Gut Rumbles

April 26, 2008

I'm a sucker

Originally published August 19, 2003

If kids come by the Crackerbox selling something for their school, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts or some class project, I always buy it whether I want it or not. Hell, with the way my yard looks, it takes courage to knock on my door and I admire the kids who wait until I put some pants on and go answer the bell.

That can take a while because I often don't recall where I left my pants.

These young panhandlers entreprenuers always get my business because I remember selling "The World's Finest Chocolate" door-to-door when I was a kid. I sold over 500 bars and finished THIRD at Bartlett Junior High School in the 1965 sellathon. A guy named Mike Ponder sold over 1,500 bars and won a throphy plus $25. I got a check for $5.00 and my picture in the school newspaper for my effort. I worked my ass off for that.

That experience showed me once and for all that I never wanted to be a salesman. I'm just not cut out for that kind of work.

But I buy whatever shit the kids are selling because I remember how many people told me "NO!" back when I was peddling door-to-door. My candy cost 25 cents per bar back then. I just bought TWO boxes of exotic popcorn that cost me $20 from a couple of Boy Scouts who managed to walk through the weeds, ring my doorbell and wait until I appeared with pants on. And I had to PAY THEM without seeing any popcorn.

They appeared to be honest young men, but I had to ask. "I'm supposed to give you $20 and you'll deliver my popcorn LATER?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Why should I trust you? How do I know that you won't take my $20 and run off and forget about me?"

They appeared confused for a moment, then the taller one spoke up. "It's Scout's Honor, sir," he said.

"All right," I replied. "I'm going to pay you boys cash money. I'm taking you at your word. You, the little one. Turn around and let me use your back." He did and he was my desk while I filled out the order form. When I was finished, I asked, "When do I get my popcorn?"

"As soon as WE get it, sir!"

"Okay. I'm trusting you guys. Don't let me down."

"WE WON'T!" they exclaimed, and walked off toward the next house. Five minutes later the sky dropped its bottom and a really nice squall blew over the neighborhood. It's raining cats and dogs as I write (keeping the August streak intact).

I hope those two Boy Scouts didn't get trapped outside in this crap.

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