I'm back. Like a bad rash. Like that dog that poops on my lawn. Like that burning and itching you picked up on shore leave at a place the bartender told you had "clean" girls.
I've been working "on assignment" at a client's site, so I haven't been able to report on much. My evenings have been taken up with somber tasks this week, including a funeral home visit. The grandmother of one of my friends died.
Hey, she lived to be 92. That's pretty good. Her sister, well into her 80s, is still alive and walking without a cane. She even smokes. Damn, if I smoked that much, I'd die long before age 60.
Boy, do I ever have a lot of stuff to catch up on this weekend.
I Got Ripped Off by a 10-Year-Old Girl
The kids in my neighborhood are mostly pretty small--barely able to ride a tricycle. But a few are starting to get old enough to engage in the dreaded task of selling crap door-to-door as a fund-raiser for various school or youth group projects.
I personally think it's sad we have turn kids into sales people to keep programs going, but whaddya gonna do?
I had to sell some stuff when I was a kid for my Boy Scout troop. I really sucked as a salesman becuase I knew nobody actually wanted the stuff I was selling, such as light bulbs or spice shakers. I just felt bad about bothering them.
It never quite occurred to me that standing there in my uniform, all clean-cut, was enough to entice them to give me money because they wanted to keep me and my troop mates hiking and camping instead of hanging out on the street corner and engaging in vandalism.
Anyway, there was a knock at my door one evening, and it was a girl from down the street. She was wearing a cheerleader uniform and wanted me to buy some candles. I figured, "Why not?" I had to sell crap, too, so I figured I'd give her a break and be a supportive neighbor.
I selected the second-cheapest option, which cost $8. I probably could have bought the same thing at Wal-Mart for about half the price, but that's not the point.
All I had was a $20 bill, and she said she didn't have change. Her brother, who I guess was the "muscle" of her sales operation, shouted from his bike on the sidewalk that if I bought two candles, the total would be $16, so they'd owe me less change.
I said I'd stick with the one candle.
The girl promised to bring me change the next day. That day came and went. No change. No change today, either.
Now I have no candle (they come later, after you order them) and she still has my $20. Dammit.
I told my wife about the arrangement. She teaches school and is used to dealing with kids. She said I never should have given money if (1) I received no merchandize, (2) got no change and (3) got no receipt.
I'm not used to dealing with kids. I was a Boy Scout, dammit, and I delivered every product and gave all change.
So I've been potentially ripped off by a 10-year-old girl and her accomplice brother.
At least I know where she lives...
Oh, and her brother tried to sell me a card good for automatic carwashes. I wash my car maybe five or six times a year. Usually I subscribe to the Homer Simpson philosophy of car washing: why pay for it when you can drive around in the rain and get about the same effect.
My car is beige, so it's pretty much the color of dirt anyway.