Friends in odd places

                A number of years ago, I was at my desk at work when a daughter of a friend of mine called. She was at her apartment and had locked her keys in the car. Would I come over and get the car unlocked for her, she wanted to know. Being the ever dutiful and faithful friend, I told her I would be over as soon as I could.

                Having no criminal experience that I would be willing to admit to, my first challenge was finding somebody who did. Inquiring at a nearby repair shop, I found a mechanic who indicated he had the skill set that I was looking for. He further indicated that, seeing as how he knew me and liked me, and seeing as how it was my friend’s daughter that was in distress, he would break into her car at no charge.  I thanked him profusely and we got into my car and drove to her place not far away. He was an inquisitive type and, by the time we got to her apartment, he had ascertained that she was in her mid-twenties, a student, and the single Mom of a young daughter (who, by the way is way beyond cute).

                “Mom” met us in the parking lot and my friend got to work getting her car door opened. In the short time he took to do that, he and my friend’s daughter talked up a storm. Her daughter was busy being cute at Mom’s feet. The mechanic finally asked where Dad was and found that he lived in Chicago. That lit a memory spark in my mechanic friend who had grown up in Chicago and had worked there until just a year or two ago. He inquired as to the father’s involvement in his daughter’s life which launched Mom into a brief lament as to his unwillingness to help with child support. By now my mechanic friend had the door opened and stepped back with a look of disgust in his face. “He does not want to pay his part of the deal?” He was clearly not happy. Mom affirmed this fact whereupon the mechanic whipped out his cell phone and started looking up a number. “What is his name and where does he work?” he wanted to know. “Why?” She asked. “I have some friends in Chicago who will go “see him” and make sure he knows he has to pay.” He waited patiently while she took in the idea he had in mind. After a time, she finally told him that she had a court date and he was going to get his wages garnished.  The conversation ended with my mechanical buddy giving his cell number to my friend’s daughter with the instruction that, if he ever gives her any trouble, she is to call him and his friends in Chicago will pay him a visit.

                True story.

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