Bad Karma: The True Story of a Mexico Trip from Hell

Bad Karma: The True Story of a Mexico Trip from Hell


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In the summer of 1978, twenty-one-year-old Paul Wilson robs a supermarket to cover his share of a dream surf trip to Mexico. And if karma needed more reasons to doom the trip, one of his companions is a convicted killer on the run, the other an unscrupulous cad. Mishap and misfortune rule the day, and mere survival takes precedence over surfing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578579061
Publisher: Ocean Front Publishing
Publication date: 10/09/2019
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 99,411
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Paul is a lifelong resident of coastal San Diego, attending high school at a time when Independent surfing was an option for Phys. Ed., and Rock Poetry was passed off as advanced English. It didn't take much for him to become disenchanted with formal education and drop out of The University of Southern California to embrace his entrepreneurial side. Paul is a multi-patented inventor, a photographer (, and has built several successful businesses. Embracing his love of baseball and the ocean, he attends every San Diego Padres home game, and lives in Mission Beach, California.

Barbara worked for 23 years at National Geographic as Senior Editor of Travel Publishing, where she managed the creation of illustrated travel books, including the award-winning National Geographic Traveler guidebook series. She was involved in every step, including ideation, marketing, covers, photo selection, and the actual writing and editing. In 2015, Barbara left her longtime position at National Geographic to go freelance full-time. She has published hundreds of travel stories and blogs, plus four books. She's accompanied National Geographic Expedition tours to Italy and France as the NatGeo Expert and teaches travel writing both in person and online.

Derek is from Portland, Oregon originally, but has lived abroad for most of his life in S. America, Europe and Asia. He studied philosophy in Malta, classical oil painting in Italy, finished his PhD in Comparative Literature in Taiwan. Derek and his wife enjoy traveling, learning stuff and picking up new hobbies and crafty abilities.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Nineteen surfers. Fourteen apartments. One old building at the beach

  • “Heartbreak Hotel,” “The Crib,” “Stud Estates” aka “The Manor”
  • May I have your order, please?
  • Give me a sign
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Sacrificial van

Chapter 2: Ready … set …

  • Over prepared
  • Surrogate dad
  • Looks don’t count
  • Karma’s tipping points – Strike 1: The camera
  • Karma’s tipping points – Strike 2: Manslaughter

Chapter 3: … Go

  • “Hey God”
  • $6.66
  • Over the line

Chapter 4: Put on notice

  • Frijoles by flashlight

Chapter 5: The best laid plans

  • Hold the paraquat
  • Karma’s tipping points – Strike 3: Jelly comes clean
  • A shot across our bow
  • The pack’s been pinched
  • A case of “looo-bree-cawnt-Ā”
  • White crosses and purple dingle balls
  • Between Moose and a meal
  • Never drive at night
  • “We have two of the best…”

Chapter 6: The mainland

  • Batman in the jungle
  • A handful of warm ice cream
  • All the right moves

Chapter 7: The promised land

  • Living in paradise
  • Where’s the surf?
  • “Estos son muy peligrosos!”
  • A short run in the jungle

Chapter 8: Making a break for it

  • The beaches of Normandy
  • Mr. Recker’s cooler
  • A pig in a poke
  • Sudden impact
  • El Gran Hotel Colima
  • Tres Estrellas de Oro (Three Stars of Gold)

Chapter 9: The escape

  • Carried by angels
  • De nada
  • Jugolandia dowry
  • Jungle of Trouble, redux
  • No way to slow down
  • A load of chicken shit

Chapter 10: Going back for more

  • An overdue “Ed-u-ma-cātion”
  • Water skiing on a puddle
  • Beers with El Chapo
  • A marked man
  • “You’ve been through enough”


  • Steve Warren, aka Jelly
  • Ed Moss, aka Moose
  • Ed Leon, aka Perro
  • The Author, aka Opters
  • Joaquin, aka El Chapo
  • 1DRBUS, aka The Wonderbus
  • The Manor
  • La Ticla

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