So, I have had this series of posts where I lightly poke fun at the way things are sometimes done in Mexico. In actuality, working in Mexico more often highlights how ridiculous Americans can be. Yesterday, the sort of silliness that I often witness hit an all-time high. I have found a coffee shop in Mexico with wi-fi because I simply cannot wait to share this story with my 4.5 readers.
Yesterday was a big day for arrivals in our Puerto Penasco camp and I spent much of the day running people to their work sites from camp. One of the times I came back into camp, I noticed a Jaguar XK convertible parked along with some other vehicles. A quick trip to Jaguar's website identified this vehicle as having a base price of $89,000. Due to this value combined with it's extremely low profile and limited ground clearance, this struck me as an odd choice for a vehicle to bring down to Mexico on a missions trip. All the same, I assumed it would stay at camp and the gentleman who brought it would hop in someone else's vehicle for the rough, sandy ride out to the work site.
The thing about assumptions is that they are often wrong and it only took a few minutes for mine to be proven incorrect. As I led a group out to the work site, I noticed the Jag at the end of the caravan as we pulled out of camp. At the most convenient opportunity I had everyone pull over so that I could run back to the Jag owner and warn him of what was up ahead. I informed him that as we got closer to the site it would get increasingly loose and sandy and I was concerned about his ground clearance. He asked me, "So you're telling me were going to get stuck?" I replied that it was his ride and he could do want he wanted, but that I did not think it was a good idea for him to continue. He first responded, "I should have brought my Hummer," then continued with "Let's give it a try."
Side note: I hate Hummers. H2's and H3's are the embodiment of all that is evil in the world. They are chunky, expensive and slovenly. I. Hate. Them. The fact that GM managed to take the original Humvee, the vehicular equivalent of a lion in the savannah and turn into a household tabby makes me very, very sad. I am soooooo glad that throwing a bunch of gawdy, squared, boxy sheetmetal on top of a Surburban chassis no longer qualifies as an adequate marketing tool in the U.S.. Hooray for the Hummer name going under and being sold to China.
I was already a little bit vexed by the situation and the fact that I walked away from this exchange actually wishing the gentleman had brought a Hummer further perplexed me. Anyway, onward ho.
I continued my lead in to the site and kept a close eye on the Jag. He held tight and didn't experience any significant problems. As we got to the softest part of the sand (withing 150 yards of the worksite) I pulled over to give him one last warning. I waved everyone else by and awaited the Jag. As he pulled up, the window was down as he began to shout triumphantly and the following exchange took place:
Guy Driving Jag: You just gotta know how to drive like a professional, bro!
Me: That's great, I'm glad you made it. You can see the house around the corner and this is really the area I was warning you about. You might want to just park here and walk the rest of the way.
Guy Driving Jag: Nah, I got it.
(This is what it looks like when an $89,000+ vehicle becomes as worthless as a rock in the Mexican desert.)
I found the moments that followed to be absolutely hilarious. The Jag was buried withing fifty feet of the point at which I tried to advise him against pressing on. The icing on the cake was when the FJ cruiser pictured above first came over to help out. He positioned himself in front of the Jag to help pull him out. Another priceless exchange took place:
Jag Guy: What are you doing?
FJ Helper: Well, I was going to try to pull you out.
Jag Guy: We need to go backward. Look at that sand, going forward wouldn't make any sense.
This is the point where driving your Jaguar Sports Coupe that cost the better part of $100,000 dollars ceased to make sense? Not when you were pulling out of the driveway for a missions trip? Not when you hit rough roads in Mexico? Not when the guy who drives these roads everyday warned you twice? That he finally chose to drive, I mean draw, a line in the sand here matches Caddyshack in it's absurd hilarity.
Despite the above conversation, FJ Helper stuck around to unstick Jag guy. Fully Loaded White Lexus SUV Guy also helped out (this is another vehicle choice that confuses me, but at least this confusing vehicle choice has four wheel drive and a reasonable amount of ground clearance. Despite the frustrating start, this group quickly won me over as the day progressed. They are an awesome group of guys and they don't always get it, but they openly admit this fact.
The truth is, I am a complete idiot. I prove this to myself and those around me every day. Whether it be having a forgetful moment, not connecting the dots on something really obvious or falling short in my moral decisions and execution of my faith, I am constantly failing. There is a strength in admitting and coming to terms with this fact. Many of these gentlemen see themselves as the worst of the worst and the lowest of the low. This is a freeing way to see yourself. It allows you to give and accept grace at a phenomenal rate. And you never know when you're going to need that grace. It could be in the middle of the Mexican desert.
P.S. - I'm having trouble with my spacing whenever I add pictures in blogger. Does anyone know how to fix this? Thanks.