stopped the #CharlieCharlieChallenge phenomenon to spread worldwide thanks to social media and one girl’s cute hashtag idea on Instagram. It’s also unable to stop my love for and fascination with demons!
Read: I LOVE demons!
So what does Charlie look like? Well, because I have a small mind I have decided that Charlie the demon is probably wearing a luchador mask because I view him as a superhero of sorts – a Mexican superhero. Also: he’s dead so his head is likely just a skull – AND he’s a demon, so he obviously has to have giant horns. I wasted no time sketching out this concept in Photoshop. I’d like to present: Charlie, the Mexican Demon!
Charlie, Charlie, are you there?
Will you come into my store and is your last name really Brown?
Oh, also – Goodbye, Charlie. Apparently if you don’t say goodbye before you quit playing he haunts you and I do NOT want to see that dude again.