Wolfe’s Woofer: Even Trade

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

“What are you having, Mario?” I asked.
“Two garnaches and a tamale.”
My sometimes helper and I were eating lunch at Lupe’s at the big picnic table. A group of workers from a nearby construction site came over to eat and Mario called to one of them.
“Hey, Rafa,” he said. “Come over and eat with us and let’s talk about money.”
When Rafael got in line to order I asked, “What was that all about?”
“I keep Rafa’s bicycle at my house because he got no place to keep it. He pays me five dollars a week and I look out for it. Only thing is, he don’t pay me for a long time now.”
When Rafael sat down Mario said, “Rafa, you got five dollars for me this week? It’s adding up all the time.”
“I know,” Rafael said. “I don’t use the bicycle no more. I think I’ll sell it and use the money to pay you off. It’s a old bike though, so I may not get much for it.”
“How much you asking for it?”
“I was thinking maybe a hundred dollars. Would that be enough to pay you off?”
“I don’t know. You left it at my house when you went to Orange Walk for your birthday.”
“Oh, yeah. That was. . .um. Let me see, uh. . .That was eighteen weeks ago. For five bucks a week, how much would that be, Mr. Dennis?”
“That’s ninety dollars,” I told him.
Mario said, “You only wanted a hundred for the bike and you owe me ninety. Why don’t we just trade for it to pay what you owe?”
Rafa said, “I hate to lose ten dollars in a trade. I’ll tell you what. If you’ll keep it two more weeks we’ve got a deal.”

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