I have GOT to learn to quit answering the door when I’m half-asleep.
I’ve just gotten up from a nap and am trying to regain consciousness this afternoon when the doorbell rings.
I open the door, and this chubby, exhausted-looking little guy in shorts and a T-shirt mumbles, “Would you like to buy some popcorn?”
As I am looking at the brochure, this rugrat’s mom and dad make some chitchat about how they live over on Such-and-Such Street, while Junior fidgets uncomfortably, groans about how he’s been walking all day, and finally cuts to the chase by announcing to his mother, in a stage whisper you could have heard in Sapulpa:
“I gotta PEE!”
His mom tells him to calm down, because they’re going to their friend’s house next, and he can use the bathroom there. So I hurry up and mark something on the order form and send them on their way.
It isn’t until I get back inside and think about who Junior is shilling for that I realize that I have been HAD.
I have gone out of my way for years to avoid supporting the Boy Scouts. Not that I have anything against munchkins going camping and doing good deeds, mind you … but I have a lot of gay friends, and the Boy Scouts’ membership requirements are just a wee bit too exclusive for my tastes. I think everybody ought to be able to go camping in the woods in a silly-looking uniform if they want, regardless of race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. (The Girl Scouts, incidentally, agree with me. Which is good, because it would probably kill me to try to survive a year without a case of Caramel DeLites.)
But this afternoon, by the time I figured out I was being solicited by a plainclothes Cub Scout, I’d already agreed to look at his brochure.
There is an unwritten law of human decency that says that if you look at a rugrat’s sales brochure, you must buy something, whether you want it or not. I don’t care if he’s raising funds for al-Qaeda. If you take the kid’s order form, you’ve gotten his hopes up, and it’s just not right to dash them, no matter what you think of his cause.
Besides … I felt sort of sorry for Junior, who reminded me of the Red Fork Hippie Chick at age 6, trudging around her neighborhood in a beanie and sash, dancing up and down on her neighbor’s porch and trying not to wet her pants while she waited for him to quit making small talk and hurry up and order his @#$% Thin Mints.
How could I fight that?
I feel so used.
Caramel corn comes in Nov. 12.