So I have this friend who is the prince of pennywise pound foolish. Last Spring he came to me and asked what I charge to install a basketball hoop. Apparently $350 is a little more than free.

When you live in New Jersey you know when someone is trying to haggle with you because they do one of two things. They start to bro you to death. “Bro, how hard can it be? Bro, you just gotta dig a hole, throw some concrete in there and mix it up a little bit, little bit.”

Or they start to itemize their expenses, “Bro, I can’t start spending that kind of money. I gotta pay tolls. Have you seen the cost of petrol these days? My kids are going to college in 10 years. Come on Bro.” They itemize these expenses as if somehow you’re immune to them. (Have I told you we call this guy T-Rex because his arms are too short they can’t reach his pockets?)

So over the river and through the woods and off to Home Depot he goes. He bought a wheel barrow for $80, a spade shovel for $25, a digging bar for $30 and a post-hole digger for $45. He spent $180 on tools alone but that was okay because, “Bro, now I have them.” (Back to that later.) So I ask him, “That’s good but will you ever use them again?” “You never know Bro but at least I have them.”

Next he calls me from Home Depot and asks, “Bro, you really gotta use $40 worth of concrete?” “Yes Bro. You do.” So T-Rex is on his way home to do his first basketball hoop installation.

Next question, “Bro, do you really gotta dig 36″ deep?” “Yes Bro. You do.” So he gets started and despite me warning him, 6″ later, he discovers his sprinkler line. Actually, the pointed end of his digging bar discovers his sprinkler line.

So over the river and through the woods and back to Home Depot he goes. He gets to Home Depot to get a sprinkler repair kit. Guess what? He didn’t know what size his sprinkler line was. So over the river and through the woods and back home he goes to get a piece of his sprinkler line. He gets it, goes back to Home Depot, gets the repair kit, heads home and after 10 phone calls to me he repairs it. At this point I was convinced he was trying to torture me so I would just do it myself.

He dug his hole, mixed his concrete, set his pole and then, “Bro, you gotta loan me a level or my hoop is gonna look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.” So I go level and square up his hoop but not after getting a few beers out of him. After all, I’m all for the entertainment factor but I don’t want the guy to lose his investment.

Fast forward to the next day. We’re ready for assembling his hoop. There was no way I was going to miss out on this one. Two other friends weren’t missing out either because this was going to be fun. I sat on the tailgate of my truck but the two others brought lawn chairs. It was a regular tailgate party.

Because he didn’t want to spend a lot of money he naturally went with a Lifetime hoop, which I despise due to their poor quality and annoying assembly but that’s a tale for another time. So off he goes and no more then 60-seconds into the install you start hearing it all and by all I mean the entire encyclopedia of expletives. Here he is installing a hoop for his kids yet the language isn’t fit for children’s consumption. (It’s safe to say, he didn’t have too many good things to say about products Made in China.)

We were all there and we got more than enough entertainment out of him so we helped him assemble it. Truth be told, his kids were dying to play and he really was starting to lose it. Also, he was in pretty bad shape with a sore back from digging the hole the day prior. I was all for entertainment but I didn’t want to see the guy tweak his back. (Also, I knew it was bad when even his wife wasn’t giving him a hard time about it.)

His hoop was up; it didn’t look like The Leaning Tower of Pisa and nobody got hurt. With the exception of T-Rex we all got a heck of a lot of entertainment and, most importantly, his kids were enjoying the hoop.

Let’s fast-forward 12-months ago to the present time which is what triggered me to write this post. Keep in mind he spent $180 on tools and he claimed, “I’ll have them if I ever need them.” “Bro, do you want to buy my wheelbarrow, digging bar and post-hole digger? The wheelbarrow takes up too much space in my garage. The digging bar keeps falling over and knocking into crap and what the hell am I going to do with a post-hole digger?”

What do you think? Should I bust his chops? Of course I should!

If you’d like help with your hoop install feel free to drop me a line at 862-579-2291.

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