Thursday, March 12, 2009

Court and Scorpions

Today was court day in Futa. There was a judge, a prosecutor, and a public defender. Then there was a defendant, who over one year ago got a bit more than tipsy at the rodeo next door, then decided to break into our truck, rip out the radio (and then dropped it in the grass), grab a package of flour, some canned corn, CD's and a bag of dogfood and drag it to his home two houses away. I guess it seemed like a good idea to him at the time. Futa fashion, with at least 30 Carabineros in town at any given time, he was quickly discovered, arrested, and all the "loot" returned. So, for over a year, he lived the "life of shame", his parents shunned as well. At least that's what I think.

Anyway, a volcanic explosion, and several other shake-ups later, court came to Futa. Greg went alone (I stayed to get in a little internet time and watch another, more important court event...Madoff pleading guilty and going to jail) and was impressed to find the prosecutor spoke some English.

"What would you like from the defendant? Would you like him to do some work for you? Is there any restitution you want?"

Greg admitted that the whole event, which happened around 4 a.m. was over, and most of the loot recovered before he even woke up. He didn't mention that some months later, the ladrone's father made our living room furniture and our bed. In the end, the kid pled guilty, gave Greg an earnest apology, and it's all done. Our neighbor, and landlord Bosque, had wished for a long prison term, or a caning. After all, he'd given up his front-yard potato patch for a parking space the day after the break-in, and been vigilant thereafter with locking the gate.

Later, after court, Greg ventured up to Patricio's house. The Hydro Guy. Digging deep into his almost empty well of Spanish, he explained to Patricio the recent problems with the hydro, and wanted to tell him to bring his tools, specifically, a tool he though he knew the Spanish word for: pliers. But, instead of "alacates" for pliers, the word "alacran" came into his mind and he made a pinching motion with his thumb and forefinger and told Patricio to please, "por favor, tu alacran!"

So, Sunday, when Patricio comes to the house, if he isn't too scared to show up, we'll see if he figured out that Greg wants him to bring pliers, and not scorpions. Thankfully, Patagonia is almost completely without all the creepy insects we have encountered in most of the rest of Latin America.

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