Hapless Harold & Helpful Marvin

Being married is a great way to meet interesting people. Take my brother-in-law Marvin, for instance. He has introduced me to a lot of interesting people. Marvin himself is not all that interesting. But Marvin has an aquaintance, we’ll just call Harold.Harold is the kind of man that can accomplish any feat known to man… according to Harold. Harold is always telling anyone that will listen, and that’s usually just Marvin, how everyone else does everything wrong, and if they’d just listen to him (Harold) he could end world hunger, establish world peace and dismantle the IRS – all before breakfast.I was visiting Marvin and he mentioned Harold’s name. Quickly I swallowed any food and beverage in my mouth and paused, because Harold stories aren’t the kind you want to hear while you’re eating.Early on in their relationship, before Harold and Marvin were such good friends, Harold had an old truck. He used it for all kinds of things and it was his only transportation. Marvin, being known for mechanical ability was called upon by Harold one winter day, to help him get his truck running. It was an old truck with a hood that opened up from the side and split down the middle.Marvin did his best and just about had the engine coaxed into running again when Harold ran out of patience. He decided that Marvin was never going to get the truck running his way, so he took over. He began working under the hood opened on the driver’s side of the truck, barking orders at Marvin to hand him this tool or that and to help with this or that.They got the truck running, but not to Harold’s satisfaction so Harold decided to have Marvin adjust something on the other side of the engine while he held a screwdriver on his side. Marvin, being the good friend he is quickly ran over to the other side of the truck, lifted up the hood and promptly knocked the other side down on Harold’s head, causing him to howl a bit when the fan blades scraped his knuckles. Harold decided the truck was running good enough and after a couple of years the two resumed their friendship.Harold needed Marvin to help him move some pigs. Harold had his truck backed up to the barn door and they had created a walk for the pigs to follow up to the truck fromsome old planks. Marvin mentioned this idea might not work, so he had already felt the ire of Harold through some glassy stares and cold remarks. Harold handed Marvin a 2×4 with the end rounded off to use as a club.”Now Marvin, if that old sow starts to act up, just give her a whack on the snout with this. We’ll have them pigs up in this truck in no time.”Marvin knew he better just do what Harold said, otherwise he’d just get madder. The first pig came out and started up the plank. The sow was quite stubborn but after tugging and hollering and shoving for awhile Harold and Marvin had her half way up the plank. Harold was on one side, huffing and puffing, and Marvin on the other.The pig started to act like she was going to jump off the plank towards Marvin so Harold yelled “Whack her on the snout, Marvin!”Just as Marvin reared back to hit that pig as hard as he could with that 2×4, Harold, for unknown reasons, grabbed her snout with his hand. “WOWWW!” Harold yelled. “Why did you hit me?” He cried. Marvin stammered and stuttered as Harold began telling him what a worthless man he was.Eventually they got the pigs in the truck, although Harold took away Marvin’s stick. They drove to their destination with Harold telling Marvin he had no right to hit him and he would never, ever be his friend again.A few years later Marvin and Harold had patched things up. Harold had been out working in the woods and had pinched his thumb between some logs he was loading and had quite a bruise under his thumbnail. Marvin told Harold that he should go to a doctor and have them lance his thumbnail to relieve the pressure, since it bothered Harold quite a bit.Harold got to thinking and talking about how much a doctor would charge for that little bit of work and how he could do it himself if he knew how. Marvin agreed and told Harold he could just about take a power drill, with the smallest bit and drill a little hole in his thumbnail himself, thereby avoiding the doctor bill and all the fuss.

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