Hello everybody, and happy belated new year to you all! I recently got a new job. Well, by new I really mean I went back to working for the first company I ever worked for, when I first started paying taxes to Uncle Sam; Pizza Hut. When I was fourteen I took a night job as a cook. Fast forward twenty years, and now I'm working for the company again, as a driver. What can I say, some people tend bars, some people wait tables, I drive food around. Ask anybody in the service industry what they've seen while working, and they will undoubtedly have stories to share. I've seen all kinds of things over the years I've been a driver in any form, but delivering food to peoples houses leads to all kinds of strange, and sometimes frightening situations when doors open. One delivery I had on Saturday night falls in the former category.
It was just about 8 p.m. when I was checking a delivery ticket before taking a run, and I saw a special instruction. It stated that I should not knock, or ring the bell because of a sleeping baby. That's not unheard of. A lot of people will ask that the driver calls upon arrival, or en route. For various reasons, typically due to dogs that go ballistic when somebody dares to ring the bell, or the customer may not be in the house, or not in an area of the house where they'd hear a knock, etc.. After double checking that I wouldn't show up missing an item, I departed.
The part of town I was heading to is in the farthest northwestern point of the area, that most of the drivers I work with hate going to. For no reason other than the fact that it takes a while to get there, and the chances of being able to take a double are slim to none. Simply put, you miss out on the chance to take a couple of more runs during your shift. I don't much mind. First off, I'm from Chicago, so I'm used to traveling longer distances than most people here are. Secondly, there is a fifty fifty chance of getting a good tip when you go there, as it is the monied part of the community residing there. We're talking waterfront properties, and $750,000+ homes. The only real downside is the chance for deer. There is minimal lighting along the main road, and even less on the side streets. Let alone the fact that there are a lot of trees, a blind curve, and rolling hills to boot. It's not so bad when the sun is up, and the roads are dry, which was not the case Saturday night.
I found the house I was looking for without encountering any dark eyed herbivores, or predators for that matter. I slowly turned into the driveway (which we are not ever suppose to do, but hey, sometimes you just have to) hoping to let the light from my headlights stream through the glass at the front of the house. Then I grabbed my phone, and dialed the number on the receipt. It looked like a cell phone number, and I figured new mothers might keep their phones silent when a baby is sleeping. It rang and rang, finally giving me the option to leave a message, so I did, simply stating my arrival. Then I got out of my car and waited at the front porch, where a green post-it note was hanging on the storm door, announcing the hours that people were not suppose to knock or ring the bell.
After about a minute of standing there, resisting the sudden urge to make some noise, I heard a baby start crying from within the house. Not my fault, I figured, and set about contemplating knocking. Just before my hand could contact the door, I heard the deadbolt turning in the main door. The door swung open, and standing on the other side was a young girl, maybe 13-15 years old, holding a swaddled bundle to her chest. It was not making any noise, was my next observation. My first thought was, Oh, no. Another teenage mother? What I did was smile, and say hello. She said hello back, then said, "My name is Meghan." which matched the name on the ticket.
I said, "The total came to $21.48"
She said, "Okay, can I ask you a question?"
"Um, do you accept twenties?"
I nearly laughed, but managed to contain it. Really? The order came to more than twenty dollars, I surely don't want that total in nothing but pennies. "Yes, yes we do."
"Really? Great! Here, hold this!" she said, thrusting said bundle at me.
Not wanting to let a baby drop, I quickly put the hot bag on the porch, and went to gently take the small bundle in my arm. Yeah, it was a baby doll. All I could think of was maybe it was a school project, and I have no desire to ruin somebody's school project intentionally. So I stood there, with a fake baby cradled on my left arm, while the girl disappeared, presumably to gather money. She came back, and handed me $24. She did not show up alone though, a new girl accompanied her, plainly not of kin. I handed Meghan her doll back, picked the pizza up, and completed the transaction. I don't know what was said between the two girls as I was walking back to my car, but they starting giggling, which wasn't creepy at all. I simply left.
If it was a school project, it was very light. I know some schools use eggs. My high school made us use flour bags, mainly to inflict pain on the student body, I think. As I made my way back along the dark road, I started reflecting back on that semester of school, and the class Marriage and Family (which was really just another way of saying Economics 101.) I did great in that class. So did my faux wife, for that matter (we got the highest grade for the project in our class.) How it worked was pretty straight forward. We were all given income levels at the start of the semester, and we had to budget for things like rent, food, and gas, as well as read the stock section of the real newspaper every Sunday, and make fake investments. When the so-called marriage happened, we had to go buy rings, and make a fake bridal registry, and so on. We were also taught how to manage money, and credit. The number one thing they tried to drive home was when we turned 18, we should apply for a gas station card, since they are the easiest to obtain. I've never been accepted for a gas card, and that was nearly eighteen years ago!
I digress. So I've made a little more progress on Mike's Eye, but it's still not quite finished. I've got some things to wrap up, and am considering whether or not I want to make it a start of a series. Once again, you'll all just have to wait and see.
I hope everybody is doing well in this new year. If you've made an attempt to alter a diet, good luck, and may you still find a way to eat well, enjoy your favorite beverage, spend time with friends and loved ones, listen to your favorite music, and try to laugh now and again! Until next time, peace out, y'all!