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Big Daddy on the loose
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I heard the telephone ringing and thought, “It better not be that blasted IRS guy again...”

I leaned over to look at the caller ID and it was a number I was not familiar with. Normally I avoid those calls all together, but I decided to take a chance and picked up.

“Ello? Eye yam lookeen for meesus Lamberr...Helen?”

“Excuse me?”

“A Helen Lamberr?”

“This is Ellen,” I responded hesitantly.

“Oh! Meesus Helen, thees ees Joseph, from Cesar’s Transmissions. Eye yav you usban’s trock here, to feex id. Eye jus was wondereen eef you heer from heem? Eye try to call on ees cell phone, but ees no answering.”

“Oh Joseph! Hello! No, he doesn’t answer because he doesn’t know how to use his cell phone. How are things going with the truck?”

“Well, Meesus Helen, eye tell meester Lamberr that id migh be worse case scenario...and id ees. Ee ave no reverse, and ees forwert ees messed up, too. But eye can feex id. Eye wan eem to know eye order all de pars for id, an eye shoo ave id ready tomorrow. Ees OK?”

“Si, Joseph. As soon as you can.”

We actually spoke at length about Meester Lamberr’s truck, which decided halfway to California to go belly up on him.

He made it, going 50 miles an hour for about 200 miles.

What a great way to start a new job in a new town.

I found out a little bit more about this fella who is doing the trannie work. Hubs was really desperate, and Cesar’s Transmissions was right across the street from the office. Cesar was happy to get the work. I mean Joseph.

Joseph told me he also moonlights as a jet mechanic.

Ole. I hope he is a good jet mechanic.

The guys at the office told Meester Lamberr that they sometimes have their vehicles towed 60 miles to get cheaper work than what he could find in Santa Barbara, but ol Hubs has to be able to keep an eye on Beeg Redd.

I asked him how he was getting back and forth to work from the motel.

“Well, I took a taxi this morning to the tune of about 20 dollars, then I walked about two miles to the bus terminal after work. I stopped at

Subway to get a five dollar footlong and went to sit outside to eat it but after realizing I’d soon have about 20 ‘best friends’ who would want to share the sandwich with me (i.e., the homeless folks ), I decided to put the sandwich inside one of the two coats I was wearing.”

“What? You were wearing two coats?”

“Yeah! It’s cold here today!”

That’s right. I forgot. Mr. Lizard. He wears long johns under his sweat pants. Never seen one man wear so many clothes in 60 degree weather.

Then he went on:

“Well, I had the sandwich tucked inside my coat while I was waiting for the bus, and when I got on finally, I had a cute little Mexican family come and sit right beside me. The kids kept looking at me, I know they could smell my sandwich.”

You know I laughed so hard I about wet my pants.

“Yes, I felt so bad for those kids, looking at me like they were gonna take a bite outta me ... smelling that Italian sub I had tucked away.”

I said it reminded me of the “Seinfeld” episode where the dogs are following Elaine down the street while she’s wearing a coat with mutton stuffed in the pockets.

Still laughing, I said, “They were looking at you wondering why you didn’t look like their Grandpa, but you sure smelled like him!”

“I couldn’t wait to get off that bus. I’m sure I looked homeless too, wearing the two coats and riding the bus. And never mind the smell...”

“Yeah, you’re making quite the impression on the folks in Santa Barbara. No ride, no money, riding the bus and smelling like deli meat. Nice!”

“And to top it off,” he said, laughing like Ricky Ricardo, “I spilled coffee all over my new boss, who just started today!”

That’s Meester Lamberr, our very own bull in a china shop.

Learning how to win friends and influence people.

I hope Joseph weel ave a job for eem over at Cesar’s. He might need it.