Meet Mike The Mooch

Occasionally, I like to introduce the readers to some of the characters we have around here on and near the ranch and today I like to introduce Mike the Mooch. I am certain everyone knows Mike as I find he is a universal character wherever I go. I am stopped by people on the street complaining of their version of Mike the Mooch. So, I guess I’ll tell you about our version.

You see, Mike the Mooch is quite pleasant when you first meet him; he always indicates that he will do anything for you that you need, all you have to do is call him. He claims he will damn near do any task that is before you, just place that phone call and he’ll be there. Whatever you do,, RUN AWAY. Do not place that phone call or you will find yourself with a lifelong squatter who you never seem to get rid of.

Now Chuckwagon Sally made the mistake of placing that phone call this summer when I was in Wyoming at the Trial Lawyers College and it’s like we’ve adopted a pack of hungry wolves, who will never leave. They’ll eat you out of house and home and remind you that they didn’t kill all the calves, so you must owe them over and over again. I understand the concept of favors and being a good neighbor, but it’s got to end somewhere, it just ain’t natural to go on forever. It’s like babysitting a problem dog who continually tears up furniture, digs up the back yard and leaves doggie land mines in the most inopportune places, you’re ready to kill him, but you’re not sure the jury will understand.

Anyway, back to the story. It seems that Mike the Mooch helped Chuckwagon Sally with something she couldn’t do by herself and now we must pay the price. I never entered into a deal with such unfavorable terms, hell, I’d rather pay 72% interest compounded daily rather than deal with Mike the Mooch’s constant reminders that we owe him something. Mike the Moocher is a master at making you feel guilty and he does not hesitate to use this weapon of mass destruction he has in his deadly arsenal any time  he wants something.

You know the neighborly thing is to thank people for what they done and bake them some food or take them out to dinner for the help. You offer to pay them money and the good neighbors will not take it, knowing they might need your help someday, or so it’s supposed to go. Not so with Mike the Mooch. Hell, I’ve already offered to pay off his car just to get rid of him, but no luck.

It seems that the favors never stop and the favors seem to get bigger and bigger and bigger. The survivors will probably describe it like this:

It began innocently enough, a simple thank you and plenty of baked goods for the help Mike gave the gang at the ranch.  The ranch gang thought it would end there, but they were wrong. Next came the wanting to explore the old sharecropper shacks still on the ranch with a medal detector, no big deal,, favor granted. Next it was the cotton gin and other outcroppings. But Mike wanted to bring his friend along to detect metal with him,, not a big deal, favor granted. Next came the reminder over and over again about this summer’s help given to Chuckwagon Sally and a request to get some old wood over by the old barn. Still not a big deal. Next came the request for scrap metal that is stored in a pile awaiting a trip to the recycling center. We’re starting to get a sense that this unwanted house guest will try and stay forever. Next, I believe it was the request for a set of wills for him and his family. Okay, that’s easy enough. Next it was a request for more of Chuckwagon Sally’s grub,  because Mike the Mooch has relatives coming and he wants to impress them with real good Texas food. Next a request came in for Mike and 6 of his friends to go hunting on our ranch. I don’t know these fellows, much less know if they would shoot themselves or others or a cow.

Now here’s where it gets interesting and we begin to understand Mike more. I call Mike and ask him to bring 10 bags of corn for the hog feeders so that he and his 6 friends can go hunting. You’ve got to understand that a guided hunt on our ranch can generate approximately $1,750.00 for 7 hunters and a bag of corn costs maybe $6.00. You do the math, I certainly would buy $60.00 worth of corn to allow 6 of my friends to hunt instead of paying $1,750.00 to hunt. It only seems right. I guess Mike the Mooch has different ideas. He calls back and says that’s too much trouble, but thanks anyway. (I later find out mike and his friends went hunting on a neighbors place for free, but didn’t get anything).

We think we’ve solved the Mike the Mooch problem,, just charge him money for my legal services or say no. But the other day, Chuckwagon Sally took a call from Mike asking where I was. I happened to be in court in town and guess what, here comes Mike, wanting more “free” legal advice, reminding me that he helped Chuckwagon Sally this summer,,, blah,, blah,, blah.

How does this relate to a jury trial? Just remember, someone on your jury may be like Mike the Mooch, you have to understand them before you can ask for justice for your client. But at what cost? Have a nice day, I’m off to see a movie.

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