Cletus and Zeke were working a gig in an auto salvage yard outside Effingham, Illinios.
The owner of the salvage yard had them pulling alternators, door pads and radios.
The plan was for somebody to show up and lift the vehicles with a fork-lift for them to pull starters and strip off aluminum wheels. Whoever was scheduled for the fork-truck was a no-show the first three days of the week.
Mid-day Thursday the fork-truck guy showed up. Zeke doubted that he was twenty. The kid was twitchy and guzzling Mountain Dew, which explained the pile of empty bottles around the battery charging station.
At the first vehicle, Cletus started to get something to use as jack-stands.
The owner said, "Fuck that shit. It is going to slow you down. We have already lost three days."
That wasn't true, of course. Zeke and Cletus hadn't stopped working. They were pulling everything but the wheels, starters, catalytic converters and sensors.
Cletus looked at the kid, then back at the owner. "If he is driving, then I am using jack-stands."
"If you insist, then I am going to fire you." the owner said.
"Do what you gotta do." Cletus said as he started walking toward the office. "Time for you to settle up our pay."
In the office the owner said "I don't pay partial days. You worked three days. I am paying you for three days."
Cletus and Zeke had run into enough azzholes to realize there was no point in bitching. "We will take our pay in cash." Cletus said.
As they were walking out, Cletus cast a glance over at the pile of garbage where the fork truck had been parked.
"You still got any of that Adderal in your kit?" Cletus asked.
"Yeah. Don't know if it is any good. I have had it forever." Zeke asked.
The next morning, shortly after the Dodge had crossed the Wabash river Cletus asked Zeke if he still had the cell phone he had picked up in Jackson, Michigan.
Zeke said he did.
Cletus told him to call the number he had written in the dust on the dash with his finger the night before.
Zeke did so and then handed the phone to Cletus.
"Hello?" Cletus said when the other end picked up. "I have a tip for the drug cops." Cletus continued.
"My boy said that some kid who runs a fork truck over at PDQ Auto Salvage is dealing crank, whatever that is." Cletus said.
"No, I don't want to give you my name." Cletus said.
"Oh, my kid also said the fork truck driver was 'cooking' behind the battery charger. Don't know what that means either." Cletus said.
"No problem." Cletus said. "It is just what a good citizen should be doing."
After hanging up, Cletus pitched the phone out the window.
"Do you think anything will come of that?" Zeke asked.
"Don't hurt to try." Cletus said.
The cops asked the owner if they could poke around because there had been a break-in in the neighborhood and they were looking for evidence.
The owner reluctantly agreed.
The detective slipped into the battery charging barn while the two uniforms and the cute intern distracted the owner.
The swab on the test kit turned bright blue after one of the detectives swabbed the neck of an empty Mountain Dew bottle behind the battery charger.
A search warrant was delivered to the site ninety minutes later along with the K-9 sniffer dog.
The dog found three scrap cars in the back lot stuffed with "dirty" 2 liter bottles and meth cooking supplies. The owner's prints were lifted from several of the bottles.