Friday, March 16, 2018

Handshake Deal

            I just bought some hay, for many thousands of dollars, from a fellow I’ve never met, in a different state, to be hauled by another fellow I’ve never met, who’ll deliver it tomorrow, and take my check, on a bank he’s never heard of, to take care of a bunch of cows that neither of them will ever see again.  And that’s a handshake deal in the West.

            It’s all my fault.  I’d been working a consulting job out of town all winter, and left the ranch to my hired man. 

            He done just as I taught him to do: give those cows all the hay they will eat. 

            But somewhere along the line I had miscalculated.

            Rather, my spreadsheet had miscalculated.

            Actually, my spreadsheet had calculated correctly – from data I had entered incorrectly.  We were now critically low on hay.

            On my say-so, my regular suppliers had sold all their hay to other customers.  They had none left for me. 

            I cast a wider net.  Hay was sold out all over Montana.

            On a tip from a neighbor in a similar situation, I tried CraigsList Eastern Idaho – and connected with a fellow in Rexburg, Idaho.  He’d lined up a trucker - and tomorrow we’ll have enough hay to feed our cows until green grass.

            I lead a charmed life!