I have a friend who can't figure out how to do anything. That wouldn't be so bad but he knows I can, and since nobody has to walk to a phone booth anymore he doesn't see anything wrong with calling at any hour.

I would complain more but his uncle who had an agricultural business in southern Oregon, if you get my drift, actually named me in his will a few years ago. I didn't know he was going to but he remembered all the time I had spent helping him build his house and being reliable. That's what the lawyer said was his reason. I think it had more to do with the time I came to help do some quick clean up in the dark when word got out somehow that he was going to have "visitors" the next day and he wasn't ready for them.

It has helped because where I live employment is not so great and making connections with people can be just as bad as not knowing anybody.

Oregon is the kind of place where every other person seems to have heard Sasquatch in the woods or has a pretty good idea where D.B. Cooper probably buried all that cash decades ago. There are actually people who think he lives in this area and has blended in the whole time since he jumped out of an airplane on a freezing night in the rain over a swollen river wearing a borrowed parachute. Because that always turns out good.


                                                            ^^^^^ D.B. Cooper ^^^^^

Anyway my friend, Leo called a few nights ago around 11 pm and said he needed help. That's never a good thing because by 11 pm on most nights I have put my thinking tools away and replaced them with tonic water thinned down with copious amounts of gin and lime juice. My sensible leaves and well...

He said his girlfriend had called him crying. She was on her way home from her waitress job, had swerved to avoid a deer, then dropped into a large pothole caused by the endless rain and ice that hit this winter. I didn't see how that was mine to deal with but there was that thing with his uncle and sometimes you have to pay back.

It turned out when she dropped into the hole it sliced the sidewalls on both of her passenger side tires. Two tires, both flat even if only on the bottom, and one spare. He was able to go get her but her car was stuck on a back road about 40 miles away from my house. I have the same kind of car she does, so he wanted me to volunteer my spare tire and use hers so both tires could be replaced to get it out of there. That seemed okay but he could not come to get my spare because he had work the next morning and couldn't take time off the next day. They were worried and figured the car would be vandalized if something didn't happen soon etc.

I headed out the next morning around 4:30 a.m.  I stopped at the local market, Nellie's Quikie Stop 'n' Go, which when I first moved here it occurred to me that maybe it was something else, but Nellie was about 5 x 5 so I was off there. She passed away and a guy from the Middle East took over. He didn't change it any which didn't seem like very good business sense to me. There's a half built espresso cart at the edge of the parking lot but it hasn't been touched now for about a year. Nellie's has the usual stuff you would see in a store like it is in the city except this stuff is all stale. There are cupcakes in plastic, a thousand kinds of cigarettes, gum and candy, yesterday's newspaper and a corndog machine. There is something called "nachos" on the bottom shelf in the corndog warmer which looks too dangerous to consider eating.

The clerk usually sees me later in the day when I grab some coffee and get a day old newspaper. He was pretty surprised to see me that early. He thought it was funny I'd get a corn dog that time of day but of course he had not been up as late me quenching his thirst. It was more like the extra stuffing you push in a turkey on Thanksgiving when you think the other stuffing might fall out. It doesn't make sense but at $1.25 it was worth a try.

The road to my friend's house is way up off Highway 30 which runs along the Columbia River through sleepy little towns where people used to have jobs before it was realized that loggers need trees to cut and since they took most of them long ago, now they open up tobacco stores and try to stay in business longer than their neighbor who also runs a tobacco store. American ingenuity and capitalism at its weakest.

You turn off Hwy 30, go three miles up on a rutted road then hang a right onto another gravel road before the switchback where the deer jumped out. There it was. Axle deep in a hole on one side with the other side at pavement height. I had some tools in the back because only a fool doesn't and dug down enough under the spot where the jack goes to slide it in.

It's a good thing somebody explained karma to me in the past or else I would have just left and said I couldn't do it, but Leo would have known I was just pissed off that I was out there alone fixing something for his girlfriend. Anyway, I got the wheels on, drove the rest of way to Leo's place, picked up his girlfriend and took her back to her car.

We'll see how this karma thing works out because right now I still don't have a spare tire. My fingers are crossed I don't have a flat before Leo gets new tires for his girlfriend and brings it back to me. They said they will try to bring it to me on the weekend.

They said they would be busy until then.

Convenience means different things to different people.

Views: 149

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on March 30, 2017 at 8:01am


Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on March 30, 2017 at 8:05am

::waits patiently for karma to slash your tires::

Comment by Rosigami on March 30, 2017 at 8:15am

Hey that's a heck of a good story, Birdinhand, start to finish. I loved the local history lesson and your observations and descriptions. I hope your friends appreciate your efforts. 

Comment by Birdinhand on March 30, 2017 at 8:50am


Thanks for the smile.


What ? I'll "friend" you so you won't wish bad things on me.

Comment by Birdinhand on March 30, 2017 at 9:54am


Thank you. You read my first post too.

It would be great to have some people who can stop in regularly.

Leo won't see this I'm sure, so I'll just say I know he appreciates things but has a funny way of saying it. He'll wait until he knows I could use some assistance on something and then if he's in the mood will offer to help.

I don't expect much from people anymore. It's just the way it goes.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on March 30, 2017 at 10:05am

The whole karma thing isn't so much about payback as it's about finding what you need.  I'm a big fan of Random Acts of Kindness and Paying it Forward.  Not sure it does much good but it's got to be better than ignoring the obvious and pissing into the wind:

Comment by koshersalaami on March 30, 2017 at 10:40am

"If I can get to your girlfriend's car at 4:30 in the morning, you can get me a spare before this weekend. Trust me, I'm busy at 4:30 in the morning."

Comment by Birdinhand on March 30, 2017 at 11:09am

Foolish Monkey,

Thanks for saying so. I wasn't sure about trying to write out stories but if you try to make it like talking it's not as hard.

Comment by Birdinhand on March 30, 2017 at 1:39pm


 BTW...that's a hilarious name to make up.

 My friend Leo is tough to figure. I'm glad his girlfriend had enough sense to hide a key under a rock and text me or I couldn't have got her spare tire out.

It will work out. I try not to sweat the small stuff anymore because there is almost always something coming up around the corner that will be more important.

Comment by Birdinhand on March 30, 2017 at 2:15pm


Hey sorry I missed you. That sure is a great big video.

I think I'll just pop a CD in the stereo and listen at peak volume later this evening.


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