None of the pictures I found of Pete look anything like him. I mean it's obviously him...but it's not. As far as I can tell, the suit Pete's wearing is padded, he's got about an inch of pancake makeup on and he's wearing glasses that glare. huh? Oh, his glasses. Pete had Marty Feldman eyes. I mean like chameleon style with one eye looking at you and the other one checking out your car in the back parking lot. So having glasses on that reflect light back at the camera helps to hide that. The Pete Camejo I ran into was sickly, skinny and palsied with no glasses...and fuggin' nutz. But let's begin at the beginning.
Pete Camejo was a spoiled rich brat from Venezuela. Sick and weak as a yoot, his moms brought him stateside for our awesome medical care. He repaid America by being one of those smarmy snakelike Vietnam war protestors and basically became a leech for the next 25 years or so. I had heard about him...vaguely...in college but that's about it. He truly was insignificant.
Anyway, fast forward to 2001/2002 and I'm down in Avila bay working for a boat charter company. Fishing boats. What that means is that I have to be at work by 2:30 A.M. to help get the boats ready, collect money from the charter customers and make sure all the gear is in working order before the boats headed out before dawn. So I valued my sleep. It was hard to come by. I lived at the time in San Luis Obispo right across the street from the fuggin' V.A. hall. (See how I worked in a Memorial day salute?) Don't get me wrong, they were great guys. It's just that being centrally located they were able to rent out the hall a lot. Like EVERY SINGLE DAY AND FUGGIN' NIGHT. It was amazing. And not in a good way. At all.
So one day I see a big bus pull up in front of the hall. Meh. Who cares? However, this bus load interested me because of how quiet it's occupants turned out to be. See, normally what happened was that a bus pulled up to the hall right as someone cranked up the sound system to like 11. Every time. So I was naturally interested to find out what the deal was. Sexy school for the deaf? Silent strippers? The possibilities were endless.
It turned out to be a political speech given by some has been for the benefit of losers and outcasts. I was informed of this by some kid sitting at a table with a collection jar. Sliding scale you say? Why don't you simply accept my middle finger and keep the change. So there I am in a sparsely filled hall. I'm stinkin of booze, fish, diesel, dope and apple pie. What. My wife had made one earlier in the day. Dead useful that woman. Plus I'm unshaven, unkempt and have large and deep black circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. I figured there was no way some scrawny college kid was going to needle me for a donation. I simply looked too Evil. I was right.
So up on the stage wobbles this scarecrow. I'm serious. I'm thinking, "wow! speed really does kill!" But amazingly, this bag of bones launches off into some semi intelligible screed about something or other. But it's not going over well. It's just flat in the room. Hell, it's mostly old hippies anyway, what can you expect. But this bothers old Pete. I could tell because spittle started flying out of his mouth and his eyes start looking all over the room in different directions. I'll admit I was fascinated. Pete starts haranguing these stoner looking kids in the front row. They inform him that they're just there because their teacher made them attend. (I.E. detention). Pete really starts flipping out, he's onto conspiracies now, Vietnam, Bush, the media...and that's when it happens.
Peter Camejo points one boney finger at me and with spittle flying declares "AND IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE MEDIA YOU HAVE TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF BY LAW!!!!!!" He's trying to bore holes into me with his eyes. He's furious. "YOU HAVE TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF!!!!" Spittle. Marty Feldman eyes. Tremors. This goes on for about 30 seconds at full volume. All I'm doing is looking at him with a bemused expression on my ravaged face. Arms crossed, no blinking. I had been doing that for his entire speech and I guess it finally got to him. It was that or the multiple silent beer farts I had let off since arriving. Either way the man was unhinged. All these little old ladies are looking around the room to see if they can spot the invisible bogey man Peter Camejo is yelling at. No one is looking at me. Then Pete doubles down and cracks at the same time. "I KNOW YOU'RE IN HERE!!!!!"
I couldn't take it anymore. I was dying to bust out laughing. Plus it stinked in there like sour cabbage.
So I exited as Pete left the stage and some angry bull dyke tried to smooth things over with the crowd.
Slept like a babe that night.
And there's the Peter Camejo story slightly abridged for time and space considerations.