Temas Especiales

25 de Nov de 2020

Nacional

Crooks imitating movie thrillers

The gangsters in Panama are getting bolder by the hour. Not satisfied with assassinations in broad daylight, attacking tourists within w...

The gangsters in Panama are getting bolder by the hour. Not satisfied with assassinations in broad daylight, attacking tourists within walking distance of the presidential palace and car jacking from densely packed mall parking lots, they have now taken to robbing banks while the thieves and their car are dressed up to resemble the police units that are out looking for them.

Such was the local drama at a Banco National branch earlier this week. One of the robbers was yet another escaped prisoner, which makes one wonder if they hand over a set of keys when prisoners check in to La Joya. The robbery, which for sheer effrontery, mimicked a Hollywood movie, went wrong, and the the villains will soon be languishing in La Joya, maybe for years, before their case come to trial.

Meanwhile a couple of questions. If they were dressed up as police, what happened to their phony uniforms? All the arrest pictures show them in their usual garb. Did the outraged police defrock the prisoners before putting them in the paddy wagon? And what did spectators think of the road chase and shoot out, they saw a police car chasing another police car. Two sets of cops engaged in a gun battle? Fortunately, in real life (except perhaps in Mexico) not too many people get injured in the confrontations. Hollywood actors are obviously better shots.

TIME IS GOLDEN. One thing you can’t buy is time, something worth remembering when you have more important things to do than spend some precious hours with the kids or grandchildren, or even your spouse.

But time can convert a money losing item into gold. This thought came to mind when I attended the book launch of Phil Edmonston ’s latest Lemon-Aid volume. (It’s so voluminous that if you buy a couple of copies, you won’t need dumb bells to exercise.

During his presentation, while knocking European cars, he praised the habit of Europeans for keeping their vehicles for years. As we know the value of a new car goes down by at least 10 percent as soon as you drive it out of the dealership, and continues to decline for years to come, until you reach a plateau, at which time you might begin to recoup some of your original investment. But Dr Phil didn’t mention that if you keep it serviced and up to snuff until it becomes an antique the financial value changes. You not only get to participate in rallies of old cars, like the famed London to Brighton trip, you will have money in the bank.

How many times have you reminisced about missed opportunities like how much you could have sold that old home left to you by grandma or “if only” you had hung on to those ugly old ivory statues that seafaring great granddad brought back from China, and who would have believed that an old Coke ad could be worth anything?

But think about the cars you have owned, albeit in partnership with the bank. If you belong to the North American breed brought up with the belief that keeping up with the Joneses was the true aim of life, and that a new car every two years was not just for the benefit of the Big Three car manufacturers, you have probably spent more on cars than on the home you occupy.

All of this came to me while thinking of the cars I have owned, loved and hated. My first car (third or fourth hand) was an MG (Morris Garage) TC in British racing green, in which I rushed around English country lanes at a top speed of 60 m.p.h., with the rack and pinion steering substituting for working out in the gym. I was still in Her Majesty’s service at the time, and the car was kept mobile by the efforts of friendly ERA’s (Engine Room Artificers) who understood things like ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). It was essentially the same car as the TB, of which only 379 were produced in 1939 before production was halted by WWII. The TC was the vehicle that introduced America to sports cars in 1947. My used edition cost me $200. Today’s price: $50,000 plus..if only.