Jose’s bar had never really been a bar. It had always been a shack and he only sold beer, and that was in bottles. Jose liked to drink beer in the evenings, so it was a fitting career for him. He was a huge man, and every fifteen minutes or so he would reach into his chest fridge, open one of the small bottles and drink the content down in one go. Sometimes he would get a cheer, and sometimes he wouldn’t, but he was still the only man in the village that could drink a bottle of beer down in one go.
His bar had been the only bar in the village for a long time. There were other bars in the village now but, the fishermen still came to Jose’s. There were no seats and no tables but there was the comradeship and of course there was the hill. If you wanted to drink beer, and see the hill then you had to go to Jose’s.
The fishermen of the village loved to gamble and so the hill was important. On top of the hill was the lifeblood of the village, the generator. The generator was old, and on average, it would break down three times a week. When all the lights went out, the men of Jose’s bar would cheer and make their way outside.
It took Miguel five minutes to get from his house, with his tools and start the climb. That is when the gambling started. How long would it take Miguel to climb the hill, start the generator and climb down again? That was the gamble.
It usually took Miguel around twenty minutes, but no two people could gamble on the same time, and so, there was only ever one winner. On this particular night, Miguel was up and down the hill in ten minutes, and there had been no hammering. It was more exciting when the men could hear Miguel hammering. There was a greater sense of drama when Miguel hammered. But the men cheered anyway when the lights came back on.
Carlos was very happy. Carlos always bet ten minutes. He had done so for three years, and had never won. Carlos bought everyone a drink. Jose drank a beer down in one go and everyone cheered.
Later that night Jose was finishing up, when, there was tap on the door. He opened it and was suprised to see Miguel standing there.
“What do you want?”
“I need a pay rise,” said Miguel simply.
“The village pay you to go up the hill and fix the machine, take it up with the village.”
“But, it is you who pays me to go up the hill first and stop it. In ten years I have never had a pay rise.”
“How much?” Jose asked suspiciously.
“Two hundred pesetas,” said Miguel.
“Done,” said Jose.
“Maybe I should have asked for more,” Miguel sounded disappointed.
“Maybe you should have,” and Jose closed the door.