When we should have known better

When he popped open the stuck car hood, I let go of the handle and smiled in amazement. “Yep,” he said, “Next time, just try to pry it up while the handle is pulled, have someone help you.”

I nodded. “So, when are you due in court?”

He shook his head, “I’ve got a jury trial in September. It’s going to be self-defense. Everything looks good.”

“That’s good,” I replied.

“See here,” he showed a picture on his cell phone of a guy with a cut over his right eye. “I didn’t even hit him on that side.”

“Yea, stuff gets crazy in a fight,” I said. “Well, would you do it again?”

“I don’t know…”

“It was avoidable, right?”

“Well, yea, it was dumb.” he said.

I nodded.

“So, let’s get your car jumped,” he said. He looked under the hood. “Your battery bolts are loose. That’ll make you lose charge.” He quickly tightened them. “They’ll come loose on older cars, but don’t tighten them too much, there’s a lead bolt inside them that goes into the battery that will get stripped.” He pulled his van around and hooked up the cables to his engine and then to mine. “Wow, hear that? Your battery is sapped. My engine was struggling after I hooked up the cables.”

After a moment, I put my key in the ignition and my car started without a problem.

He said, “Don’t worry about it, since you helped me, we’re even.”

“Thanks,’ I said. “I made something you’d like. Wait a second, I’ll be back.”

I returned and handed him a brown bag. “What’s IPA?” he asked.

“India Pale Ale” I answered.

As he drove away, I reminded myself to always try the obvious solution. But even if you don’t, you’ll probably learn something in the process of fixing it. And maybe help someone in return.

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