Posted 03-23-2004 at 20:12:51
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Jamie has been scarce around the house lately, but on occasion he breezes through our daily lives just long enough to put a big grin on our faces. The only things really notable about Jamie, are that he is fourteen, a redneck from the word git, and is Jake's all time best ever favorite friend in the whole wide world.
This evening as we were coming home from the baseball game, Jake called Jamie to give him the horrible results of the game. When Jamie answers the phone he answers it....'yellow?' To which Jake always responds....'green'. This is how I know who he's talking to. Before Jake ever got a chance to talk about the game, Jamie had him in stitches.
"Mom, you gotta hear this." Jake said, laying the phone on the seat and turning on the speaker. "Tell mom what you were telling me, Jamie."
"Heeeey, Miss Cindi." Came the familiar drawl.
"Heeeey, Jamie." I responded.
"Eyes just tellin' Jake that I reckon I got us flunked outa auto mechanics class."
"Oh?" I peered at Jake. He hand his hand over his mouth and he was trying so hard not to laugh that tears were winking at the corners of his eyes.
"How'd you do that?" I asked.
"Well, they give us some kinda little motor to take apart and put together again, and we were 'sposed ta take it apart in order from one to twenty one."
"Well, I done it backards."
"How do you mean?"
"I done it from twenty one to one, then I put it together from one to twenty one."
"Jamie, I'm not following...."
"I screwed it all up! I got parts hooked to parts that are not even supposed to touch each other, and I ended up with a whole stack of screws that I couldn't figure out where they went...some partner I got! He's sittin' home and I'm tryin' to get us through auto mechanics all by myself and I can't even put on a bandaid without messin' it up!"
"I'll be back on Thursday Jamie, just try to stall it 'til then." Jake said, finally laughing out loud.
"No can do, the damage is done." Jamie insisted.
"Just keep all the parts together and don't lose any of the screws. We have 'til Friday to get it done."
"Look man, when I couldn't figure out where the screws went I panicked a little, and I dumped 'em all in the gas tank on that little motor."
Now Jake looked concerned.
"Whatdja do that for!?"
"I couldn't just leave them laying out, it was a dead give-away that I didn't know what I was doing."
"Well you DIDN'T!" Jake yelled.
"Well I KNOW that, why do ya think I picked you for my partner!"
There was a long, long silence where nobody said anything and then...
"Ya'll still there?" Jamie ventured.
"Jamie." Jake said. "Tomorrow when you get to auto mechanics, take that thing all apart again and fish out the screws. We'll work on it Thursday and do the best we can."
"No can do, the damage is done." Jamie repeated.
"What are you talking about?"
"I done turned it in."
"WHY! We had 'til Friday! Why'd you turn it in early? And worse yet, not done!?"
"I didn't want everybody to know how bad I messed it up." Jamie admitted. "When I said I flunked us out, I meant it."
Jake's head fell back against the head rest and he stared at the ceiling of the truck while Jamie waited. Finally.....
"How mad are ya'?" Jamie asked cautiously.
"Not too awful mad." Jake said. "It's not your fault I got in a fight and got suspended, but tomorrow go to Mr. Hanchey and get that project back..." he lifted his head and stared at the phone lying on the seat, "I don't care what you have to do, lie if you have to, but get it back, okay?"
"Okay man, I'll get it."
"Take it all apart and get the screws out of the gas tank. We may not ever find out where they go but one thing's for dang sure, they don't go in the gas tank!"
Now they were both laughing, that kind of nonsensical hee-hawing that teenage boys are famous for, and laughter of that sort tends to go on until nobody really rememebers what was funny to begin with, so mindful of my cell phone bill, I made Jake terminate the call.
"Do me a favor will you?" I asked Jake, after he said his goodbyes to Jamie.
"See if Jamie can spend the weekend. I sure do miss him, and I could use a few laughs."