Hey, Big Spender

We were having lunch when the sound of cars on the track below the house sent the dogs into a frenzy.

Normally, they take no notice….they know all the regular cars: Hugo’s SUV, Luis’ pick up, Franklin’s van and the two motor bikes which bring the Mariachi’s workmen to his finca down over the river.
These come at their appointed hours and apart from the odd grumble from the poodle pass without challenge.

But today the dogs were out in full fig: Arthur, periscope ears rotating as he gave tongue….the two pups hanging over the edge above the track presenting their less attractive profiles as they barked in baritone…Black Tot and the poodle yapping hysterically and bouncing up and down to see over the bushes.
Danilo’s dogs joined in, nothing loath: Calamardillo showing his crocodile teeth….the Hyena giving it laldy…and tiny Bigote – more hair than dog – yapping along with the best from his vantage point on the table in the porch.

The cars had stopped by the time we had left the table and gone to investigate.
Two large, shaven headed men were looking up at the canine reception committee, then a hard faced woman peered out from the lead car and seemed to call them back.
The convoy turned in the entrance to our neighbour’s corral and departed whence it had come.

Lost? Plenty of people do get lost, thinking that there is a road through the valley….

But it appeared that they were not lost…they were on a quest.

All was revealed when the young man who delivers goods after dark turned up with a further installment of wire fencing.

Had we seen the enforcers?

Well, we’d seen the men and the two cars.

Yes, the enforcers. They’re looking for The Neighbour

He of the crisp white hat with a curly brim has been remarkable by his absence of late.

Yes, he would be. he’s lying low.

The fencing unloaded, the story was recounted over a beer.

The Neighbour – while ostensibly making his living from transporting cattle – has other occupations.

He works for one of the local Mr. Bigs doing goodness only knows what which pays very well in cash
However, when the opportunity arose to do some moonlighting for another of the local Mr. Bigs in the same line of business he seized it with both hands.

Flush with this doubling of his income, The Neighbour has been extending his social horizons.
Banned from every bar in town and for several kilometres around he decided to go further afield and betook himself to one of the casinos with which San Jose is blessed.

casino san jose

This did not please the lady who has moved in with him in the hope of one day depriving him of his house by accusing him of ill treating her and thus being awarded possession of his property under the provisions of the law protecting women from domestic violence..
The hostesses in the casinos look considerably more like Shirley Bassey than she does and are even more expert at cash extraction.

Apart from the hostesses and their lack of apparel, the casinos have other attractions….free meals and snacks…and free booze.

The Neighbour’s dream.

Until it turned into a nightmare.

Flush on the attractions of the casino he appears to have ventured past the one arm bandit area into the maw of the beast – the gaming tables – and there to have laid down some four thousand dollars on one turn of the roulette wheel.

Whether it stopped on the red or on the black our informant had no idea…but he lost.

Collapse of stout party.

He could pay…but he was now skint.
And he had immediate calls on his money – because the money he had lost was not his, but money belong to Mr. Big 2 which The Neighbour had collected on his behalf.

Resourceful as ever, The Neighbour betook himself to Mr. Big 1 and negotiated a loan of four thousand dollars to tide him over.
He then paid this to Mr. Big 2 and settled down to a period of enforced domestic economy to pay off Mr. Big 1.

Enforced domestic economy had not pleased the lady resident on his premises. In return for the donation of her favours, not to speak of the washing, ironing, cleaning and cooking, she expected considerably more than a diet of rice and bananas, while his refusal to share the remaining whisky on the grounds that decent women did not drink alcohol only exacerbated matters.

She took herself off to Mr. Big 1 and revealed to him that The Neighbour was
A…working for Mr. Big 1’s rival Mr. Big 2
and
B…the money he had borrowed was to pay to Mr. Big 2.

Then, wisely, she retired to her daughter’s house to await results.

Mr. Big 1 was displeased. He intimated to The Neighbour that
A… he wanted his money back. Now.
and
B…there was no future employment for The Neighbour’s talents. Not at his address.

The Neighbour had a problem….he might not have future employment with Mr. Big 1…but if he did not cough up it was likely that he would have no future at all.

His solution?
Sell the truck he used to transport cattle.

