Friday, November 18, 2005

New Lawyers Bring Hope?

Hey, blogees. I fired our lawyer Wednesday and hired some lawyers with juice; one is the brother of the mayor, one has a grandfather on the supreme court and a nephew in congress. I don't know which of these politicos I'm supposed to pay but I think it's the nephew in congress since he controls funding to the local ministries.

Anyway, the mayor's brother marched me into the DA's office Wednesday, and as he had some goods on him, the man immediately called his subordinates to get our damn case to a judge. Then in Mexico one never knows if such things are theater to save face or actually happening. But it felt good!

On Wednesday Derek also had to make a statment about the supposed break-in; the public attroney and our attorney (before I fired her) both advised him to say nothing. You can take the 5th in Mexico, too. So the authorities badgered him for two hours and he stuck to his guns, God bless him. "My lawyer told me to say nothing," he kept saying, as they prodded him with questions, unable to believe that's exactly what he'd do.

Funnier was my forty-minute session with the chief adminstrator of the Ministerio Publico. I brought placards in Spanish declaring, "No justice for Americans in Mexico," and, "The government knows the name and address of our dog's kidnapper but hasn't done a thing!" into the entrance hall.

I sat there as all the bureaucrats passed and read the signs. The administrator was soon summoned, and summoned me upstairs, obviously flummoxed by my action. "It just isn't done," he said. "It's not our fault, we're just trying to help you." "We're just a small part of the process."

And I: "But you are part of the government, aren't you? And doesn't Mexico have free speech? Are you going to arrest me?"

"You don't understand--it's just not done here, it won't help."

"If it won't help how come I'm getting all this personal attention from your honor?"

"I'm trying to explain how it is."

"That I can't do it?"

"Not exactly, but there may be a federal law forbidding non-citizens from protesting publicly."

"Really? So the Federales are coming after me and my butt's going to rot in jail?"

"I didn't say that."

"You got kids?"


"If ten weeks passed after one were kidnapped and nothing was done, how would you feel?

"That's not the same! We're talking about a pet here!"

"No, were talking about a service dog, which Mexicans don't understand, as they treat their dogs like furry alarm clocks."


"Guard dogs, underfed and full of worms. You do worm your kids, don't you?"


"BTW, is the public lawyer here to talk with me as we arranged?"

"No, he had to leave on an emergency."

(Right: Mexico is full of emergencies.)

"Ok, why didn't you tell me instead of wasting forty minutes of my time. I'm a doctor, I'll send you my bill."

And with that I left the king of dead-end thinking confused, wondering why gringos are so crazy. I did something no one had done before and no one is likely to do again. But ah, the pleasure of it. How I enjoyed my Socratic ignorance. He could never wrap his brain around mine, poor concrete-thinking culturally rigid unimaginative Kafkaesque functionary!

All for today,


Monday, November 14, 2005

Death by Lawyers

It's come to this: Kathleen has had recurrent bouts of depression over her hearing-ear dog being locked away less than half a block from where we're staying.

Last week while I was sleeping she underestimated her rum intake, went outside, roused Derek from our van where he sleeps, and together they tried to break in to the place-- only to have the evil son of our former maid slam the door on Derek's now blue fingernails.


Afterwards the police picked them up and impounded the van.

I woke with my wife, car, stepson and some money missing.

As this was not the first time Kathleen had... err... indulged in an adventure, I didn't panic, I just stayed home and waited. The police called near 2PM; I had them bailed out by 4.

They were more afraid of seeing my face than being in jail. ;-) I was briefly angry but could not stay angry long. I saw that the health of my family was more important than our dog, my manuscripts, or my folder of two hundred or so original songs. So we hope to transfer power of attorney to our friend Carlos and bail, and if I have to come back, I will, by plane or train or automobile-- some day.

Yet, as luck wouldn't have it, our attorney informed us that we cannot transfer power of attorney without obtaining a new FM 3, or resident visa, for which they charged us 4000 pesos to cancel (we were a month late) when we crossed the border. This will take more time, more fees, photos, paperwork-- the usual bureaucracy from Kafka Hell experience. But we shall endure.

Our case, by the way, after two months, is right back where it started, with the investigators. The prosecutors sent it back twice because some detail was missing or some form out of order. Mexicans love to have their paperwork right, then never look at it again, in my experience.

I'm up to 30,000 words in my essay on Eliot's Four Quartets, just two movements from the finish, and I'm becoming a bit peevish with him. Must be overexposure. When he tells us in "Little Gidding" that the self and its attachments both vanish and are forgotten, I ask: "Then why should I read the forgotten attachments of your vanished self, Mr. Eliot?" Grrr....

Anyway, though embarrassed, Kathleen and Derek are fine.

"Pray for us sinners at the hour of our death" (by the hands of Mexican lawyers).

Gotta sign off now and consult another lawyer.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why My Blog Is a Failure

Here in Mexico at the Bagel Cafe I found a copy of Time with a page of tips on how to have a successful blog. I have followed none of them.

First, you need a lot of links to other blogs and sites and topics to make the search engines.

Second, you need to stay on one topic.

So, a man goes into a blog and asks for some ink.

"We don't serve ink."

"How 'bout some paper?"


"All right, give me pixels on ice."

"We only serve pixels neat."


This passes for humor? Not! I just made it up out of a bad pun. I apologize if you read it.

Who reads this crap, anyway? Gotta stay on one topic... hmmm.....

My one consistent topic is going be well-considered, factually researched and currently hot.

To pic from so many topics--ouch! Yet I have chosen one, the one you're dying to hear about.

My topic, thus, is you. My blog is entirely devoted to you.

How are you? What are your worries? Money, weight, relationships, illness? E-mail me your troubles or bravely post them here.

By the way, Dear Abby died and her daughter's doing the column. I'm so much better qualified! Not only am I a family doctor, I trained in psychiatry.

You can't afford my help. But soon I'll publish my PayPal account.

What's free advice worth, anyway?

Still, my topic is you and your health and happiness.

Ask me anything.

Why just yesterday a man complained to me that his wife thought she was a refrigerator.

I said, "So what?"

He said, "I wouldn't mind but when she sleeps with her mouth open the light keeps me up."

This passes for wit? Not! I stole the joke from some movie I can't remember.

I'm forgetting more and more these days as my hard drive is full and every new memory must replace an old one--like the etomology of aardvark (Dutch for earth pig). Why should this fact remain in my head when I've forgotten my niece and nephew's birthdays? (Sorry, Jack and Gilly)

This blog affords me the opportunity to stay on topic and talk about you.

You, hypocrite lecteur! Mon semblable, mon frere!


CE, the Failed Blogger

p.s. There's a picture up of me now for the brave of heart.

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