Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Spanish for "stupid". That's what I was day before yesterday when I decided to give an ex-caballero named Edgar, a.k.a. Cascarita (Little Eggshell) the task of felling a tree encroaching on my house that would have reduced it to toothpicks and dust had it fallen on it. Cascarita got his nickname after being involved in a drunken car accident that shattered his wrist like an eggshell - no mas toros, caballero. Now he's the cook at my sister-in-law's restaurant.

I stupidly decided to give Cascarita a shot at felling the tree. I mean, he used to ride bulls, for God's sake! I made it clear that I didn't want any problems with the telephone line and/or roof underneath the tree. "Fine!", he said, with total confidence.

Of course, he didn't show up at 6AM yesterday like he said he would (normal), and still wasn't there by 9AM when I left for the office. When he did show up, he came with a amiable, toothless guy named Primo (Cousin), who, when not drunk, worked like an army ant and could scale a greased brass pole barefooted like a howler monkey climbing a mango tree. He also brought two machetes and a rope.

I got a call from my wife at about 5:30PM saying there was a "poco disastre" ("little disaster") at the house. She was pisssed. A branch had fallen and had hit the roof, cracked the fascia and downed my telephone line. It dawned on me that the confidence exuded by Cascarita was simply the usual words, a lie.

Cascarita's explanation for the poco disastre infuriated me - "...you need a cherry picker to take that tree down!", he shreiked, arms waving in the air pointing at the tree. I replied, "Well if I neededed a cherry picker to do the job, why did you guys even start it? I mean, there's a big difference between a cherry picker and two misfits with machetes and a rope. When did THAT dawn on you?" It didn't register with him. He was the victim. I hadn't provided him with the right tools. It was my fault. I paid them 15,000 colones to go away.

So now I have the guy I should have called in the first place coming by this afternoon to see if he can finish the job. He's a gringo. It's better to give it to a gringo "...when death is on the line. Ahh, hah, hah...!"

Pura mierda!

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