Many years ago I had a friend (or someone who I thought was a friend) who we shall refer to as S.
My friend, S, wanted to go out for a ride.
I didn’t. I had work to do. And it was a cold, wet week day.
He convinced me to go and he would gladly pick up the tab.
We ride out.
We get to a garage to fill up our bikes.
But S had forgotten his wallet.
Legitimately had forgotten his wallet.
So I filled up the bikes.
We rode around for a bit before getting hungry.
We went to a local pub called the Arms where I paid for lunch for the both of us.
And a couple of coffees at the tea trailer on Caerphilly mountain.
S promised to “pay me back” for the day out that he was supposed to pay for.
Months went by and S never paid me back.
But he did mention once or twice that he had treated me to a day out, and I sort of owed him.
In 1990 I wanted to buy a new bike, but I had to sell my current GSX-R first.
S agreed to buy it from me for £3,500.
S gave me a cheque for five hundred quid but made me promise to not cash it until he got paid from his job.
S never did pay me for the bike.
And he was always a bit short so I couldn’t cash the cheque.
Eventually, late in 1993 I just tore up the cheque.
S got in to a bit of financial trouble, couldn’t make rent.
I loaned him £1,500 cash to pay his rent. Buy some food.
He gave me £200 back as “part payment for the bike” so he wouldn’t have too “listen too me go on about it” those two times I had mentioned he owed me for the bike in a three year period.
He bought £100 of food. I was there when he did it. He spent the remainder (or most of it) on parts for his (actually my) bike (that he still owed me for).
In 1994 S was planning to get married to a girl.
We went to the jeweler because he wanted to look at engagement rings.
He picked out one for £800.
So there we were. Myself, another chap called J, and S.
J and I agreed to chip in £500 each for the cost of the ring because S didn’t have the money.
Don’t ask why S needed £1000, it isn’t germane to this story.
S bought the ring.
Proposed to this girl three days later.
Got turned down.
S took the ring back to the shop and got his money back.
But didn’t pay back either J or myself any of the money he owed us.
In November of 1995 I bumped in S at a Chinese takeaway.
We struck up a conversation but I had not spoken to S in 18 months, not until a few months after he cashed in the engagement ring.
I said that I absolved him of all his debts to me and that the money no longer mattered.
S said to me “You still owe me fifty quid. If you pay me back I’ll treat you to some takeaway.”
“For what?” I asked.
“That day we went out to Caerphilly and I treated you to lunch and a tank of petrol for the bike. You owe me fifty quid as your half for the day out.”
Bear in mind, two coffees, two pints of cider, two plates of chicken and chips and two tanks of petrol for the bikes probably only came out to about 40 quid for the two of us.
Which I paid for.
My “half” — that S wanted me to pay for seven years later — was going to be fifty quid. On the day we went out I paid for everything because S forgot his wallet.
This is a time when I surprisingly was not inclined to violence — I was about to emigrate to the US and didn’t want to be in legal trouble.
“I hope you die of an aggressive brain cancer you little fucker.” I said and I walked away.
I don’t need that kind of parasite in my life.
I got an email years later (in 2002) from S asking if I could loan him rent money.
Right out of the blue.
“Can you loan me money to pay my rent?”
And you are left to scratch your head and ponder the temerity of some people.