Monday, August 11, 2008
I never expected that I would get a new grandfather when coming to Argentina, but Ed was the coolest temporary grandpa I ever had.
He stood 180 degrees away from me on every possible view of the world and he was a bit racist, but in all he was an incredible guy.
It sounds like some lame-ass plot from a bad TV show but it really was amazing that we learned to tolerate and like each other. On the first day I told my roommate Johnathon that Ed was a fucking retarded conservative. And Jonathon told me that later the same day Ed asked him if he met me before describing me as a "lunatic Liberal who was fucking out of his mind."
It was great to constantly have a 78-year-old around the house just so we could get his reaction on everything that went down. Which would usually be Ed shaking his head and calling one of us an idiot. He would frequently put people on probation if he didn't like their views. I believe I held the record for being put on probation three times in one day.
He also hated our "landlords" or whatever you want to call the couple who rent the rooms of the house out to us. He started only calling our landlord Jorge "asshole" and he would frequently talk about how retarded "asshole" and his wife were.
In a move that is normally reserved for blacked-out college freshman living in dorms, Ed tore down every sign (our house had a bunch of signs with dumb rules) in the house as an act of protest against the "asshole."
I'm not really sure how to describe this, but here is the room Ed slept in. It was bright yellow with a ton of windows and you had to simultaneously step up and crouch to enter the room.
You also had to duck beneath two small doors just to get into the room. Which makes Ed look like a monster in this picture.
Still it's mind-blowing that somebody who has never spoke a lick of Spanish in his whole life would venture to South America t0 learn the language and for that I give Ed the ultimate respect.
It was also great to have somebody constantly remind you how great Buenos Aires is. Ed must have said "God, these people sure do know how to live right" at least five times a day.
On his way to the airport to return home last Sunday our "landlords" were kindly thanking him for his stay and wishing him well, Ed responded with, "Why don't you ditch that dropout loser (Jorge) and come back to New Mexico with me."
To which Sara (the wife, who doesn't speak English) just continued to smile and wish Ed the best.
On our final dinner at a great Argentine parilla, Ed looked at the two Colombian girls we live with, Laura, 23 and Ivonne, 19, across the table and said: "You girls should come back to New Mexico with me," before pausing. "Of course you wouldn't be allowed to wear any clothes in my house."
And that is what I loved most about Ed.
I hope to God that if I live to 78 I'll be in a position where I can solicit Latin American girls one-quarter my age to come back to my home on the condition they will never wear clothes.