Brotherly Faith

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Disbelief fell over Nigel Carter as he read the notice from his mechanic. Due to the negligence of a former employee the company was forced to inform all customers that incomplete maintenance may have been performed on their vehicle. A recent oil change threw Nigel into this category. Thoughts of breaking down along side the road raced through his mind as he continued to read. The company would be happy to provide free service if the customer can show that the maintenance was not performed. That’s how they get you. They paint an image of wanting to help then insert a small clause that frees them from any responsibility. I just bought that car from Stuart, and didn’t know when the last oil change occurred.

Nigel’s older brother, Stuart, had the most peculiar habit of putting his initials on everything. As a child, he scurried around with a black felt marker ensuring everything was labeled.  In later years, this transgressed to monograms on every clothing item, including his plaid boxer briefs.

Nigel drove to his mechanic. Upon giving it an inspection the serviceman could not find any proof that incomplete maintenance was performed. The mechanic backed his guy as Nigel rebutted.

“Did you check the oil filter for initials?” he asked..

“Sir, we have checked everything. It all appears good.”

“Did you check inside the oil filter?”

Both the mechanic and service man gave Nigel a crossed and confused look. “Sir, that would require dumping out the oil. We are not giving you a free oil change.”

Knowing his brother, Nigel stood his ground. “If his initial aren’t in that oil filter then I’ll pay for the oil change and buy you both lunch.”

Up for a free meal both men were in agreement.  “Not so fast. If those letters are in the filter, then you owe me three free oil changes. And, I’m coming back there. I would hate to have any filters swapped.”

Aggravated at the accusation, the two conceded. With Nigel’s car in the air, the oil poured. The anticipation started to build as Nigel began to second guess his brotherly faith. Each twist of the oil filter brought him closer to proving his point. Finally the serviceman pulled the filter off and wiped out the inside. Stamped neatly inside were the letters SJC.

“Stuart Josephine Carter.” Nigel read with pride.

Never had he been more proud to see his brother’s initials than that very moment.


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