Sunday, May 18, 2014


I've always tried to "be a nice guy" and "do the right thing" whenever possible, because I like things 'to be fair' and "that's how I'd want other people to treat me too."  At one time I considered these to be positive character traits, although I've come to suspect that they are actually serious character flaws.

I had a fair amount of time to think about this after I dumped about half a gallon of paint on the car pictured above.  Well, I didn't actually dump it on there, but I did put the bucket on the ladder that got blown over by the wind while I was chasing a cat away from our front door.  One reaps what one sows, doesn't one?

My immediate inclination to take full responsibility for my actions as I was dashing for buckets of water and cleaning implements faded somewhat as I started to play out scenarios about the potential owner of the car and his or her possible tendencies to fits of ballistic rage.  My fears subsided somewhat as I was able to get pretty much all of the paint off, and I toyed with the idea of not saying anything at all.  If the car hadn't been parked right in front of my house I would have just driven away and forgotten about it.

Finally the owner did show up, and I of course "did the right thing" and told her what had happened (although I did play down the amount of paint spilled, and did NOT show her the above photo).  I told her I was concerned there was paint inside the doors and indeed there was a huge goober of paint inside the rear door.  She was quite mellow about it actually, but it was already dark and she was in a bit of a rush.  I gave her my number and told her if she wanted to get it professionally cleaned I would take care of it.  Why do I do these things?

If I'd just kept my mouth shut she would have driven off and never noticed.

Chicken Little

Well, something really crazy happened to me this week, worse than what happened last week.  A 70 pound cement ball fell out of the sky and smashed the roof of my car in.  Pretty ironic, considering I got the whole underbody restored last year - didn't expect I'd have to worry about the top getting mashed.

Almost my first thought, after I got over the shock of realizing that it was actually my car that had been victim to this short-range meteorite (I'm guessing it fell about 30-40 feet), was that this was it for my car, which means no more car for me.  I don't use it much, don't really need it, and definitely don't have the money to replace it, much to the chagrin of my wife.  She's been lobbying for a new car since about two years after I bought it.  Nobody on my street can believe the Gringo has been driving the same car for nine years, and some of them have even told me so.

So I decided to have a little fun with my misfortune, and posted the following on my Facebook page, referring to the paint incident from last week:

Here were some of the responses - there were over 60 comments, I have removed the names to protect the innocent:

I thought that once I fabricated the bucket loader everyone would realize I was full of shit, but apparently not.  I know I live in a crazy place, and violent too, but in defense of Salvador even this is over the top.

I had thought to write a longer post, filled with witticisms and pseudo-philosophical musings, but the truth is I'm not up to it at all.  The giddy euphoria of the practical joke has passed and the hard reality that my car is fucked and I have no insurance is sinking in.  The worst part is this: the woman who owns the house from which the meteor fell is trying to pass the blame on to one of her tenants, claiming that she is responsible because someone drove a nail into the base of the thing and broke it loose.  They brought me up there to have a look and it is clear to me that this theory is bullshit.  She's looking to pass the buck.  I fear legal action may be in my near future and I'm not looking forward to it, especially if it means a fight with my neighbors.  Part of me just wants to let it go, but I picked a fight with one of the phone companies over a fifty dollar phone bill that was issued erroneously, seems nuts to roll over for a car repair that could end up costing two thousand.

These last pictures are from the neighbor's roof, the meteor's not-so-evil twin (not-yet-evil twin?) is pictured.  They really need to pull it down.