In order to keep his mother-in-law from bothering him about her house renovations, a man devises a plan involving a local gang. Two days later, when he receives word from the gang that “the job is done”, he rushes to her house and discovers something surprising.
Michael, a small grocery store employee in Mexico, didn’t earn a substantial income. Due to this, he and his wife, Victoria, lived in a modest house and made efforts to save money whenever possible. Consequently, when Michael’s mother-in-law, Betty, would pester him with her demands, he would become enraged.
“Why can’t that woman just leave me alone?” he would frequently complain when she reached out to him.
However, 85-year-old Betty wasn’t astute enough to grasp the hint that her son-in-law was too busy to assist her, and being a frail woman, she would frequently call him and express her need for help.
To Michael’s dismay, her calls had increased significantly over the last six months, with her recent requests including assistance with home repairs.
“Michael!” she cried anxiously into the phone. “My roof is leaking and my bed is broken! Please do the repairs this weekend!”
“There she goes again!” Michael muttered to himself.
“I’m sorry, Mrs Lester,” he said, trying not to lose his cool. “I’m swamped with work and it won’t be possible for me to help you! Why don’t you ask a neighbour for help?”
“Oh dear,” she laughed naively. “Why should I ask strangers for help when I have such a handsome son-in-law? Darling, I am an old bird. If I could manage on my own, I would not have asked for your help. Could you please do it for me?”
“I’m sorry, but…” Michael didn’t get to finish.
“Or would you like to buy your mother-in-law a new house?” she asked eagerly. “Or how about sending me on holiday to a resort? You know, you can fix up my house while I have a bit of fun. I think that would be a great idea!”
“Er, well,” Michael replied, growing more irritated. “There’s no need for extra expenses. I’ll find some time LATER to see if I can get these repairs done. Please don’t bother me again! I’ll get back to you when I’m free. Goodbye,” he snapped, ending the call abruptly.
But deep down, Michael knew he wouldn’t be able to help his mother-in-law with the repairs. He would have to find another way to resolve his problem with her. Fortunately, an opportunity presented itself three days later.
That day, as Michael was leaving work for home, he spotted a group of young boys loitering outside his shop. They seemed to be in their early twenties, struggling financially and often hanging around the area. This gave Michael an idea.
That night, the boys gathered at the end of an alleyway opposite the shop where Michael worked. He quickly made sure no one was watching and approached them.
“Hey guys,” he said confidently. “Are you, er, interested in a job?”
One of the boys, Peter, who looked older than the others, stepped forward and chuckled with a hint of menace. “Don’t you work at that grocery store across the street, you loser? I doubt you can pay us anything with your meagre earnings! And we don’t work for free!” he laughed, and the other boys joined in.
“All right then,” Michael sighed. “I guess I’ll just pay someone else $200 to do the job. Fine. Goodbye,” he said and turned to leave.
But a voice suddenly stopped him. “Wait a minute. Did you say $200?”
“Yes,” Michael confirmed with a smile as he turned. “That’s right!”
“Okay, fine,” Peter said. “We’re in, but we’ll take half the payment up front. That’s the rule!”
“Well… works for me! Here,” Michael replied, taking out a $100 bill and a note and handing them to them. “This has my mother-in-law’s address and my contact details. She’s expecting you. Take care of her. All the instructions are in here. Contact me when the job is done!”
“Got it!” the boys nodded in unison.
Michael left feeling relieved, knowing that his problems would soon be solved. Finally, Betty would stop bothering him and he could enjoy a peaceful life. He resented having to “waste” $200 on Betty, but he believed it would be worth it.
Two days later, while Michael worked in a supermarket, his phone rang with a message from a number he did not recognise. “We had a lot of fun with her! We suggest you go over and have a look at her!”
Michael smiled as he read the message. “Finally that woman won’t bother me anymore! I hope they did a good job!” he thought as he took a day off from work and hurried over to his mother-in-law’s house on the outskirts of town.
When he arrived, he parked his car and got out, only to discover that the house was unlike anything he’d ever seen before. “What the hell happened?” he wondered as he approached the front door, which was slightly ajar.
