two thousand twenty
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By John Addyman

   My friend Susan lives out in the country with her family.
   She is the kind of practical, old-fashioned mom who likes to keep her kids busy doing worthwhile stuff. She works hard for her family, and she expects her kids to contribute something to the maintenance of the household.
   So, each of her kids has an important, age-appropriate chore that is to be accomplished each day.
   Her son Billy, for instance, trots out the door every morning before school to pee all around the garden: that’s his job.
   I am not making this up.

   “It keeps the deer away,” Susan explained, saying that an old farmer told her about the process, promising that a little boy-pee every morning would keep away deer, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, cats, Burmese pythons, traveling salesmen and many species of dinosaurs.
   Of course she tried it, and success seemed to follow.
   I asked her how big the garden is.
   “Big,” she said. “An acre and a half.”
   “How does a young guy like Billy produce enough pee to get all the way around the garden to offer you full protection from the foraging animals?” I asked. I’m a guy, I wondered if I could do it…
   “We give him a great big glass of milk every night before he goes to bed,” Susan explained.
   “Any accidents?” I asked.
   “No,” said Susan, “but he does get out of the house pretty quickly.”
   “And he makes it all the way around the garden?”
   “That’s my boy,” Susan said proudly.
   I wondered out loud about the neighbors watching all of this unfold every morning.
   “We live out in the country,” Susan said. “Way out. Our nearest neighbor is a mile and a half down the road.”
   “Billy is out there rain or shine?” I asked.
   “Wind or snow,” Susan said.
   “Sounds like he has a real talent,” I suggested.
   “Just like his dad,” Susan said proudly. She didn’t elaborate.
   Susan also has daughters who, when tasked to get something from the garden for dinner, carefully tip-toe and hip-hop over the areas that Billy has carefully sprinkled on his dawn patrols.
   “How do they know…?” I asked Susan.
   “They know,” she said convincingly, nodding her head.
   We thought about Billy for a moment, doing his deed each morning.
   “Perhaps he has the makings for a cottage industry,” I mentioned.
   “How do you mean?”
   “Well, he could rent himself out as an environmentally friendly animal-control agent,” I said. “He could set up a route each day, sprinkling around gardens in the area. He might make enough money to send himself to college.”
   The look on Susan’s face told me she was giving this some serious thought.
   “We’d have to buy a lot more milk,” she said, “but our nearest neighbor is a dairy farmer...”
   “You and Billy could make signs advertising his service,” I suggested.
   “Like ‘Billy’s Special Garden Service’?” Susan asked.
   “That sounds good,” I agreed. “If he’d dig up a couple of dandelions in his travels, he’d bring new meaning to the phrase, ‘weed and feed.’”
   “I’ll ask him what he thinks,” Susan said.
   “Tell him he has one customer already,” I said, pointing to myself.
   Susan smiled and walked off.
   I spent the rest of the day wondering how I was going to explain Billy’s morning visits to our blueberry bushes to my neighbors…and picturing the look on Billy’s face when his mom told him about his new job for the summer…


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1 Comment to "Out of My Head for FEB 10 11"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Tears are running down my face.....

    Posted on Sat Feb 11, 10:31:00 AM EST


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