My sympathies go to the Morecambe family who were clearly unaware that the food in Mexico has much the same effect as two bars of Ex-lax washed down with a quart of liquid paraffin.
We are reliably informed that Montezuma the 2nd cashed in his heavily spiced chips in 1520, invoking a culinary curse to ruin the digestive systems of all visitors with immediate effect.
The curse, better known these days as Montezuma’s Revenge, is still as potent as ever with 58 per cent of all British holidaymakers being ravaged by the full Monty, thereby spending the best part of a week on or within a few hundred yards el lavabos municipales.
Not many visitors to Acapulco will know that those suicidal high divers doing swanees of that cliff are not showing off – they are simply desperate to get to the bogs on the beach.
I spent some time in Mexico in my globe-trotting days – I will give you a carefully edited version of them someday – and stayed at an authentic hostelry called the El Dysintaria in Tijuana which numbered Pancho Villa among its patrons. Dress is optional, particularly in the trousers area, where much of time they are spent round the ankles, if you make it in time, that is.
The flies are so big and powerful that they lift galvanised dustbin lids. And the car park includes stabling for donkeys.
If you can’t pay the bill they will let you muck them out, which is more pleasant than washing up in the kitchen from hell.
Mind you, there are places on par with Mexico for the mass evacuation of tourists.
Egypt, for instance, where 42 per cent are stricken with the Pharaoh’s Foxtrot. India, at 40 per cent casualties, has the dreaded Delhi Belly, otherwise known as the Gandhi Gallop, while the Dominican Republic lists St Dominic’s Dash as being responsible for 49 per cent of trippers’ trots.
We’re told that curry was developed to conceal the fact that the meat was going off.
Well, all those chilli peppers hide the fact that the contents had already gone off.
But in all fairness I must point that my experience of Mexican food was formed in my youth when I had a digestive system like an iron ore crusher.
There has clearly been an improvement since then because the survival rate of Brit tourists is now as high as 42 per cent.