But he has not only to find a buyer willing to pay his price…he has also to have the sale ratified by a lawyer – and they don’t work at week ends.

So until both conditions are fulfilled The Neighbour has been lying low…and Mr. Big 1’s enforcers are hunting him down.

We wait with bated breath to see if the previously resident lady will reveal to Mr. Big 2 what The Neighbour was doing with the money entrusted to him….in which case the dogs will have a lot more barking to do.

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43 thoughts on “Hey, Big Spender”

  1. . . the genetic links between Turkey and Costa Rica continue to grow – Rica (pron ‘reejah’ in Turkish) means to request; Rical means men of importance and Recat means to retreat! I think Erdoğan must have been correct when he said that Turks arrived in the New World before Columbus (or the Vikings come to that) – it would account for all the similarities. ‘Rica edirim!’ – ‘Not at all!’

    1. The Neighbour has been fairly quiet lately…i had supposed because it took him so long to get to and from any drinking haunt from which he had not yet been banned that that took up most of his time.

    1. Who could play The Neighbour…short and squat with a shaven head – shaven because he could not afford to his his remaining locks dyed black any more and, besides, men were laughing at him for going to a ladys’ hairdresser…

  2. Cringe-worthy living in Costa Rica. This is fascinating reading, but I’m not sure I would like to be living in the midst of these folks. Get more dogs! (and I learned a new word: laldy. Thank you!)

    1. No worse than rural France! If you have a bit of the language and have acquaintances who deliver wire fencing in the evenings its amazing what you hear.

      Now, there was a murder in the village when we lived in France – a spectacular one. We were the only expats for kilometres around who knew anything about it as no one else was on the gossip circuit.

  3. It must be nice to live in a quiet, sleepy little place where there is no drama, no sinister goings on, no duplicitous behavior by shady characters with questionable business practices. It must be nice, but then you wouldn’t know, would you, because your finca is in a hotbed of local intrigue. Remember to keep your friends close and your dogs even closer.

      1. And who calls their dog a hyena…? Looking at the dog in question I think the armadillo part could be accurate….

        Costa Rica country living resembles French rural life very closely…the drug dealing, the burglaries…but if you don’t understand the language and don’t talk to your neighbours you don’t have a clue what is under your nose….and i’m willing to bet that we don’t hear the half of it.

  4. I suggest setting up CCTV and sending it to ‘You’ve Been Framed!’
    This in fact might become a TV series in it’s own right.
    “Living Death in Costa Rica”
    I look forward to the next installment, but the neighbour will not.

  5. Do I detect just the tiniest smidge of Schadenfreude in your post?
    If so, relish it, the neighbour has long been due for a bit of alternative attention.

  6. I hope he gets his due and a bit more and I’d be about finding a good set of guard dogs for yourselves…That’s quite a little hotbed you have there…I guess you’ve given up on the idea of a quiet life in Costa Rica.

    1. The two pups do a good job – on the reputation of the breed rather than their own personal attributes. Personally it’s the poodle i wouldn’t like to upset….she brings all the others in her wake.

  7. Almost everyone seems to think this should be scripted for TV…my thought was that the “enforcer” woman was scouting for locations and extras.
    I’ll tune in again for the next episode.

  8. Goodness, what tangled skullduggery! Anyone who thinks they can make a fortune for themselves by working with the local Mr Big is astonishingly naive. There’s just bound to be trouble. And if the lady of the house claims domestic violence, there’ll be even more trouble. The Neighbour would probably be better off leaving the country altogether rather than wait for Mr Big 1 and 2 to catch up with him.

    1. Well, he has a Houdini like record of escaping from his problems…..and I’m not sure if he would know how to leave the country…the mechanisms of getting a passport would be beyond him….writing for a start…

  9. Anyone with any sense would be selling the film right for this saga to Hollywood. I can see it as the next big gangster blockbuster with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino high on the cast list. Life must be so much quieter with The Neighbour lying low. 🙂

    1. He’s been spotted lurking around his lady friend’s daughter’s house recently and said daughter is seeking an order to prohibit him from the area,,,,
      Just as long as he hangs around somewhere other than here we will all be delighted.

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