Yet another new Range Rover pulled up on the curb in front of the Classico club in Acapulco. The driver/bodyguard of whatever important individual riding in the back, scrambled out to open the door. In a place of rusted out pickup trucks and Volkswagen beetle taxis, I knew there had to be someone important (or connected) riding in the back.

First, the bodyguard would help out at least two women who looked like walking, airbrushed, supermodels. They dressed the part and were looking like they were on their way to pick up a Golden Globe award. Next, the man behind the money would appear, this particular one came out in white pants, white boots, a white sports jacket, and cigar in his mouth. This guy could have been Bucho from the movie Desperado, which is coincidentally where I take my nickname. The guy flicked his brown eyes around and soaked in the chaotic scene in front of the club without emotion, then took his place between the two women, and led them arm-in-arm to the front door.

Which is exactly where my buddy Jason and I stood…a little out of place.

We were the only two Americans standing outside the world class club “Classico” in Acapulco. All around us were rich, or people connected to the rich, and we all had one common goal: to get inside! There was no queue, no method to the madness. Pretty much you shouted at the bouncer, he used the radio to check with his boss to see if you were worthy, then he motioned for you to come in or stay on the opposite side of the rope with the other serfs.

Everyone around us was strategizing in Spanish and tried dropping every name that they could, but most were rejected and ended up behind the rope with us. We were cleaned up pretty nicely, but it still wasn’t enough for this type of place. Acapulco is the gateway for “exports” between Columbia and California, and I got the impression that a lot of this clientele had taken their share of the proceeds.

We happened to notice a couple of local guys that we had met on the Cabana, standing on the rooftop terrace and looking down at us. One of the guys I worked with had a family in local politics, and he had invited me out to his private yacht a few days earlier. He was on his mobile phone and held up a “uno momento, amigo” finger in the air so that we would not give up and walk away.

Next thing I know, the mutant of a bouncer was grabbing us through the crowd and motioning for us to go inside. I could instantly feel every eyeball on that side of the rope look in our direction and collectively give a “WTF?” in Spanish. We paraded past the drug lords, hangers on, and other beautiful people through the ropes and into the club. I wish now that I had thought to do a little victory dance on the upgraded side of the rope for them, maybe a little moonwalk back and forth before we went inside?

Or maybe not. In a place where hitting on the wrong woman could mean a late night swim with concrete shoes in the Acapulco Bay courtesy of Bucho, it was probably wise that we didn’t.

After paying the $30 cover (yes, US $30 DOLLARS) we were soon upstairs on the roof at our VIP table where over a $1000 worth of goodies (both legal and probably illegal) sat, and a movie was projected onto a huge waterfall behind us. Wow! What a place. The bonus part was that there was not a drunk student to be found, the filter at the door had kept them all out.

This would not be the last perk that my little writing gig would turn up.