Apparently Señor Bueno has been at it for quite some time now. By some time, I mean more than four decades and seven previous books, although his story is new to me.
Señor Bueno is the nom de plume of Mike B. Good, and Mike B. Good is also the pen name of the author relating his exploits in the “Señor Bueno Travel Adventure Series.” Two steps removed from his creator, Bueno is an aging philanthropist on a mission to raise world consciousness. Or to put it bluntly, he’s a pot grower, albeit one who apparently encounters no end of difficulties.
All this is easily absorbed from the eighth book, “Money, Guns and Lawyers,” wherein we find Bueno on his latest quest for a big grow. Bueno, we learn, is the globetrotting son of a DEA agent, as well as the nephew of Richard Nixon and something of the Forrest Gump of cannabis world, with a history of running into — and sometimes barely outrunning — all manner of famous people. Along the way he’s gained a reputation far beyond his actual accomplishments. Supposedly he’s a ninja warrior and the world’s most successful criminal. In reality, he’s a pacifist who keeps escaping violence by the narrowest of margins. But why let reality interfere with a carefully cultivated media image?
This time out he’s in Mexico, working a grow op in the mountains of Baja with a portly cohort named Loco. But of course there are problems, because there wouldn’t be an adventure without them.
In this case, the problems are manifold. Mexico has recently elected a new president, Felipe Culeron, who ran on a platform of taking down all drug activity, including marijuana cultivation. Bueno’s gorgeous Mexican girlfriend Gloria, the daughter of a retired drug lord, is working Felipe for her own interests.
And because Bueno had previously helped entrap several other cartel heads and send them to prison, Felipe has decided to spring them from jail to help corral the mystery ninja, whose identity is unknown. Felipe has his reasons for wanting to catch our hero, one of them being that Bueno has shot down an army helicopter. But really, it was an accident. A misunderstanding.
Were it not enough having the Mexican president, the Federales, the Mexican army, and the competition teamed up against him, the media is on Bueno’s trail as well. Two of Fox News’s top stars, Speedy Hardbaugh (who hosts a show called “Hard Balls”) and Gerardo, an award-losing investigative reporter, are hell bent on tracking and unveiling him. At least, when they aren’t consuming copious quantities of Oxycontin and glue respectively while expounding on the horrors of marijuana.
Meanwhile, over at rival CNN, top-rated evening show host Blitz Krieg has his own agenda, primarily focused on proving Gerardo to be a fraud.
Down Mexico way, Bueno’s crop is growing well, but even some of his partners are suspect, with one of them out to double-cross him. And an army contingent, under the command of the corrupt General Havoc who wants the weed for himself, is closing in on Bueno and Loco in their mountain hideaway. How will our heroic pair escape with over a ton of buds and soldiers on all sides? That’s for the reader to find out.
I had not read any of the previous installments in this series but had no problem coming up to speed in this farcical slice of stoner lit that gently mocks espionage novels, stoners, and, best of all, cable news networks.
The book is at its funniest when Bueno is calling Fox and CNN as “Mr. Anonymous,” spinning further stories about Bueno and his endeavors, tying him to the CIA, drug cartels, and even Osama bin Laden. This gets Hardbaugh, Gerardo, and Krieg all worked up at him and each other, fulfilling Gerardo’s operative principle: “Without disinformation, we wouldn’t have a show.”
Author Good clearly knows the Baja landscape well, and captures it nicely in his descriptions. He’s also familiar with how to grow cannabis. But most importantly, he has a good sense of humor combined with an ability to concoct a completely convoluted plot that he manages to pull together in the end without leaving any loose strings. “Money, Guns and Lawyers” is pure escapism, but it’s also pure fun.
David James is a freelance writer in Fairbanks. Comments about this story? Email editor@AlaskaCannabist.com.
Money, Guns and Lawyers: A Señor Bueno Travel Adventure
Mike B. Good
Amazon Digital Services