Wanna Borrow A Jack?
One day I went to a lawyer friend for advice.
"I'm in real trouble" I said. "My neighbors across the road
are going on vacation for a month; and instead of boarding their
dogs they are going to keep them locked up and a woman is coming
to feed them, if she doesn't forget. Meanwhile they'll be
lonely and bark all day and howl all night, and I won't be able
to sleep. I'll either have to call the SPCA to haul them away
or I'll go berserk and go over there and shoot them and then
when my neighbors return, they'll go berserk and come over and
My lawyer patted back a delicate yawn. "Let me tell you a
story," he said. "And don't stop me if you've heard it because
it will do you good to hear it again."
"A fellow was speeding down a country road late at night and
BANG! went a tire. He got out and looked but he had no jack.
"Then he said to himself. 'Well, I'll just walk to the nearest
farmhouse and borrow a jack.' He saw a light in the distance
and said, 'Well, I'm in luck; the farmer's up. I'll just knock
on the door and say I'm in trouble, would you please lend me a
jack? And he'll say, why sure, neighbor, help yourself, but
bring it back.'
"He walked on a little farther and the light went out so he said
to himself, 'Now he's gone to bed, and he'll be annoyed because
I'm bothering him so he'll probably want some money for his
jack. And I'll say, all right, it isn't very neighborly but
I'll give you a quarter.
And he'll say, do you think you can get me out of bed in the
middle of the night and then offer me a quarter? Give me a
dollar or get yourself a jack somewhere else.'
"By the time he got to the farmhouse the fellow had worked
himself into a lather. He turned into the gate and muttered.
'A dollar! All right, I'll give you a dollar. But not a cent
more! A poor devil has an accident and all he needs is a jack.
You probably won't let me have one no matter what I give you.
That's the kind of guy you are.'
"Which brought him to the door and he knocked angrily, loudly.
The farmer stuck his head out the window above the door and
hollered down, 'Who's there? What do you want?' The fellow
stopped pounding on the door and yelled up,
'You and your stupid jack! You know what you can do with it!'"
When I stopped laughing, I started thinking, and I said,
"Is that what I've been doing?"
"Right," he said, "and you'd be surprised how many people come
to a lawyer for advice, and instead of calmly stating the facts,
start building up a big imaginary fight; what he'll say to his
partner, what she'll say to her husband, or how they'll tell the
Old Man off about his will. So I tell them the story about the
jack and they cool off.
"The next time I hear from them, one tells me that the partner
was glad to meet him halfway; the gal says she can't understand
it, her husband was so reasonable she thought she must have
gotten somebody else on the phone; the relatives found out the
Old Man had already been asking a lawyer how he could give
everything to them before he died, to save them inheritance tax."
I thought, "How true! Most of us go through life bumping into
obstacles we could easily bypass; spoiling for a fight and
lashing out in blind rages at fancied wrongs and imaginary foes.
"And we don't even realize what we are doing until someone
startles us one day with a vivid word like a lightning flash on
a dark night."
Well, the other night I was driving home from the city. I was
late for dinner and I hadn't phoned my wife. As I crawled along
in a line of cars, I became more and more frustrated and angry.
I'll tell her I was caught in the heavy weekend traffic and
she'll say, "Why didn't you phone me before you left town?"
Then I'll say, "What difference does it make anyway, I'm here!"
And she'll say, "Yes, and I'm here, too, and I've been here all
day waiting to hear from you!" And I'll say, "I suppose I
haven't anything else to do but call you up every hour on the
hour and make like a lovebird!" And she'll say, "You mean like
a wolf, but you wouldn't be calling me!"
By this time I am turning into the drive and I am plenty steamed
As I jumped out and slammed the car door, my wife flung open the
"All right!" I shouted up to her, "Say it!"
"I will," she cooed softly. "Wanna borrow a jack?"
[ by: J.P. McEvoy -- from 'Mountain Wings' (email@example.com) ]
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