For this week’s challenge, let someone else do the talking.
“Hi. It’s Dave.”
“Oh, hi Dave. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I just wanted to remind you we are going to be out-of-town from Sunday through next weekend. Owen will be here, so he can take care of anything you need. Except money. I won’t be able to pay you till we get back.”
“Don’t worry. Enjoy your vacation. I know where you live. You’re not running away, and I don’t think you’ll spend all your money on vacation.”
I flash on Jackman, Maine.
That’s where we are going on Sunday and we’ll be there for a week. It’s a town in which — other than a tee-shirt and souvenir shop — there are no stores. No restaurants, either. Nowhere to spend money, even if we had money to spend. Which we don’t.
“No, the money is tucked safely in our savings account. So it won’t get accidentally spent on groceries.” Or other frivolities, I think to myself.
“No problem. We’ll get it done.”
“You have my son’s number?”
“I have it somewhere. Maybe you should give it to me again.”
I do that. He writes it on another slip of paper that as likely as not, he will lose … but he knows where we live. If worse comes to worse, he can track my son down. They know each other. It’s a small town.
And that’s what we call “a country contract,” folks. That’s how we do it, out here, where there are as many cows as cars. No paper. Nothing in writing. Just an agreement, on the phone.
You know what? I’m sure Dave will come and fix our well. More certain than I ever was with contractors I hired in Boston. With all the paperwork and legalities, I never knew when or if they would show up.
But I know Dave. Hell, the whole town knows Dave. He keeps his word. If he didn’t, everyone would know it, including me. He’d be out of business.
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