Saturday, January 09, 2016

the way is shut

As Homer Simpson would (and did) say: "It's funny because it is happening to someone else."

My guess is that is the secret of good situation comedy.  Schadenfreude runs rampant.

Yesterday I had just settled into my late afternoon siesta when Barco lived up to his name with his "someone-is-at-the-door"  bark.  I thought he was wrong because I had heard nothing. 

But my bedroom is as far away from the front door as possible without slipping into the neighbor's lot, and I seldom hear unannounced guests.  And my hearing is as old as I am.  Barco, on the other hand, has young, if sometimes delusional, ears.

So, off I went to the front door barefoot and in only my underwear to prove Barco wrong.  No one was there when I opened the door.  When I showed Barco the error of his ways, he took advantage of my hubris and darted outside.

I grabbed him before he could get off of the stoop.  But I was far enough through the door that I was also outside.

Just then, I heard a rather disquieting sound: of the door being slammed shut by the wind.

Like many Mexican doors, when mine closes, there is no way to open it without a key.  And that was one thing I did not have.  Nor did I have my telephone.

What I had was a lot of nothing.  Well, not entirely.  I had my underwear and a hungry puppy. 

Because this is situation comedy, just then, my two little neighbors (probably 6 and 8; one boy, one girl) took the opportunity to come play with Barco.  As I explained my plight to them, in halting Spanish, while looking at the unscaleable exterior walls of my house, the boy looked very worried and thoughtful as if he were about to share a wise solution.  He didn't have one.

The door stood silently locked before me.  Without a key, I was barred as certainly as the Men of Dunharrow: 

The way is shut. 
It was made by those who are Dead, 
And the Dead keep it, 
Until the time comes.
The way is shut.
That left me with one solution.  I needed a locksmith, and the only one I knew was about a mile walk away.  So, off I headed down the main street that runs through our neighborhood.  Barefoot.  In my underwear.  Carrying a calf-sized puppy.

My Mexican neighbors did not even bat an eyelash at the sight of an elderly fat white guy in his underwear toting a dog far too large to be toted.  I could easily have stepped right out of Yoknapatawpha County -- if Faulkner could have found credibility character possibilities in my situation.

I initially thought of walking to the other end of our busy street to see if my friends Lou and Wynn could drive me the rest of the way to the locksmith -- if he was still open after 6 on a Friday afternoon.  But I did not get that far.  I walked one block to the house of my friends Irene and Allan.

Even though they were getting ready to leave for dinner, they volunteered to help.  Allan drove me to the locksmith while Irene
let Barco stay with their newly-adopted English sheep dog, Bella.  (Barco knew Bella when she was fostered at the house next to mine.)

Of course, the locksmith was closed.  And the four mobile telephone numbers and one home number went unanswered.  Irene called her realtor for an alternate locksmith.  No answer.  I walked several house over to my realtor's home; she was not there.  After all, it was Friday evening.

Then Irene had a brilliant idea.  They are having a bar installed under their palapa.  She asked the contractor (Solomon) if he knew of a locksmith.  He didn't.

But Irene and Solomon came up with a brilliant alternative -- one I had discarded when first looking at the front of my house.

I will spare you the details.  After the short walk to my house, Solomon initiated his plan and was walking out the front door in less than three minutes.  With 200 pesos in Solomon's pocket, Barco and I were once again the masters of our home.

Now and then I have referred to my place as being "fortress-like."  After yesterday, the emphasis is more on "like" and less on "fortress."

All ended well, though.  Barco got some play time.  My friendship with Irene and Allan moved up a notch.  And I got some great writing material.

When I bought the dog, I thought my Mexican adventure days were going to be truncated.  Fortunately, as I so often am, I was wrong.

After all, who gets to have a Tolkien-Faulkner outing in Mexico?  On a fine Friday evening.


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