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6:58 a.m. - 2004-07-20

ME AND MY BIG MOUTH

After washing, drying, folding, hanging, sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, building, cooking, planting, filing and masturbating yesterday, I decided to take a short nap.

About five minutes into this much deserved nappapalooza, there's a frantic buzzing of the doorbell. Whoever was out there had pushed it maybe 30 times in a five second period.

Naturally, I'm thinking either zombies had taken over the neighborhood and a neighbor needed some shelter or the FedEx guy needed to lay off the caffeine for a while.

Neither.

It was the little Dennis the Menace-kid from across the street that I've probably given so many fake names to over the last couple of years that I can't keep them straight so we'll just call him "Dennis".

The same kid that sang "Jesus Is My Homie".

The same kid whose little sister peed on the porch while staring at me.

The same kid whose sole goal in life is to drive me nuts.

I throw open the door and say "Yes?" as nicely as I could under the circumstances.

"Hey," he says, shuffling his feet and looking down.

"Hey," I say.

"What're ya doin'?" he asks in a nonchalant tone.

"Trying to take a nap," I respond. "What are YOU doing?"

"I was wondering if you'd help me with a car wash," he says.

WTF?

"What kind of car wash?" I asked. "Do you need to wash your Dad's car?"

"No," he says. "I'm going to hold a car wash to raise money to send people to Africa for our church."

A noble cause. I'll give him that.

"Okay," I said. "When is it?"

"Now," he tells me.

I mentally check the calendar.

It's 2:30 p.m. on a Monday. There's not a car on the streets. We live at the end of a long cul-de-sac which only gets five cars of traffic a day and that's the four people here at the end of the cul-de-sac. And the mailman.

He wants to have it in his driveway.

Naturally, he hasn't ran this by his mother yet. It's just something that came to him while he was outside putting bottle rockets in cats' asses or whatever the hell the kid does to amuse himself.

"How much are you charging?" I ask him, knowing that most church car washes are free with donations appreciated to send missionaries to Africa.

"I dunno," he ponders. "50 cents?"

Now then ... I had a choice. I could either take a nap inside a nice air conditioned home on my freshly made bed with freshly fluffed comforter.

Or I could go sit in this 8 year-old's driveway and shoot the shit for a few hours in the hot sun and humidity, waiting patiently for our two neighbors to get home from work and see if they want to come off two bits to have their cars washed by a couple of amateurs including an 8 year-old who had never washed a car in his life.

Hellooooooo Naptime!

"Dennis," I said. "Here's the deal. We don't get enough traffic on this street. Even if we washed every car that would come by here today for 50 cents, we'd only make a dollar. That's not enough to send a toothbrush to Africa. What you need to do is organize a car wash at your church with all the youth in your church. ORRRRR if you want to do something yourself, go door to door with your Dad's lawn mower and offer to cut people's yards for $20. People will pay $20 to get their yards cut."

"Will you help me cut people's yards?" he asked.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I ended up cutting the majority of three strangers' yards yesterday for the kid while he stood there watching me.

He made $65 for the church.

And tried to recruit me to help him today.

I told him I was busy and to recruit some other kid from the street.

And I am busy.

Busy cleaning out all the yard sale reject stuff in the garage so I can get my car in there and close the garage door so the kid thinks I'm not home.

The last thing I want is to collapse from a heart attack in somebody's yard today.

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