“Look here, you Ninny”. I’ve just about had it with you. I’m talking about washing cars, and you are looking at me with your Goo-Goo eyes, mumbling something about “the cops, and a cigarette”. Pull yourself together, or it will be Sayonara from this Girl next door!”
OK. I guess, I’ve let my mind wander a bit too much. I just get carried away when thinking of how my life might end up, when I am together with my friend? You’d think she’d be sad and regretful, not giving me another kiss, or something? I’ve started carrying a package of Certs, ready to pop one in my mouth, if I had the feeling that a kiss was on its way. The fact of the matter being that she has surprised me at least twice before with a kiss, before I even knew what had happened! “Hit and run”, you might say!
I stood there searching in my right pocket for one right now, while she looked at me like I was some sort of an addle-headed boob. “What are you doing now, fiddling around in your pocket?” Are you ready for my plan, or what?”
I had actually found, what I hadn’t been looking for, a hole in my pocket where my Certs used to be! Oh well, it probably won’t be my lucky day today! I hope not anyway, while testing my breath by blowing it into my cupped hand.
“Look here, you. We are going to go into the Car-washing business. We can hit all of the houses in the neighborhood and offer them our Opening Special! Wash your car, and clean your windows for $5. Cheap at twice the price, but for you, dear neighbors, a special price today. Well, What do you think?”
It seemed like a good idea to me, other than the fact that we really didn’t know much about washing cars. Not me anyway, but things like that didn’t stop her. She didn’t wait for my answer, before she stomped up to the first house, and rang the doorbell. She then stepped to one side, pretty much out of sight of the house owner, and waited for the door to open. “Hurry up, you Ninny. Now it’s your turn to use our Sales Pitch!”
I just stood there looking rather perplexed when the door opened, and a woman looked out at me. “Well, what is it young man?”.
I…I’d like to offer you a car wash for the measly fee of $5. I’ll make it shine like the top of the Chrysler Building ( I threw that one in to make it sound like I’d been in New York and stuff).
“Well, I don’t know. I guess, it would keep you young people out of trouble if you were learning about the value of money! OK. I’ll try it out. The hose is around the back, when you are ready. Just knock on the door, when you are finished!”
And with that she went back inside, leaving me on her doorstep not quite sure what I had gotten myself into. “Good job, you Ninny! And with that she kissed me again, without having had a Peppermint Certs in my mouth, thinking about that bowl of Grape Nuts with the Sour Milk Taste still being in my mouth after all those hours, and how I didn’t get to enjoy it again..
The kiss. Not the Grape Nuts with Sour Milk! I wasn’t that much of a Breakfast Fanatic.
With that over and done with, she pulled out a bucket of soapy water out of nowhere and pushed a sponge into my sweaty hands. “You start to wash the car, while I get some towels to dry it with.”
“Hey, My dad has a Shammy we could use!” I added quickly.
“You and your foreign words! Trying to impress a girl, or something? It is a Chamois, you Ninny. That’s French, you know? Trying to get the girl by sweet-talking her with French? Well, save it for Sunday! I don’t have time for your Je t’aime, or Chamois cloth, type of silly business! Get a move on, and we’ll be counting our first $5 in a few hours, if we’re lucky!”
Even though I was confused, and things, I got to work like she said. I soaped the whole thing and after a while, I was wetter than it was. I hosed it off and was getting a bit tired when she showed up again with a bundle of rags, looking like some bed sheets borrowed from someone’s laundry line.
“Here you go. I’ll just help you out by doing the necessary detail work on the rest of the car while you do the drying.”
She wandered over to the radio antenna, and began to bend it back and forth. “You see this, Poindexter? They just don’t make them like they used to. My Uncle has a car with an antenna which can be bent all the way to the car hood. Like rubber and all, that is the way they should be!” Suddenly the metal, not being rubber kind of type of antenna, made a snapping sound leaving the top part of the antenna in my friend’s hand. “You see, faulty workmanship!”
Now I had come from being confused to being worried that the car’s owner would come out at that instant, and see what was left of her radio antenna. “Fix it, or do something” I cried trying to finish up the job, wringing out the sheets, putting the finishing touches on the drying job.
