Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hi! You owe me money!

One of the little tricks I have learned to get people out of my hair is to loan them small amounts of money and then dun the living hell out of them every time I see them. It works pretty good and I highly recommend it.

A couple of days ago Lefty Davis saw me and completely avoided me which is a good thing. He's only into me for under ten bucks, but Lefty has a problem of some sort and is always trying to get someone else to sponser his bad habit, be it drugs, alcohol, compulsive spending or whatever the hell it is.

Some of you guys that read this are probably pretty hard nosed about loaning anything to someone you know that will never pay you back and as a result, either have to be totally nasty to someone to get him to go away or you are constantly besieged by the person that is hoping to wear you down.

While I don't particularly like to be nasty unless someone truly deserves it, I don't like being pestered, either so a small loan that I will never see repaid is in order.

When you loan a person like this, they will come right back for another loan inside a brief period and then you are in the driver's seat. You simply ask him what happened to repaying the loan you recently made to him.

Then the chase goes on. Every time you see him you either give him 'the look' or ask him if he has the money he owes you. It doesn't take long before he starts avoiding you and starts ducking around corners when he sees you coming.

After a while it really becomes a lot of fun if the guy is like Lefty Davis, who has owed me a little under ten bucks for about as many years.

A couple of trips ago at crew change, Lefty saw me and ducked around the corner and avoided me like I was an avenging angel coming after him for committing a mortal sin. He knew better than to try and mingle into the crowd of guys standing around in the doorway because he just knew that if he did I would approach him in front of the guys and ask him for my ten bucks. Of course, he didn't want to be embarrassed.

This is not because Lefty has any real sense of shame. This is because Lefty realizes that if I do dun him publicly, it will make perspective victims aware of his act and there will be fewer people to leech off of.

One of my friends in the milling herd named Jeff saw Lefty duck around the corner and smirked at me with a knowing look. He knows what is going on and for the life of him just can't figure out why Lefty simply doesn't cough up the ten lousy bucks and be done with it.

He knows Lefty is a pest and once asked my why I simply didn't thump the little geek and get my money back.

I explained to him that I don't want the ten bucks, I simply want Lefty to stay the hell away from me and as long as he owes me the ten bucks he will do just that.

Now this guy I was talking to is pretty sharp and unlike some, he is a pretty sharp younger guy. He's about thirty but was raised old school and is an umpteenth generation seaman to boot. He looked at me thoughtfully and grinned in understanding.

"Lefty has been bugging me for money for years," Jeff said. "How much should I loan him?"

"He smokes Marlboro Reds," I said. "A pack of smokes works just as well."

Jeff turned to his shipmate. "You got enough smokes to last you through the trip?"

The shipmate answered, "Yeah, I do. Why?"

"Give me a pack," said Jeff, reaching for his wallet.

The shipmate, seeing Jeff reach for his wallet, said to him, "Put your money away. You got breakfast this morning." Then he reached into his seabag and dug out a pack of Marlboro Reds and handed it to Jeff wordlessly.

Jeff stuck them into his seabag and looked up at me and grinned.

"I see what you did," he said. "You turned the hunter into the hunted. Let's see if this will keep him from pestering me."

Now I gave some entertainment coming. It will be fun watching Jeff go after Lefty to get those cigarettes back and Jeff is shrewd enough to make damned sure he duns Lefty when he can't afford to pay him back.

I looked at Jeff and gave him an evil grin. Jeff looked at me. "What?" he asked.

"When I retire, will you collect my ten bucks from Lefty for me?"

Jeff gave me an evil look. "Be glad to," he said.

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