worthe it

Walking home from the fake chicken store, I see a couple kids across the street, business-poised proud and hailing me over. Yippee, and hell yeah! Young entrepreneurs selling some flavors, lemon sour sugar sweet refreshment on an okay, so it’s a gray April day that doesn’t need ice-cold relief. But a brightening…? I’ll take it.

I like to support the local economy, creativity and the confidence to get away with things. I always stop for Kool-Aid stands and Not Marked for Individual Retail Sale snackcakes and candy, cardboard counter boulevard black markets. Even if I’m in my car, I’ll pull over, preferably with an unnecessary U-y.

I used to be that kid. Rinsing cups in an ice cream pail and using them again, with a Band-Aid tin cashbox and chunky plastic camping thermos of liquid summer wired youth. Wishing the adult I would become would come around and humor me. Take me seriously. Give me money.

I can’t read the sign from across the street. The writing on the tagboard attached to the post is faint; what I can make out makes no sense.

“Hey, what are you guys selling?”

“Water.”

“Water?!”

“Yeah, 25 cents a cup!”

“You can’t sell water!”

“But we don’t have anything.”

I bound through traffic to inspect the sign and their sincerity, can’t tell if they’re joshing me, appreciate or are aware at all of the absurdity.

Plastic shamrock shot glasses are lined up on a picnic table. Tap water awaits in a 2-liter pop bottle. A large coffee can contains an impressive amount of change, and the youngsters try to sell me.

“We put it in the fridge first, it’s really good.”

“It’s the best!”

“We want to buy our mom a present.”

I had taken them for friends, one of them not quite white, the other not quite black. I try to imagine what Mom looks like and can’t get past a sucked cigarette. Uneven light. A stuck story, I know, it’s hard to be the narrator. Generous to the just passing throughs.

I pick through my pockets for the coins I don’t want, cents spare from the yuppie grocery faux chicken patties to punch out my middle school cafeteria craving, and hand them to the giggly one, a shoulder-length androgyne even with the nail polish lets the other do most the talking but is quick to hop to, collect and count the money then select a pre-poured shot.

I hoist it high and drain it down, the water from the faucet and their fractured grins half holy crap it worked, we tricked her good! half understanding I would have to be in on it, complicit, for it to happen. Or, I’m an idiot. Suspending and embracing the farce.

 

11 Comments

  • prollymolly

    April 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Maybe it’s the water?

  • Anonymous

    April 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    you’re a champ!!

  • Bree

    April 30, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    I love to support localness; I hate to drink what they sell.

    But I understand that’s part of it.

    Mother’s Day is soon!

  • megh

    May 1, 2008 at 6:19 am

    someday when I’m an Adult I am going to acquire a cider press and have a frothy cold fresh mildly alcoholic real cider cornerstand. I’ve had real cider only once, when a kid. I’ve had hankerings.

    Got Ma covered–thanks for the reminder.

  • Gravecat

    May 3, 2008 at 2:49 am

    Sometimes, I find, it takes the most absurdly implausible plans to actually attain success against all odds.

  • Bree

    May 3, 2008 at 11:06 am

    No, I meant they probably wanted to buy a gift for Mother’s Day.

  • fake

    May 3, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    one of the interesting things about a bottle of tap water is that tap water is more stringently regulated than bottled; the percent or part per billion endocrine disruptors (read: pharmapiss) is almost invariably higher in the fact’ry bottle.

  • megh

    May 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Oh, I see, Bree. They did have a sizable amount of change in the coffee tin (and with loonies and toonies, a handful of change in Canada can actually get you / your mother something). I suspect it was bait, though, and not actual purchases of Worthe.

    Fake: it doesn’t surprise me. Ah the marketing power of mountain springs. OT, I’ve always been amused by how people bitch about the cost of gas, and bottled water *still* costs more. …Though perhaps it’s leveling out by now.

    Gravecat: Welcome to d6, thanks for stopping by and commenting. If the best laid plans oft go awry, then the absurd ones *must* be bound for success. At least, when they do succeed, it’s extra fun. In your face, logic! expectations, respectability….

  • Bree

    May 3, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    On second thought, does Canada have Mother’s Day?

  • Anonymous

    May 9, 2008 at 11:45 am

    No – Canadians do not have Mothers. They emerge from the ice at spring thaw fully formed and go on a donut feeding rampage.

  • megh

    May 9, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up, Anon. I can think of no other reason for the continued, thriving existence of the Tim Horton Empire.

    Ahem, Canadians do have Mother’s Day, Bree. In fact, they have a whole slew of statutory summer holidays, many of them conveniently located on Mondays, for lazy summer long weekends. Something Amermecca could stand more of.

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