He peered in through the crack and was shocked. Betty was inside, and she wasn’t alone. The boys were with her and she was offering them tea and biscuits!
Michael stood there, listening to what they were saying, and heard Betty giggling loudly and talking happily to the boys.
Michael had never been more perplexed in his life. “What’s going on?” he thought as he entered Betty’s house, which had been repaired so perfectly that it looked brand new.
Betty approached him as he entered. “Oh, Michael,” she cried as she took his arm. “Thank you, dear, for sending these boys to help me. You have been most generous to me!”
“Won’t you join us for tea, Michael?” Peter asked as he walked up to him and Betty. “You told us to look after her and she appreciated you taking the time to help her. We have indeed taken good care of her, as we promised. Weren’t we, Mrs Lester?” he asked, smiling.
“Oh, of course, Peter!” she replied, blushing. “You’re right, Michael,” Betty said. “You wouldn’t believe it… These boys look frail, but they are quite capable… I was getting ready to go to bed two nights ago when these boys unexpectedly knocked on my door.
“At first I was afraid to open the door because I live alone and I am elderly… You know how the news these days is all about theft and crime, but when I opened the door these boys told me that you had sent them and that they only wanted to talk about repairs…”
Michael was amazed at how different Betty’s house looked now. “Wow! I can’t believe they did this on their own…” he said, looking around the house in amazement.
“Oh, stop acting stupid!” Betty slapped him innocently. “You sent them to help me and now you’re acting like you don’t know these guys are so talented. They stayed with me for two days and fixed everything in my house… They didn’t charge me a cent, Michael! Thank you so much for helping me.
“None of this would have happened if you hadn’t helped me!” she said, wrapping her arms around him. “I know I bothered you a lot with my calls… and that’s why you grumbled about everything… but what was the point of being so rude if you were going to help me? And I was right! My son-in-law is the best in the world!”
Michael was overcome with emotion and returned her hug. He just wanted to finish the repairs so Betty wouldn’t bother him any more. He hadn’t expected the boys to do it so perfectly or Betty to be so happy. He was moved to tears at how happy the nagging old woman was now.
“I’m glad they were able to help you, Mrs Lester. I – I…” he replied, fighting back the tears. “I knew your house needed repairs… But I couldn’t give you the money because I was saving it for Victoria,” he added, holding her hand. “She’s pregnant and you’re going to be a grandmother! And very soon you’ll be able to play with your granddaughter in your newly renovated house.
“What?” Betty’s eyes went wide open. “You were just sayin’… Oh my goodness! I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER! Have you heard, Peter? Oh my God! Let me make a cake and see Victoria today. Oh dear, I will treat you all! I’m so happy. I’m going to be a grandma!” she murmured as she headed for the kitchen.
Betty’s happiness knew no bounds that day. Seeing her like that made Michael regret his rude behaviour towards her. All thanks to Peter and the boys for making him see the error of his ways.
“Thank you, Peter,” he said. “What you did for my mother-in-law made me realise I shouldn’t have been so disrespectful to her. Thank you very much. But how did you get everything fixed for only $200?” he asked curiously.
Peter revealed that he and his boys knew how to fix anything that needed fixing. When they arrived at Betty’s house, they felt sorry for her living conditions. Her roof was leaking, the door creaked when opened and closed, and the furniture was in terrible shape.
“I just couldn’t see her like that! So the boys and I helped her! And we had no idea she’d be so happy! She let us stay the night and even fed us. She’s actually very nice!
“You know, Michael, money is very important,” he added, “but not more important than your family. Betty is very generous… she was so kind to us that we had to do so much for her!
Michael realised that he had been wrong to ignore Betty and that the boys had been right to help her. He wanted to repay the boys’ kindness in helping Betty, so he contacted a carpenter friend and got them new jobs so they could earn a decent living.
Michael also began to help the boys occasionally by providing their families with food from his grocery store.
Later, when Michael and Victoria finally welcomed their daughter, Beth, she not only had her mum, dad and grandmother to play with, but also a GANG of uncles who loved spending time with her.