My Holiday greeting
We’ll be heading out tomorrow, perhaps early Monday depending on how preps go—down to SoCal for the gifting & celebration, a few days…then Beatrice and I are gonna fly out of Tijuana via Volaris to Cabo for a couple of days, rent a car and drive up to La Paz for three days. SCUBA and snorkeling for me.
For one reason or other, neither of us are that enamored of the “holiday spirit” this year—probably why we’re going to Mexico. I’ve explained to Beatrice that it matters not much to me. I spent 8 holiday seasons living abroad, largely alone and in my own thoughts—not ever bothering to put up a single decoration. It’s somewhat of a relief to recapture that. I’ve often felt over the last years that the holiday season was mostly just a pain in the ass. Sorry.
…Unless it’s truly genuine, now & then.
Thursday I decided to undertake some long neglected maintenance on my BMW X5. It began with an oil change, filters, other fluids—at a place nearby where Bea takes her Infiniti. I already knew that the front driver side-axle CV boot was torn, but this guy’s inspection revealed that the passenger side boot is now torn as well. Whoa! It’s like 3 thousand clams for that job at the dealer, a little less at the Euro specialists. I began asking around & found Arturo. He wants my business and by Friday afternoon, I had two new—not reconditioned—left & right front axles replaced for $750, parts & labor—the price the dealer would charge for just one axle, the part itself.
It works fine.
…Back up. Thursday afternoon, while I was leaving the shop for the oil change, the guy who did the work stopped me as I was driving out.
“Can you check to see if I left my flashlight in your car?”
…I’d been watching him work. All the guys have these white, brilliant LED flashlights so they can inspect inside the dark engine compartments of the cars they’re working on. I checked around.
“Nope, nothing here.”
He kept his game face on, which I wasn’t to realize until just a couple of hours ago.
…Last evening Bea’s school had a collective dinner at a local place, teppanyaki style. 20-something elementary school teachers. I had the opportunity to talk to a number of teachers, even the principal, about having trained, armed teachers and encountered zero resistance. They naturally had already thought about cops or retired cops on site, but for sure: they understand they’re targets.
When we left, we went over to Khartoum in Campbell—a nightclub—with the lot of them. When ready to leave, Bea couldn’t find her purse so I went to the car to check. I didn’t find her purse, which turned up in the nightclub.
Instead, I found a flashlight rolling around in the back.
…I do all of my billing via PayTrust, for years now. The problem for things like vehicle registration is then, your sticker goes to South Dakota, a pain in ass. So I have the stupid government send my stuff to my home, because they’re stupid and you can’t fix stupid. I only bother to open physical mail about every 2-3 months. When you do that, you’ll find that 99% is trash worthy, so you never wasted any time. But so, I found the registration renewal and for the first time ever, smog cert is required for my X5.
I headed over to the same shop. By this point, I’d not even thought about the flashlight. Once one of the guys got working on my car, I did think about it. Went to the back, opened the door, retrieved it, brandished it and the entire shop of about 6 guys began making uproarious noise.
…Turns out, this is not just any flashlight. This is a $200 flashlight. The guy who lost it was there, and you’d have thought I’d just saved his firstborn from doom. The coast was clear, all are happy, and all the other guys had their fun, per the proper ethic of a place where everyone works hard:
“He CRIED! Hahahaha.” He’s been looking all over the shop, calling customers….”
He offered to take me out for tequila shots.
He made sure the owners gave me his employee discount. Saved me 10 bucks.
When I left, I wished him a Merry Christmas and added: “now you’ll never forget me.” He replied instantly: “Never!”
How simple it is, really. Fortunate how one human being can make the day for another at random like that, with the fortune of it making your day, by consequence.