“Mike, you have a truck, can you go pick up some watermelons for USA Rescue Team?” the message read.
Sure, what could possibly go wrong?
I call the contact guy, and he tells me he’s in Adel Georgia, about thirty-five miles away, and that’s about twenty bucks worth of gas. But implicit in my instructions to fetch the melons, is that in some way, I will be helping sell the melons. Dog Rescue is like this; if you offer to help, you’re in all the way or not at all. There is also a chance I’m not helping. There is a chance this will be my event, one hundred percent.
I’m thinking twenty-five melons, at the most, and I’m also thinking this is a charity event, so we’re going to get them free, right?
The rescue’s next event is on a Saturday, and my plan is to go get the melons Friday afternoon, because it is not only hot, it is hellish hot, and it is going to be hotter on Saturday. Triple digit heat indices, and nothing lives long in that sort of weather. The guy with the melons tells me if I want them to come get them now. Wednesday arrives and off I go!
But the guy with the melons is not in Adel, no. He’s another ten miles away, and that’s more gas money. And he wants a dollar apiece for them. And he wants to sell no fewer than fifty at a time.
Suddenly, we’re talking real money here. But I assume this is the deal the rescue made with him, and after all, I am already there.
The guy lives out in the woods, and has, literally, thousands of melons everywhere. I tell him fifty, give him fifty bucks, and we load the truck. Suddenly, he acts like he just realizes I’m working with the rescues and gives me twenty bucks back, and gives me free melons. A lot of free melons. I know I cannot sell this many in one day, and I have no place to put them.
I unload the melons in the shade in the woods at my place, keep them covered and water them down until Friday night. I’ve already lost half a dozen at this point due to heat.
Forecast: Clear skies, heat, heat, more heat.
Saturday morning. The skies open up. It floods. Thunder, lightning, and it’s ten in the morning before I can even get out of the truck.
But the first customer arrives. He tells me I have to leave and he doesn’t wait to hear my explanation. One minute later a cop arrives.
I make phone calls and cannot reach anyone. But the cop is an understanding soul. He doesn’t believe someone with a load of melon is going to give him a load of bull. The woman who runs our rescue finally makes contact with the guy who owns the parking lot and he just plain forgot he had given permission. We have a conference call, and he turns out to be s stellar person, and all is well. But the rain has stopped, and the sun is coming out. Heat will arrive very soon, and the day has just begun.
(Part Two, Next Week, Skateboard Savior, and the Neighborhood Guy)
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.