Yard Work

We were saving up for a Swiss Army Knife. had to have it. Summer yard work business. Complete with hand made flyers . This was gonna be our ticket to summer riches. Dustin knew this, he knew everything it seemed. Dustin was 11 I was 9, and we had a plan. After many unsuccessful marketing campaigns we finally got a gig at a pretty fancy house. Single mom who was a college professor. Dope. She laid out the ground rules with a firm grace and kindness. She wanted all the grass cut and the bushes trimmed. Pretty standard operation I suppose and Dustin knew what to do. It was hot that day in the Pacific Northwest summer. But we were jamming. I mowed and bagged, he clipped away at the shrubs. We even trimmed the walkways. About 2 hours in and we were just cleaning up when she came out wearing a summer fedora and a tank-top. She had a tray with two glasses of some kind of fruit punch. She handed the picturesque refreshments to me and Dustin. I was astonished and delighted to see she had garnished them with little tropical umbrellas. She had even put a Marciano cherry on top of each one. I honestly had only seen such things on TV. What a score. I was beginning to see what wonders lie about in the world. She scanned the yard slowly with her June cleaver like  eyes. “you boys sure did a great job, thanks for trimming the walkway too!” No problem ma’am Dustin quickly and smoothly responded. we sipped the drinks as she stood there with her arms crossed, further evaluating the yard. She turned around and said “well guys, how does four dollars each sound, is that ok?”. Was this ok? 4 dollars each to a 9 year old in 1990 like was a Jose Canseco grand slam to the upper deck. I almost gasped and yipped with glee but just then Dustin shot me a telepathic glance that said in the most crystal clear of all terms “easy killer” lassoing my overzealous enthusiasm. A brief pause and Dustin politely and shrewdly replied ” Well I guess 4 dollars sounds ok”. I remained silent alternating my glances at her and him. “Great I will go get my purse” she said cheerfully and headed up the winding walkway to her front door. I exhaled and looked at Dustin. “You see Michael you gotta play it cool” he calmly explained. “If you jump for joy like 4 dollars is the deal of the century, she may change her mind and lower her offer”. I suddenly understood. I understood that he was exactly right and I understood his business acumen was razor sharp. I also understood that we were both walking away with 4 bones apiece. Soon she emerged from her pristine house with 4 crisp neat bills for each of us. There is nothing like cash money for a hard days work. We finished our drinks on the sidewalk in the heat next to our cart full of equipment and the lawn mower, 400% wealthier than we started the day. “See man, I told you we were gonna make big money”. I downed the last of my fruit punch. “Hell yeah we are Dustin, hey..are you gonna eat your cherry?

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