A friend is someone who'll be there for you through thick and thin: someone to have your back when you need them. A few times, I've interpreted this in such a way as to manipulate friends into helping trim my back hair, but sometimes people call you for backup in a more literal sense. Sometimes a deal seems shady, sometimes they want a witness to take their side, and sometimes they just don't want to walk into a situation all by their lonesome. Inside, I'm all sunshine and rainbows, so I'm not at my best or most convincing in the role of the heavy, though I'll flatter myself by saying that my presence is better than nothing.

A friend used eBay to buy a car part from a local junkyard, and they even shipped it to him for free. He couldn't use it, so he told the place that he wanted to return it under their 30 day money back guarantee. They responded with some bullshit 25% junkyard restocking fee, plus paying for their initial shipping. He ends up opening an eBay arbitration complaint against them, which is a for real threat that businesses take seriously, and the guy immediately changes his tune. Suddenly, he's pretending as though it was settled and he already agreed to refund the money. The whole time, he had been like how is this fair? How is this fair? My buddy was like fairness don't apply; I want my money back, your guarantee says you'll give it to me, honor your agreement. He was amused and pleased at first about establishing pwnage over the increasingly angry and irrational man with the poor grasp of English, but victory took on a bitter tinge when he realized the return would require a face to face encounter.

I got tempted into the bargain pretty easily: al pastor burritos at this great taqueria on the way back. We'll roll through with the part, no problem, and this guy'll swallow any words he might have about the situation. The yard was off of a main industrial boulevard, and by off I mean in the last possible space in this increasingly lonely business park, with planes sputtering in to a small airstrip in the distance. The guy who meets us inside the shed/hanger is massive, like 6'5" and 330 lbs. He's joined by a much shorter stocky Russian guy with a hard, mean face. My friend says "Hi, my name's Ben (not his name). My father Jason (his name) sent me down here to bring this part back for him. He is SUCH an asshole!"