Sunday, July 14, 2013

Precisely WHY You Should Never Do Business With Friends

Farmer H needed a product the other day. For the sake of thinly-disguised identities, let's just say he needed a truckload of widgets. He arranged for his buddy, Buddy, to deliver the widgets. Buddy runs a side business with his own widget-delivery truck. The price of the widgets was agreed-upon by both parties: 7 potatoes.

The widgets were delivered, and Farmer H came to the house to ask for 7 potatoes. That's because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom controls the potatoes around this here Mansion. Because of that, we never run out of potatoes. Mrs. HM is very good at taking care of the tubers brought into the Hillbilly family root cellar. I counted out the 7 potatoes and gave them to Farmer H. He scurried back over to the BARn area and handed the 7 potatoes to Buddy. Buddy dumped them into his potato bucket and headed home.

The next day, Buddy stopped by to ask Farmer H if he as sure he had given him 7 potatoes. That's because when he checked his potato bucket, he had only 6 potatoes. He did not remember taking out any potatoes, so it stood to his reasoning that Farmer H had shorted him a potato. Farmer H replied that he had not counted the potatoes himself, but that he was sure I had given him 7 potatoes. Buddy disagreed. Farmer H came to the Mansion and asked if I was sure I had counted out 7 potatoes. Yes. I count them out every week for our personal potato needs, too. The same amount, 7 for Farmer H, and 7 for me. I was sure.

Farmer H declared that in order to keep the peace, and preserve a boyhood friendship, he needed 1 more potato to give Buddy. It's not like 1 potato would leave us bereft of potatoes for the winter, though with the #1 son off to college, we will have to be sending him potatoes as well. In my opinion, if Buddy was sincere, he could agree to disagree with my alleged potato-counting faux pas, and settle for half a potato. But no. Buddy took the potato and ran.

Farmer H's adult first-born son, his Number One son, was at the BARn working with Farmer H. He has known me as his step-mother figure for many, many years, since the tender age of eight. We have an easygoing relationship, and are quite familiar with each other's idiosyncrasies. He turned to Farmer H and said, "When was the last time you ever knew HM to miscount potatoes?"

Exactly.

In the future, Buddy will receive his potatoes in the form of a glossy certificate showing the agreed-upon number of potatoes, a certificate stating that he can redeem it for the pictured potatoes at any vegetable market in town. He can stick that potato certificate in his potato bucket until he's ready to spend his gas to drive to town and wait in line at the vegetable market.

HM ain't playin'.

5 comments:

Sioux said...

OR you could pay him in pennies. Augusten Burroughs (a very funny writer) had a maid who was a "challenge." When she resigned, he paid her last check with bags of pennies.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sioux,
I have that Augusten Burroughs book. Which reminds me, I need to get his latest one.

I wouldn't want Buddy walking the streets with his pockets full of change, trying to buy calzones for his boss!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Or anyone else's boss, because the anyone else has been banned from the calzone store for "stealing" out of the tip jar.

Sioux said...

But there's nothing I like better than a pair of hot pants...a pair of pants hot out of the pizza oven...

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sioux,
Unless it's your fancy hat, walking stick, and Technicolor Dreamcoat.