“Look here, you” she showed me how she found a think stick and placed it inside the bottom part of the antenna, then in the top part. “See, it looks just like new! When she is out and about having parked her car in the wrong side of town, where those antenna-snapping hooligans run around, not having anything else to do than messing up people’s lives, her antenna might just break again!”
And with that, she disappeared around the corner of the house, just as the owner made her appearance. “Wow, great job! I can see myself in the paint job and everything. It is well worth the money and you know what? You should come by again in a month or so, my car will be the talk of the neighborhood!”
Pocketing the money and gathering up the bucket and things, I was ready to take my leave. I looked around for my friend, but she wasn’t anywhere to be found. I moved on to the next house, where someone was home, and tried my sales pitch once again, now having the privilege of pointing in the direction of my first job, and bragging a bit about how good the car looked!
One job led to another, with my services being in demand, just by word of mouth. My friend stayed mainly in the shadows, keeping her antenna-breaking-hands away from the Dodges and the Fords, the Chryslers and the Chevrolets. At the end of the day, my hands were both sore and wrinkly, and my clothes almost completely soaking wet. I had earned somewhere over $25, as some of the people felt that $5 was too much to pay for what they got out of it. All the same, I felt that the day was worth it, and started home, before my mother was out and about, wondering why I wasn’t at home, drooling about her upcoming evening meal.
When I got close to my house, my friend suddenly jumped out from behind a tree, and stopped me dead in my tracks. “Well, well,well. What do we have here? A young man whose pocket are filled with cash, just waiting to shower his riches upon the girl of his dreams! What a lucky day it is for the two of us!”
The thought that she was the girl of my dreams, was not entirely true, but if she wanted to believe that, then I guess it was all right.
My friend seemed to be blocking my path, not letting my tired bones get home, before they collapsed on the ground in front of her.
“Well, what was the day’s take? Are we millionaires yet, or did you slouch around all day?”
I didn’t feel like arguing at that moment. My hands were all raw from being in a bucket of soapy water all day, and it seemed like there wasn’t one dry part on my whole body.
I pulled out the money out of my wet pocket, with some of the bills sticking to the sides, allowing the rest to tumble out on the ground. She moved as fast as quicksilver, mercury, you know, when someone had inadvertently broken the outside thermometer.
OK. There might have been a slingshot involved, and it might have acted like a loaded weapon, and it might just have gone off, when someone wasn’t looking at what he was doing, and hoping instead to catch a glimpse of the girl next door through her bathroom window, which wasn’t easy to do, with it, the bathroom that is, being on the top floor and all! Then there was the shattering of glass followed by the thermometer not being able to tell us the correct temperature anymore, which then caused his mother to react, telling his father that the young man had gone wrong once again, while practicing to be enrolled in the local league of hooligans!
Where was I? The girl next door just stood there, waiting for my daydreaming to end, before she made her next comment.
“I’ve been counting the money, while you’ve been gone on one of your out of town trips, and I must say that you’ve been a busy boy today! Just think of how much money we will have by the end of the summer! I bet we’ll make more money than selling seeds, or Grit like it says on the back of comic books. Hello, are you listening at all? Did you ever order any of that junk on the back of those comics?”
I do admit to being tempted by ordering Sea Monkeys, by mail order sales. I only use the word tempted in my mind, or my mother would hit the roof, or the sky if she heard me talking about devilish things! When I approached my parents with that idea, or the one to sell something else like American Seeds than my mother jumped in, before my father could say anything and said that even though it had the word American in it, there was probably a communist hiding behind every word in the advertisement!
“No. No I just thought how nice it would be to buy a new Sissy bar for my bike, that’s all.”
She just looked at me like I fell off the apple cart today, and shook her head. “Look here. The important thing about money is being able to buy presents for your loved ones. You know? Your parents, your dog and your girlfriend. The most important being your girlfriend. She is not going to say no to flowers or candy, but you don’t know anything about that, do you? All you think about is your Sissy Bar on your bike! I think the best thing, is for me to keep it safe for you, until you learn the value of money! I can help you to buy a present for that certain, special someone, if of course you ever stop daydreaming about her, and say what is in your heart!”
I just looked at her, but she was gone by the time I opened my mouth to reply. What would I reply? It’s hard to say?….