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Last of the squirrel photos by photographer Geert Wegge.

A series of squirrel photos by photographer Geert Wegge.

A series of squirrel photos by photographer Geert Wegge.

Doggy and owl are best buds.

A series of squirrel photos by photographer Geert Wegge.

Depending on which country you’re living in, bedrooms around the world can look like quite different. As someone who has lived extensively in Britain and America, this is most certainly true of both places. Here are five ways British and American bedrooms are very different:

Luckily, it’s VERY rare.

British Olympic medalist Nile Wilson talks about his decision to leave competitive gymnastics.

 

So, this happened. For the record, this is Accurate Builders in El Cajon, California.

Friday, March 5th, 2021, 11:00 am

The parking lot at Alpine Taco Shop was full. There was a work truck in the lot parked across two spots, plus another truck (with Accurate Builders logo on the side) was facing out, with a chipper in tow, blocking the driveway to the house in the back (see photos). As I’ve done many times when the lot is full, I parked in a small unpaved dirt area on the northeast side of the lot. I was facing east, broadside to the chipper, which was about 40 feet away. I was parked parallel to a pedestrian sidewalk just beyond me.

I sat in the car for a moment, making a phone call, and then heard a loud BANG. I got out and walked around the car, and found the dent on the passenger side, facing the chipper. Not wanting to get hit again, I moved the car to another spot that had just opened up.

I waved at the workers to get their attention over the noise of the chipper, and explained to the guy who seemed to be in charge that a rock or something just came out of their chipper and damaged my car.

The guy looked at me with a straight face and said, “That’s not our chipper.”

“No? Who’s running it, then?”

“We’re not running that chipper.”

“Let me get this straight: that’s not your chipper, and you’re not running it?”

“Nope.” What is this, some sort of hillbilly gaslighting Jedi mind trick?

“Well, I don’t think it flew here and started running on its own.”

The guy came over to my car to inspect the damage. I asked for his name but not surprisingly, he didn’t offer it. As his Mexican workers swarmed around, taking pictures of the dent, the guy went over to where my car had been parked and picked up a ragged fist-sized chunk of wood. “You think this might’ve been it?”

“Not sure, but that would’ve done it.”

The guy took the chunk of wood away and disposed of it. I did not get a chance to take a photo before he disappeared with it.

The chippers discharge spout was pointing towards the parking lot and the sidewalk where anyone could have been hit by the debris that was clearly not being fully contained. If that chunk of wood had hit a person, it could have been a serious medical incident.

Now he’s back at my car, full-on YELLING at me now. “There is NO WAY a piece of wood could do that! No WAY! Yer a SCAMMER! This here is a SCAM! I bet yer a Democrat, too! I bet you voted for BIDEN! Yew Democrats are all the SAME!” Two of the ladies who work in the taco shop came out and bore witness to this tirade. I was grateful for their presence.

At this point I realized this man was not at all rational, not in his right mind. I resisted the urge to say, “Darn it, ya caught me, dude. It’s the age-old car-dent-chipper scam! Me and my cohorts drive around in our dented cars, just looking for chippers to park nearby!” I laughed it off on the outside, but inwardly I felt very intimidated by and afraid of this unhinged person. This person who was driving around in a truck with an Accurate Builders logo on the side.

I got my phone and called the number on the side of the truck. Got voice mail for someone named Fernando. Left a pretty terrified message. Never got a call back. According to the website, the owner’s name is Fernando Gonzalez, so I’m guessing it was the owner’s phone? The website has a totally different main number.

But while I was on the phone, crazy guy came back to yell at me some more. “Oh SURE, go ahead and call the COPS and make a statement, it won’t do yew ANY good!” I got the feeling this wasn’t the first time he’d screamed those words at someone.

All of these people were maskless, by the way, and crazy guy was screaming in my face.

I didn’t see any options where they offer brush-clearing services on their website. Perhaps this person was not an employee but some third-party contractor using their truck. But regardless, this person was representing Accurate Builders and I suggested they take a hard look at his outright hostility and complete lack of professionalism.

It’s a small dent, but the body shop worker said that whatever hit the car was at such high velocity that it actually deformed the metal, stretching it inward. If that projectile had hit a person, it would have resulted in a serious injury. And the chipper was aimed right at the taco shop’s parking lot, right at the lunch hour, and also there was a sidewalk right by where I’d parked.

Update: Accurate Builders claims they were merely accepting free mulch from an unnamed third party doing brush clearing there, and they refuse to take any responsibility. I’d have thought that they’d want, for only $150, make this right, but I was wrong.

During Bisbee’s booming mining days, the stock exchange there was the only one east of the Mississippi. I have a baseball cap from there! And it’s currently for sale.

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