“Would you look at that, Harold?” Billy Ray bellowed from entryway to Delbert’s Garage. “That’s the third day in a row Delbert put that sign up there. How-em-I gonna get my car fixed if he’s out fishing everyday?”
Harold took a good look at the sign. “Sure enough, that’s the same sign that was up yesterday…and day before that; you’re right. That makes three days now.”
Billy Ray shuffled back to his rusted out Dodge Dart, its original grey color barely visible on the dented up exterior. “I’m goin’ down to Lake Belunka and tell him there ain’t no other place for me to get my car fixed ‘round here, and he’s gonna have to put that fishin’ rod down for a few hours. Get in, Harold.”
It was only twenty minutes later that Delbert saw Billy Ray’s Dodge Dart kicking up a rooster tail of dust as it made its way to Lake Belunka. Delbert had no doubt that Billy Ray was probably angry and upset about the garage being closed for three days.
The Dart skidded to a halt mere feet from where Delbert was fishing. “You mind telling me how a man can get his car fixed if you ain’t around to fix it?” Billy Ray asked, Harold right behind him with his head nodding in agreement that an answer was in order.
“Take it easy there, Billy Ray. I decided to close the shop on all days ending with the letter “Y”. Today is Wednesday, and that ends in “Y”, right?”
“Oh, well that explains it then,” Billy Ray relented. “A man does have the right to pick the days his business is closed, I guess.” Harold nodded in agreement and the two men began walking back to the car. Delbert tipped his favorite fishing hat and wished the man good day.
Billy Ray spun back around with a look of anger on his face, Harold right behind him, wondering why Billy Ray was so upset. “Wait a minute! My Momma didn’t raise no fool. All days end in “Y”, Delbert. You tryin’ to make me look like a fool?”
“No, Billy Ray. Actually, I’m the fool. I was just hoping to buy a bit more time.”
“Huh, more time. What you talkin’ about, Delbert.”
“Well, you know how I bought all those fancy door locks so the garage doesn’t get broken into again?”
“Yeah, I remember you tellin’ us about that,” Harold replied. “You got robbed four times last year…that’s what you said…four times…right…four…it was four, right Delbert?”
“Shut up, Harold!” Billy Ray yelled. “Let him tell about why he tried to make a fool of me with his no service on days ending in “Y” yarn.”
“Billy Ray, things aren’t always what they seem. See, that sign you saw on my business. Well it’s been up there for three days ‘cause I can’t get in there to take it down. Business was slow on Monday, so I decided to go fishing. And somehow, my keys to the shop got caught on my hook when I was casting out my line. I’ve been stuck out here for three days now. My truck keys were on the same keychain.”
“You’re playing me again, ain’t ya?” Billy Ray asked. “I mean, why keep on fishing instead of trying to get help. Arlee Hampkins has a boat. He could take you out there and you could jump in ‘bout where you think your keys are.”
“Oh, I’m not fishing for fish, Billy Ray,” Delbert replied, reeling his fishing line in and lifting the end out of the water. Where would normally be a hook, there was a small, black, rectangular shaped object.
“What the heck is that?” Billy Ray queried.
“It’s a transmission pan magnet. Lucky for me, I found it in my truck. Apparently, I left it out of your transmission pan when I rebuilt your trans. I’m using it to try and catch my keys.”
“Hey, ain’t that what you was bringing the Dart in for, the transmission?” Harold asked. “I wonder if that’s why it sounds like metal grinding up in there.”
“Shut up, Harold!” Billy Ray screeched. “Delbert…”
“Yeah, Billy Ray,” Delbert replied.
“You’re lucky I’m a Christian man. Otherwise, your hind end would be out in the middle of that lake with them keys to your shop.” And with that last comment, Billy Ray and his buddy Harold drove away in the clanking, rusted out, and in-need-of-repair Dodge Dart.
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