The glass bomb

Small chunks of glass were all over the terraza floor.
A photo I took from the yard Tuesday morning. That’s a jet trail in the sky above.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Okay, that’s not quite true, but it was dark. There was no storm, thank the Goddess. We were sitting atop our recliners about 9 p.m. Monday eating salads and watching a movie on Netflix when, all of a sudden, KA-BOOM!

But KA-BOOM! doesn’t quite convey the reality. It was like a bomb dropped.

My child bride reacted in typical Mexican fashion: “It’s a SHOTGUN!” But no. A huge pane of the glass roof atop the upstairs terraza exploded.

It’s tempered glass, and apart from a small section of overhang, nothing fell down … just yet. The pane was spiderwebbed with tiny cracks. And it made ping, ping, ping sounds about an hour, almost like falling rain, but it was not raining.

Then nothing happened for about 10 hours.

The next morning it crashed down in chunks, splintering on the terraza floor. We thought that would happen in the middle of the night, but it didn’t.

View from up top. That rectangular section on the right edge fell off at the get-go.

After sweeping the terraza and dumping a half-ton of glass into three heavy-duty garden bags, we drove to the business that installed the roof two years ago. That was Tuesday. After the usual “We’ll be there tomorrow” lies, typical here, someone finally appeared yesterday. He measured and said the new pane would be installed Monday, a promise one can take with many grains of salt. But it will happen eventually.

Meanwhile, we’re hoping it won’t rain much. It’s sprinkled a few times this week. Looks like the rainy season will be starting early this year. Usually, it starts in early June.

Our initial thoughts were that someone threw a stone or something from the neighbors’ home or the sex motel, but that would be very difficult and unlikely. I think it spontaneously self-destructed. Perhaps a defect in that one pane.

19 thoughts on “The glass bomb

  1. Well, it did what it was supposed to do, break into small relatively harmless pieces. Tempered glass is under stress so it will do it. It might have been caused by something falling from the air, even a bullet shot miles away. Or, like you mentioned a rock thrown from a distance. Do you have insurance to cover it? I’m glad it was tempered, otherwise you would have shards of glass slivers with sharp edges to clean up.

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    1. Phil: We pondered on the possibility that something fell off a plane, but I think not. Lord knows what caused it. What concerns me even more is that it does not happen again. I pray not. Yes, we have insurance, but I’m not going to mess with it. It won’t cost all that much. About the only reason I keep homeowner insurance is for earthquake coverage.

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    2. Phil, P.S.: As for your insurance question, I did not get the insurance company involved. But here is what it cost. The guys arrived around 11 a.m. today with the pane, which is about 4.5-feet square, 3/4-inch thick, tempered glass. They had to scrub all the previous glue and glass bits from the perimeter of the hole. That took a good while. They then carried the glass pane out there, walking atop the steel beams, and glued it into place.

      The entire cost was the peso equivalent of $125 U.S. I thought it would be more.

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  2. I doubt there was a defect. It was probably not installed properly. Too tight in between panels or improper kit under it. Check when they install the replacement.

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    1. Kirk: Truth is that I’ll never know. As for checking the replacement, I’ll let you come and walk way out there on the glass to check it. I’m staying on tierra firma.

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    1. Don Guillermo: That occurred to me, and if it had happened the same day or the next day, I would have thought more of it, but it happened about five days after the washer was out there. But who knows?

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      1. My money’s on the stress from last week’s walk on glass. As I read that blog post about cleanliness, next to godliness, I reflected upon how you serve as an example for others. And now I’m convinced that is your purpose in life.

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        1. Ms. Shoes, P.S.: After examining the evidence, physical and nonphysical, my wife and I have reached the same conclusion, the only one that makes any sense. The two kids who live next door did it somehow, likely with a slingshot. The physical distance makes it just barely possible. Some years ago, my wife saw the little fellows atop their house tossing rocks at passing cars. She told them to stop, which did not make them happy. After the canvas curtains were installed last year, one of them shot a rock through the closest one. We found the rock on the terraza floor. They are now about 12 or 13 years old. It was them, 99 percent. When we get the new pane installed, we’re going to extend the shade cloth to cover the entire roof. We hope that will provide a little extra protection.

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  3. No easy answers, señor. Probably one of your local bumblebees made too heavy on who knows what, or a couple of local bats frolicking away the evening. Please do keep us posted on outcomes.

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    1. Ricardo: Yeah, it’s a mystery. At this point, I’m just hoping they don’t drag out the replacement any longer than necessary. The rains are threatening. Mother Nature would pick this year to start the monsoon season early.

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    2. Ricardo, P.S.: Even my neighbors are working against me. Today is the day we beseech the rain gods to bring water down upon us. There is a celebration on the plaza, lots of explosions — because Mexicans always think explosions increase the power of prayer and whatever other thing — and, one imagines, prayers to the saint in charge of this matter. This is an annual event.

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  4. Well, whatever those rain gods are doing down there is starting to work up here. Please send suggestions for donations to said gods so that this continues. Drought is a way of life out here where we are almost part of the Chihuahua Desert and someday will be.

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  5. It was one of those Mexico afternoons we take for granted rather than enjoying. A perfect day to sit in the living room and read a novel while reveling in the poetry of my wife’s presence. It is on such days that we first encounter Our Own Private Apocalypse.

    Mine came in the form not of Four Horsemen but the shattering of the glass ceiling on my terrace. As I carefully wended my way through the detritus of shattered glass, I looked up to the sky. Or what should have been the sky. What I thought was merely a jet trail opened the sky like a zipper. The hole in the roof was now the entrance into another dimension replete with dragons, knights, and a blue-plate special of chicken-fried steak that could be had for a mere buck and two bits. The type of meal that is always served by a cheerfully fat blonde waitress who calls you “Hon.”

    I knew it was going to be the adventure of my life. Or maybe the next life. You can never be certain about these things.

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