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Puffy Wet Lips

Nov 8, 2007
There's this guy who lives across the street from us who we have renamed Wet Lips. When we are in a really lighthearted mood, we refer to him as Puffy Wet Lips. This gomer is in his late 60's to early 70' and has a body like Mr. McGoo and lips like Angelina Jolie's. I mean they are two huge puffy red and unnatural things that look like a pair of slugs. I keep waiting for them to take off in a race around his little head at any moment. Actually, he looks more like that toady little man with the horned-rimmed glasses and freaky, scratchy voice who used to be on LateNight with David Letterman and whose name I can never remember.

Anyway, Wet Lips drives this ancient VW Bug on which he has to rebuild the engine each Saturday. I think it had to be one of the very first Volkswagens Bugs every built. Somehow, he got it into Mexico after taking it from Hitler right after the war or something like that. Wet Lips keeps running this "car" when he should show some humanitarian kindness and have it put down.

Wet Lips drives this car endlessly, relentlessly, and stupidly. We live on the end of a dead-end street and "Puffy," as we are wont to call him, comes in and out of his little cochera (carport) dozens upon dozens of times a day. The man is a maniac. No one has to use a car that often anywhere or for anything that many times a day. But, he evidently has many places to go and many people to see each day. When he makes his frequent trips, we always know it because he parks the Blue Beetle right in front of our bedroom window.

Here is how the man parks his car. His little carport is exactly three meters in front of our bedroom window. We know this distance for a fact because one time, last summer, someone tried to blow up a taxi across from our window by setting it on fire and that's what motivated us to take scientific measurements. The flaming taxi was right next to Wet Lips' car. Nothing happened to the VW (unfortunately) but the cab was toast.

So, here comes Wet Lips tearing up the street at speeds no one should be able to drive a VW, but he does anyway. My wife knows when he is coming long before he turns off the main road and onto our street. Then he cuts the wheels suddenly to the left in directly front of our window and doesn't so much drive into the parking space as flies into it as though shot out of a rocket launcher.

Then, he backs up. Then he goes forward. Then he backs up. Then he goes forward. Then he backs up. Then he goes forward. He does this exactly five times. And, each time he backs up, he comes within inches of our bedroom window and fills our house with carbon monoxide. Once he is Obsessively- Compulsively satisfied that the car is snugly into his slot, then he hammers down on the accelerator while foraging about for one of those red-barred things that lock the steering wheel up so no one will steal his machine of asphyxiating death.

(As if someone would want his bomb that belches foul-smelling blue smoke!)

All the while, Larry Lead-Foot is hammered down on the gas pedal and we, well, we start walking all wobbly, start falling down a lot, and begin seeing things that are not there.

I have got to suppress the urge to go outside, drag him from his car, and hold his mouth over the exhaust pipe and screech like a madman, "How's that tasting for you, Puffy?"

I truly do not get what possessed Mexicans in this town to get cars in such environmental-destroying abundance. Those who have cars, and sometimes more than one, are beginning to have the same obesity problems that Americans, Canadians and now many Europeans are suffering.

They will get into a car to drive two hundred yards all in the name of "Car Ownership Convenience" when they could walk! So badly is car ownership coveted that the payoff for having a car far outweighs affording their kids clean air and a healthier body by walking rather than motoring.

That is a mystery to me!
About the Author
Doug Bower is the author of "A Walk Through Mexico's Crown Jewel: A Guanajuato Travelogue .
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