A couple of years ago, I had to call our cell phone provider regarding a billing issue. The customer service representative was not only helpful, but apparently, a little bored and when the fact that Hubby was (at the time) a contractor came up, the representative clucked sympathetically. "Oh, I know how that goes. My father was a masonry contractor. Let's get your situation resolved and then I'll tell you a little story about how my father resolved a payment issue with a client of his."
The mason did business in a small town and one day he received a call from a guy who was not well-known for meeting his obligations. Apparently, the guy owed money to half the town. Nevertheless, the mason agreed to build a fireplace for this guy.
"Get your money up front," everyone warned him when they heard who he was building a fireplace for.
"Oh, I'm not worried about it," the mason replied. "I'll get my money."
The mason finished up the job in June and met with the guy. Instead of a check, the guy offered some lame excuses and vague promises and the mason said to him, "Oh, I'm not worried about it. I'm sure I'll get my money."
Word spread (as it does in small towns) that the guy had not paid the mason. When they ran into the mason, everyone said, "Told you so. You should've gotten your money up front."
The mason just smiled like a man with a secret and said, "Don't worry. I'll get my money."
Summer slid into fall and the nights began to cool. One September night, the guy decided to try out his new (unpaid for) fireplace. As the kindling crackled and caught fire, his living room began to fill with smoke despite the fact that the flue was open. He immediately put out the fire and called the mason to complain.
"There's something wrong with the fireplace you built me. I need you to come over right away."
"I'll come," answered the mason. "But have my money ready. Cash."
The guy met the mason at the door, cash in hand. The mason ambled to his truck and returned with a ladder. He propped the ladder against the house and climbed to the roof. Then he pulled a brick from his coat pocket and dropped it down the chimney. Halfway down, the brick shattered the pane of glass the mason had used to seal the chimney closed months before.
D is for Deliciously Diabolical
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