Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best of..."Dr. Chaffin Goes to Jail"

Wow, just as the economy is contracting so is my blog readership. I wonder if this is universal? Nevertheless I shall persist in posting "The Best of" for about a week, though the thirst for updates in current news drives the engine, the trip is still worth reviewing. From "Dr. Chaffin Goes to Jail," 2/6/06:

So here I was at the prosecutor's office at 9 AM, located in the same jail I was to visit later that day under a different status.

I was meeting with the prosecutor personally since our lawyer was again indisposed. I asked him when we'd get the dog and our stuff back. He decided to set a date for one week, where if our evil maid didn't appear she would be fined, and if she missed the subsequent date, she'd be fined again, and after the third failure another warrant would be issued for her arrest.

I stared in disbelief. That is, after someone has been convicted and it's proven she has stolen from you, she doesn't have to return your goods until three court dates later?

Flummoxed, with less than three hours sleep, knowing I should return home and back to bed, beset by the trots again, I just couldn't face Kathleen with the news. So I drove out to Maria's ranch where her son was working with another man on constructing her brick palace.

I stepped onto the property, asked Benjamin's co-worker if he was there, and strode into the shell of the palace where turkeys, chickens, and other beasts were being kept, but no Kenyon--which was my purpose in coming, to ascertain if he were there or not.

I asked Benjamin if he knew where Kenyon was and he said "No." Staring at his little monkey face (of 33 years), I just lost it, kicked him out of the brick palace and began pummeling his face. Then I just stopped, strangely. I was fagged, Kenyon wasn't there (although I had heard a bark that resembled his--turned out to be another dog).

So Benjamin, after covering his face as best he could, peeked out to see me doing nothing. Whereupon he ran for a crow bar and attacked me; I pulled the crowbar out of his fist with such force that I fell on my back. In this position Benjamin jumped on me with his co-worker; Benjamin pressed the crowbar on my left clavicle and neck, but could do no damage because I held the bar as well; but his co-worker put the point of a machete at my right carotid with an uncomfortable amount of pressure; both were obviously terrified of the giant Gringo, sweating bullets and repeatedly calling the police while both my arms were pinned down by their squat Mexican knees.

Lucky for them I wasn't manic, or in good health, or I probably would have done something stupid and hurt them. But I kept my head, as in my weakened condition I decided sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, so I waited patiently in the typical crucifixion position until the police came 45 minutes later. Meanwhile I stared up at the fungus balls on the dead Mesquite giant above me, tried to doze a little, and occasionally complained about my hands being numb or the machete being too deep in my throat.

The police arrived and seem puzzled per usual. They cuffed me behind too tightly (my left thumb is still slightly numb from the nerve pressure) and had be climb in the back of a small pick-up without help, which I managed. Then on bumpy, bumpy roads, with myself scrunched against the cab wall, I was finally taken to jail and given my own cell, though I did have to ask for water and toilet paper.

Further indigities occurred but I am still too exhausted to describe them until another post.

Only Benjamin was bleeding; my worst pain was of course in my back from being hauled through town as a spectacle. Mexicans smiled at the giant Gringo in the police truck with mixed admiration and wonder, but not much Schadenfreude.
Later my lawyer sprung me with a call to the mayor. That was an expensive call.

The good thing is that the incident lit a fire under my lawyer's ass, and also, when they hauled me (the second time) across town and back to record my version of the story at another ministry ten miles away, the office was too crowded--so I couldn't make a statemen--which would have put me in jail until Tuesday (this happened on Friday), except for my lawyer's connection.

I'm really close to giving up, unlike one of my (and my brother-in-law, Howard's) heroes, Winston Churchill. "Never give up, never ever give up except for reasons of principle or honor."

Obviously Winston's advice is that I continue. But at what cost? My health is nearly ruined, my financial status dicey, and my will, normally indomitable, has suffered spiritual fatigue of a sort I can't remember save in my deepest depressions.

I'll guess I'll see "what tomorrow may bring," as Dave Mason of Traffic sang so long ago.

Meanwhile I'll reconsider physical confrontations at my age. I never hit a man first before, except once when I took off a man's glasses and told him what was to follow. But feeling so weak in a fight really made me feel old and useless. Paul Simon's "Boxer" comes to mind.

Oh well, just another day in Mexico. Now the whole family down here has been to jail over the pooch. Mexicans think that's absolutely crazy. Hope you don't.

Now wasn't this more exciting than the Super Bowl?

Love to all,

C. E. "Jailbird" Chaffin

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