Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I know a guy who steadfastly claims he received a FREE 1959 Ferrari and Jaguar from Cuban Communists.

Through work, I know this older British gentleman who drinks way too many gin and tonics, complains about nearly everything, and tells 10 amazing stories per hour. Like nearly every Brit I've met, he is truly eccentric. No need to belabor the details, but, for example, he does not drink water and eats only one meal a day.

I now know him well enough that I don't let his extraordinary stories pass without a challenge -- and nearly every freaking story, by that standard, is challengeable.

For example, I gave him HELL when he insisted that he once visited a bar in Dublin next door to the Guinness plant that had a secret pipe that pumped fresh beer into the bar direct from the brewery. And now he's told me the granddaddy of whoppers: he once received a FREE 1959 Ferrari Testa Rossa and XKSS Jaguar from the Cuban government, then later sold them for four million dollars. And the funny part is not the claim itself, but the fact that he's actually claiming it -- and also, that it might be true!

Ok, some background. This British gent did live in Cuba for three years in the 1980s working for a massive chemical company making sure that Castro paid them what he owed. He has told tens of believable stories about living there. But after pressing him on this free Ferrari story for several days, I think he may have it straight.

So here's the gist of what apparently happened. After Castro took power, all the gangsters fled and left behind their cars. We all know that. But the Cuban government confiscated the REALLY fancy cars and impounded them. This Brit was pretty rich in the 80s, so he decided to buy these old sports cars from the government for $250,000. He went through the Ministry of Culture, but because the Communist government is so thoroughly inept, that department had zero communication with the Ministry of Finance. So after he ran a letter of credit, and the vehicles were shipped to England via East Germany, the payment collection just fell through the cracks and he got them for free -- shipping cost and all.

I've been pressing him and waiting for a slip-up in the details but haven't caught him yet. This shit may have actually happened, but I'm still skeptical. I mean, the Cuban government is notoriously inept so it's not so crazy that an error like this occurred. I'll be razzing him for a while on this one though.
Maybe I'm being totally naive, but I've been to the Guinness Brewery, and I know a lot of Irishmen... I believe the bar story...
This post is a classic example of why your blog is so awesome. Thank you for continuing to rock.
Sounds 100% British - self absorbed, full of bullshit, intent on telling the world about outsmarting all competitors, complaining about every thing in his life (especially Americans), and participated routinely in totally unbelieveable events. Don't you just love them.

Wow, you nailed this guy, especially with the "especially Americans" part. I hadn't even mentioned that, but this Brit would always go off on America-bashing. Actually, it kind of pissed me off a few times. He's a green card holder, so seriously, if it annoys him so much, just go back to England, as far as I'm concerned.
I never knew Chris Hitchens worked for a chemical firm.
Bullshit, a real Brit, like me, would never and I mean never have sold the Jaguar, the Ferrari yes 'cos that'll give you best bang for your buck, but the Jag, no way.

Oh and we only stop because the weather is crap in Britain, and they speak English in the hospitals, which is damned important when they're about to cut you open for something.
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