Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Bargain

Yesterday of all days, the new code enforcer drove past on his four wheeler. Now, if you remember the story about the yard sale, you know that Ticket Tom had an actual car.


If you're interested, here's that post:  
Ticket Tom and The Yard Sale Fiasco


Melynda (from: Crazy World) and I sat on my porch.  We weren't drinking soda out of beer cans again, so don't worry about that.  No, this time we were just talking, when suddenly a man on a four wheeler stopped in front of her house, pulled out an old-time yardstick and measured the length of her lawn!  We looked at each other.  "Did you just see that?"


"Yep."  She nodded.  "But wait . . . Wait, he's coming over here!"  He started too, except after he saw us, his face turned white and he gunned it as fast as he could.  He kept looking back.  I saw the fancy code enforcement license, which was kinda cute in a strange way.  The poor guy knew people don't like his type here.  And when he sped off the old four wheeler moaned going max at about fifteen mph.


He came back later though.  I saw him write a ticket for The Sprinkler Lover who lives across the street.  That guy always puts the sprinklers on ever Sunday morning so the church goers won't walk by his house.  Anyway, he got a ticket 'cause his grass was too long.  You should have seen his anger when he got the ticket!


The code enforcer didn't even shudder.  He just nodded to me as he ticketed The Sprinkler Lover. 
That's when I got this great idea:


Photobucket


We could be friends!  The ticket guy and me, we could mow my lawn together!  This just sounded fun, like chicken and spaghetti on a Sunday.  Then my hopes shattered.  I realized he was looking at all my dandelion and no ticketer in their right mind, will help someone pull weeds.  I knew then that things had gotten drastic; I'd have to take The Scribe up on her deal because the only good dandelion, is a dead one.


I walked into her room, trying to be extra sweet.  "Were you serious about picking the dandelion?"


"Yeah, for a dime a weed."


"Wow, isn't that a bit steep?"


"Not if you're me.  I'm trying to save up for fake nails and that means I'll have to pick two-hundred weeds."


"You . . . want fake nails?"  That floored me.  "You're a tomboy?  You won't be able to play baseball and basketball."


"I can still play soccer."  She shrugged.


"Fine.  If you can find two-hundred weeds to pick, then I'll give you twenty dollars."


"It's a deal."  She spit on her hand.  I raised a brow, seriously doubting my Scribe will enjoy fake nails.


The day continued on.  I got a couple calls from neighbors gossiping about the "four-wheeling enforcer" and then commending me on putting the kids to work. 


"What?" I asked and after hearing the explanation, I hung up.  My eyes shot out the window because I couldn't believe it.  The Scribe had an army of children out there, helping her pull weeds.


"What is going on here?" I asked a younger boy.


"Well, she really wants some nails and she said she'd give me some change if I help.


"And why are you here?" I asked a little first grader.


"She wants those nails.  Haven't you ever wanted something?"


I snorted.  The neighborhood probably thought I was terrible. 


But after a few hours, the kids got all the weeds and they seemed quite happy about themselves.


The Scribe tried lugging a couple huge garbage sacks closer, but they were too heavy, so she just pulled the weeds out and counted them in front of me.  "One, two . . . three, four, five."


"Hey wait," I stopped her, "Those last two were one weed that you split in half!  None of that, missy."


She started over, and I couldn't believe when she got to the end at exactly one-hundred-eighty weeds!  "We didn't make two-hundred, but I thought of that."  She dumped another smaller bag on the ground and without even counting, she pointed to a bunch of sticker weeds.  "Those are worth fifty cents each."


"What?  That's outrageous."


"I did the work?  Don't tell me . . . you want me to put those back."  She plucked a long piece of grass that had gone to seed.  She stuck the bottom end in her mouth and looked like the sassiest farm girl ever.  The whole thing made me sigh though; it reminded me that The Four-wheeling Enforcer couldn't ticket me for weeds, but he could still get me for the length of my lawn.  "So?" The Scribe continued.  "If you give me fifty cents apiece for these pokey ones . . . I'll have twenty and all these other kids will have their money."


I shook my head.  That Scribe, she'd shown some fancy footwork.  "How many weeds did The Hippie pull?" I asked.


"About twenty, before she started dancing on that corner and waving to the cars.  I figure you should only give her a dollar.  I don't think she should get paid for dancing when the rest of us worked so hard."


I scoffed.  "Fine."  She'd won me over.  "So, how much do I owe you?"


"Thirty dollars."  She smiled.  "I added a couple extra dollars because it was hot today.  Can we go get my nails tomorrow."


"Friday.  I'll set an appointment for Friday."


She spit out the grass and hugged me.  She had dirt and weeds in her hair; her hands were greener than Medusa and her smile was genuine.  I looked at The Hippie who still danced on the corner and waved to the cars.  "I love you guys," I whispered in The Scribe's ear.  "You worked so hard and I'm really proud of you."


"I know," she said.  "And now I get fake nails.  I can't wait!"


So, I set the appointment up for Friday.  I sure hope that kid will like her nails.