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Agus The Nail Straightener

By Todd Maguire on May 22, 2015 in Other

Photo: Glenn Haase

Photo: Glenn Haase

Once upon a time there was a small boy named Agus. He didn’t have much money, but he had a very broad and infectious smile. He lived in a village where timber construction was the primary industry. In his village the timber was extremely hard; it was hard enough to bend nails.
Agus was a resourceful young man, so his business was to straighten bent nails. The pay was little but it gave him great satisfaction when he sold a box of straightened nails to the appreciative builders. A big thank you really made his toil worth its while.

One day a man named Steve came to visit from a foreign land. He too was entrepreneurial, but unfortunately he was also very greedy. He was a salesman travelling by motor vehicle and he had an endless supply of odds and ends.

He got friendly with the villagers and demonstrated the workings of his amazing cordless drill. He showed them how pre-drilled holes in the hard timber would eliminate the hassle of constantly bending their nails. This would surely increase productivity.

The villagers were amazed by the drill and needed to buy it. They pooled their money together and came up the asking price of $100. Steve charged them a further $30 for a spare battery, but didn’t tell them that they needed a battery charger as well.

All the villagers were happy except young Agus. He now had no income, but he still managed to maintain his smile, which broadened the next day when a strong wind came roaring through the village. In a twist of fate, the wind blew Steve’s new surfboard from his car roof and into the path of a passing public bus. The surfboard snapped clean in two.

Witnessing the carnage, the ever-resourceful Agus borrowed some supplies from his uncle Yuni and managed to expertly repair Steve’s surfboard. He had Steve in a corner now and charged him an exorbitant $150 for the repair. Parting with this amount of money was painful for Steve. He knew he had been fleeced and left the village soon after. Agus was a happy boy. He did not like Steve.

Agus wasn’t the only one who disliked Steve. Two days after he had left, the drill and its two batteries were out of charge. It was at this time the villagers how conniving Steve was. He had taken advantage of them by not offering them a battery charger. This rendered the ‘amazing’ drill completely useless.

The big winner out of this scenario was Agus. He began to straighten bent nails for small amounts of money, the builders went back to their old pre-drill days and in no time they had forgotten about the evil salesman named Steve.

“The old ways are usually the best,” the old builder said to Agus as he purchased a box of straightened nails. “Keep up the good work and soon I will give you a job.”

The old builder kept his word. A few years later, Agus had finished his apprenticeship and was hailed as the best builder in the entire village. He was so good that he never bent a single nail.

Steve never came near the village again. The next travelling salesman that turned up was run out of town before he could even get out of his car.