Today I needed to change locks on a set of doors and had planned on using a man recommended to me by a friend. The seventy year old man, supposedly the best of his locksmith kind in Panama, was named Sr. Jaimito which roughly translates to Little Old Man James.
He arrived with a man perhaps older than himself who was carrying a large saw. “OK” I thought. “OK, hello.”
We had to go to the Cochez (spelling?) to get the supplies where we were part of a small car accident and the men selling hardware refused to attend to us because we wouldn’t stand in line. Eventually we got our locks and I bought myself a neat little magnet.
The two men followed me to the apartment where they examined the lock the way a judge might look at a criminal, as if to say I’m about to do away with you. “Hey, Little Old James,” I said. “You think you can do this in a few minutes? I got a meeting to get to.”
The two argued soon thereafter like little boys about who’d get to do the installation. “Hold it there!” shouted Jaimito. “I not holding it there. What I look like to you, a doorstop? You hold it by you self.”
They installed the top lock in no time, maybe ten quick minutes. But when it came to the lower portion, there were some issues. Jaimito’s assistant had a gentle form of Parkinson’s and was unable to keep the screwdriver steady. Sr. Jaime called him out on it. “You can’t do locksmith. You got the shakes!” He turned to me, pointed at his little old assistant and laughed. “The shakes he have!”
After the men finally installed the lower lock, and fought about who had a better key chain, we were in the process of walking back to the car where I was to drive them home. His assistant gave Jaimito a flat tire (as in stepping on his shoe heel from behind) and the two nearly broke out into a brawl. Hilarious!
I’m using these guys again no question, if nothing else simply for the entertainment factor. If anyone else needs a good plumber in Casco Antiguo let us know and we’ll give you their info.