A meth addict walks into U-Haul….

My eldest son and his girlfriend have a fun annual tradition of moving on September 1st every year. My corresponding annual tradition is to help him in some way. One year I loaned him my van. Another year I helped him pack and move. This year was by far the most fun!  However, this picture doesn’t capture the experience at all.

Not MY U-Haul helpers and me

No, my hired help was a little different than what you see there. I supervised a  meth addict and his enabler as they took 8 hours to do what could have been done in three.  After that I helped negotiate a price reduction when enabler’s brother wanted full payment for time “worked.”  “Worked” would be ONE way to describe a man who sat on the curb huffing, puffing and groaning (!) after carrying a box my 94 pound daughter could have handled.

I kept my fingers at the ready to dial 911 all morning, (because he didn’t do much at all in the afternoon) convinced MethMan would have a heart attack and die! And not just because of all his huffing and puffing, but because he would help carry a 25 pound piece of furniture and his elbows and wrists would lock in a straight position!  Obviously frightened, he would yell, “I’m all locked up!”  “Maybe he should be locked up!” ran through my very compassionate thoughts.

U-Haul carries no blame here. These were third-party contractors who actually were so busy that day… wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Picture a 35 year old man, who looks reasonably fit except for his severe thinness and missing teeth, trudging up three flights of stairs huffing, puffing, groaning, and exhaling “Oh!My!” while NOT CARRYING anything at all! If it had been a 200 pound pack in the desert while being chased by people pointing loaded weapons, his responses would make sense (okay, leave out the desert and the weapons – I’m being extreme)!  For every 20 (no exaggeration) trips his work partner made up and down the stairs, MethMan made ONE trip of his own! I began making trips up and down the stairs carrying boxes to see if perhaps I had underestimated the demands of the task (as well as to help keep the job moving along). Tiring, yes. Doable, yes.

I asked “Drew” (yes, let’s call him Drew) whether he thought this was going to work. For the first three hours Drew-The-Enabler said, “Yes, we will get this done.” D.T.E. did 90% of the work himself and never said a word to M.M. (as far as I heard).  Repeating my query later, “Drew, I am afraid this guy is going to keel over, he hasn’t carried anything heavy, has only carried DOWN the stairs not up,  how can he actually carry anything UP the stairs at the new place? and, where did this guy come from???”

Answered with a tone of confession, “Craigslist. He said he had ten years experience in moving.”

Moving drugs into his body? That I believe! But did enabler-boy send him home? No! Oh.My.Gladys! But will he hire from Craigslist again? I bet not.

Long story “short” Drew-The-Enabler called his brother for an emergency rescue op.

The kind of rescue op I was hoping for… Get MethMan outta here!

MethMan sat in his car, perhaps waiting for his tip, while the two brothers completed the job. (My only tip for MethMan: check into rehab!)

I  had hope  the 3 – 4 hour job would be completed within PERHAPS eight hours, when the two brothers were heard RUNNING down the stairs after carrying boxes UP the stairs. Yay! Some speed! (NO, NOT THAT KIND! GET YOUR MIND OFF DRUGS!) Yes, it still took a long time, but the movers started at 9:00 and finally finished at 5:15-ish.

Then came the price negotiation. Clearly, Late-To-Arrive Brother thought we Brett (son) and Bonnie (sweet, gorgeous girlfriend of said son) would pay full price for all eight-plus hours of their labors! Seriously?!?!  Thus began negotiation between Bonnie, Brett  and the Brother-In-Charge. Drew-The-Enabler was not exactly forthcoming (proving yet again the need for his nickname) about the extent of MethMan’s failure to help, so Brother-In-Charge explained WHY full price should be paid. They talked (I don’t know all the parts of that conversation because half of it was on the phone) and then I pulled Brother-In-Charge over while B & B talked   and nicely but clearly explained the severity of MethMan’s failures.

I was able to get Drew-The-Enabler to admit he had done 90% of the work to MethMan’s 10%. Brother-In-Charge agreed to take $100 off the price (perhaps he had already made that adjustment during his conversation with B & B – I don’t know.)  Dealing with all three of us after a long day of moving, I don’t think he had a drop of sweat  resistance left.

Then I drove the 26 foot long truck back to U-Haul. 13.7 miles through Chicago During Friday evening rush hour. But no crashes (that I know of – I kept the radio loud to assist with denial), so I didn’t have to picture message anything like this to my loved ones:

My post-move thoughts: I helped today and I am glad I did! As Brett and Bonnie thanked me for the umpteenth time, I texted (NOT WHILE DRIVING) “Happy to help. #Family” and I truly meant it. Family is the best! That’s why I’m dog-sitting for my daughter right now!

Marshall. Such a cutie!

The rest of the weekend promises to be more relaxing. *ahhhhhhh*

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