The inspection sticker on my truck was up about four months ago and Minnie’s been after me to take care of it in case I get caught and end up with a ticket.
What she don’t know is, the real reason I’ve been puttin’ it off is because, like a lot of yis, I had this buddy at a garage and as long as his boss wasn’t around, all I had to do was slip him an extra twenty bucks on top of the inspection fee and he’d give me the sticker to put on myself. There’s times I left the truck runnin’ out in the parkin’ lot and ran into the garage to get the sticker. Needless to say, Minnie didn’t know anything about this and probably thinks it’s normal to get your truck inspected five years in a row and never have to get any work done on it.
Anyway, my buddy got his hours cut last summer and went out west to find work. So that left me in a bad spot since I knew there’s no way the truck would pass inspection and I got no money to fix ‘er up.
I couldn’t put up with Minnie gettin’ on me about the inspection anymore, so finally, me and Cyril took a look at it and we figured if we got a few parts here and there and did the work ourselves, it might take about $400 to pass inspection.
Where in the hell am I gonna come up with that? I says.
Hang on! Cyril says, all excited. I got an idea! Let me see about somethin’ tonight, and I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
That night when we were eatin’ supper, all I had on my mind is how I gotta come up with money to fix up the truck. Of course, that’s when Little Bill chimes in, right on cue:
Can I have $200?
I damn near choked on my meatballs.
Can you wait ‘til tomorrow, son? The bills on the money tree should be in full bloom by then.
Imagine. And what was so important he needed the money for? Him and his buddies found a van they wanted to buy for their band, even though none of them are old enough to drive yet. Cripes. Kids, whuh?
The next day Cyril pulls into the driveway with a big grin on his face and a plow in the back of his truck. Turns out he knew a guy sellin’ a plow for the front of his truck and he was eyeballin’ it but Joan didn’t want him to spend the money.
I told Joan you and me could go into business plowin’ driveways! he said. You come with me to knock on the doors and collect the money and I’ll drive the truck and do the plowin’!
We spent half the day gettin’ the plow off the back and getting’ it hooked up to the front of Cyril’s truck. He said if we charged $20 a driveway and split it 50/50, we’d only have to do 25 driveways for him to make back what he paid for the plow and then 15 more driveways for me to come up with the $400 I needed to fix my own truck. He said as long as he made back the money he spent on the plow, he was just happy to be able to plow his own driveway from now on.
And we got some lucky – the snowstorm hits us that night. School’s cancelled the next day and everything. So that morning the two of us went out, drivin’ around, lookin’ for driveways full of snow. He’d stop on the street, I’d jump out and go to the front door. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! In the first two hours, we plowed 10 driveways and we each had $100 in our pockets.
We were jumpin’ up and down at what a good idea this was and Cyril said, well since it’s goin’ so good, maybe we should get ourselfs a coffee to celebrate. That sounded good to me, so off we went to Horton’s.
I was gonna go through the drive-thru, Cyril says, but we might as well go in, eh?
So we go in, and of course, Timmy and Tommy and Murph and everybody is sittin’ at the usual table and we end up sittin’ down there. One coffee turned into a second coffee with a couple of breakfast sandwiches, which turned into a third coffee.
We were tellin’ the guys about our plowin’ business and Tommy kept jokin’ we better get back out there before somebody else scooped our business.
Naw, I said. We didn’t even try my street yet. Down my end alone there’s ten house that I know don’t get plowed or snow-blowed or anything.
So, when we finished our third coffees and talked about the Leafs some more, me and Cyril finally got back in the truck and headed back to my street.
This’ll be a piece of cake, I said. Figure we get about ten more drivew –
But I stopped, because we turned onto my street and I could see about eight of the driveways were cleared already. I went up and knocked on the MacInnis’s door but she said she already said yes to the group of teenagers that was goin’ around, and she pointed two houses down the road.
So I look and there’s Little Bill and about seven other kids, all with shovels, clearin’ all the snow out of the MacIntyre’s driveway.
Bill! I yelled to him. What in the hell are ya doin?!
Hey! he says. We shoveled all these driveways! We already got almost half the money we need to buy our van!
Oh, I was some mad. Beaten in business by my own son. I went from Trump to chump just like that.
Oh yeah? I yelled. Well who said you could use my shovel?