Curmudgeon vs. Youngster” standoff.
From last Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times.
Doug Wilkey, 61 has been complaining about a 12 year old entrepreneur for over two years. The rub? T.J. Guerrero operates a lemonade stand, and sells cookies, from in front of a neighbor’s house, on the corner, in his neighborhood. Wilkey lives next door, the kid lives four doors away. The stand is open from 3 to 7PM.
Wilkey cites T.J’s business as “illegal”, causing excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems that reduce his property values. Whining to city hall, Wilkey states, “Please help me regain my quiet home and neighborhood.”
The police polled the other neighbors and found that they were okay with the 10 to 30 customers T.J. says he has a day. They were baffled that anyone complained.
The town hall said they are not interested in bringing a code enforcement action against a kid’s lemonade stand, much less putting it out of business. Wow, bitching and moaning has reached a new level.
Maybe, my town, Inglis should open a lemonade stand in front of town hall. Then the whiners could cool off with refreshments before they come inside and make their twentieth public records request.
? ? ? ? ? Did You Know ?
Did you know August has the highest percentage of births? Who said they weren’t getting’ anything for Christmas?
Did you know an ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain? There’s got to be some connection with blonde females. . . Never mind. I was just thinking of ex-wives. That, head in the ground thing and . . . . choices.
Did you know the Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters? So does the Detroit alphabet. And two of them are “m” & “f”.
Did you know the longest recorded flight of a chicken was 13 seconds ?
When I was a teenager the world was undergoing wrenching change. Bill Hayley and the Comets were rockin’ the airwaves and making wild children out of innocent youth. Then, God forbid, along came Elvis.
Drive-in theatres were the social crossroads where young people went to examine puberty. The drive-in was a place that, if you were lucky, you could go to the same movie three times over and still not have a clue what it was about. The essential thing about learning to drive was learning where the drive-in was, and finding your way home after two hours of oxygen deprivation and wrestling with a crinoline petticoat.
Then, there was always Cotillion Thursday where the doors of the Rec Center opened at 7 PM (not a minute sooner) and 120 minutes later everyone was ushered quick step from the building at 9PM, just like a fire drill. At 9:03 more than a hundred kids would be milling about under the street lights out front, watching those with hot rods and/or Daddy’s tank of an Edsel, leave rubber on the street for 20 feet as they and their girls sped off to neck for an hour. The destination was the darkness of a favored “parking” spot -- then rushing home, in a heightened state of “mussed up” to meet school night curfew. The water tower at the edge of town was the spot of choice. Safety in numbers could have been a consideration also, since everybody went there . . . to be seen, but not watched!
These Rec Center dances were testing grounds. The girls, unbeknownst to the guys, practiced new dance steps daily. And because of their accelerated female maturation became instructors for the boys who were trying to master the use of both feet in something that resembled co-ordination. The shag, the Continental -- hell, even the Bunny Hop! were complex challenges that males learned through the intimidation of shame, not enjoyment.
One form of rebellion for guys was clothing. It took the form of absurdity. Pink and Black leapt to the fore of color preference, and style made a statement with pants that were pegged in the trouser leg so tightly that you could barely get your foot through, they were that snug. Pink and black shirts, similar to bowling shirts, and even black patent leather shoes with pink shoelaces, were in vogue. Who says boys with raging hormones can’t be convinced to do ridiculous things they collectively think will attract girls?
The most memorable experience of these latter-day, formative years, happened to me in a perfectly innocent set of circumstances. In retrospect, I later wished I had been guilty but you can’t win them all. I asked a new girl at school, out for a date. Destination, you guessed it, the drive-in proving ground. Her name was Winky Johnson and she was the new girl at school.
Winky was cheerful, smiley, bubbly, and built like a brickhouse. She was three inches taller than me . . . in flats. At that time, most of the girls were three inches taller than me, or more. I know exactly how Al Pacino must have felt as a teen . . . just like me. I carried that proclivity of selection into adult life. And to this day I’m a sucker for the tall ones. Interestingly enough, the wife that kept me the longest (24 years), was only 4’11”. That proves that beauty is not the precursor to great sex and/or a lasting relationship. However, a lithesome “amazon” makes you the bitter envy of all your male friends. What they don’t know won’t/doesn’t hurt them.
Back to the Winky story.
I walked her to the door after five minutes of tongue exchanges, and figured that there was promise there, barring a jock interloper or some other over developed lothario with a better line.
I had not been home for thirty minutes when the phone rang. My mom answered and started a muted conversation peppered with lots of yeses, nos and I wills. When she hung up she came out and wiggled her finger at me meaning come here. I didn’t feel good about the strange expression on my mother’s face. She pointed, and she guided me out to the front screened porch. “Where’s your I.D. bracelet?”
I looked at my right wrist and the treasured gold filled birthday present with “Daddy O” engraved on it, was not there. I thought to myself, Great, someone found it at the A & W, or the drive-in concession stand. “Geez is that lucky or what?”
My mom shook her head in disbelief. “If you think this is about luck, then I’d hate to see what you think is unlucky. That was Mrs. Johnson on the phone. She found your bracelet stuck in Winky’s crinoline!”
Pleading to no avail I got restriction for a week. Until I went in the Navy I was reminded, every six months, of the classic dilemma of being guilty while being wrongfully convicted. This may have been my first post pubescent clue that life wasn’t always fair.
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