I got my mornin’ routine and I don’t like anybody messin’ with it. Every weekday I get up, have a cuppa tea and maybe a piece of toast at the table, throw on some joggin’ pants and head down to Tim Hortons to meet up with the usual crew for our mornin’ coffee.
Now why do ya have tea and then go have coffee, ya might ask? Well Minnie’s always tryin’ to get rid of any chance I’ll enjoy myself food-wise, so for our mornin’ tea she started with skim milk instead of the regular stuff, and no sugar at all (but I always sneak some). Anyway, that’s all a way of sayin’ that I usually go to Tim’s a few minutes before Cyril and Murph and them fellas, and I go through the drive-thru and get myself an extra large triple-triple, then I sit in the truck and drink the whole thing while I wait for the other fellas to pull in, then I get another one when I go in the store.
All Minnie knows about is the one I buy when I go into the store, which means I gotta come up with an extra $2 a day, or $10 a week to get my drive-thru coffee she don’t know about. So what I do is, any time I got some loose change, I put it in my top secret change cup in my truck. I got one of them old plastic travel mugs with the lid on it, and on the outside I wrote “Screwnails” so nobody’d know there was money in it, and I put it right in the passenger side cup holder in the truck. Hide it in plain view – that’s one of them things I learned from ninja movies.
Anyways, one mornin’ last week I pull up to the window in the drive-thru, pop the lid of my top secret change cup and find there’s nothin’ in it. Stolen! Somebody broke into my truck and stole all my change!
Well, I was fit to be tied. I was cursin’ so much the girl at the window thought I was mental or somethin’.
Anyways, when the other fellas got there I told them what happened and Cyril said the same thing happened to him the week before – somebody broke into his truck and stole all the money from his change cup.
Ya can’t have nothin’ anymore! I yelled. This place is goin’ to the dogs. Somebody gotta do somethin’ about it!
Now this got Murph’s attention because even though he got the worst temper you ever seen and his main business is sellin’ stolen goods, he always secretly wanted to be a cop.
You’re damn right somebody should, and it should be us, he said, poundin’ his fist off the table. We’ll start up a neighbourhood watch. We’ll do secret patrols and we’ll catch them right in the act and crack their heads open!
He was some fired up. And when Tommy pointed out it’d be hard for us to be a neighbourhood watch team since we live all over town and none us are actually neighbours with each other, all Murph had to do was shoot him a look and that was the end of the discussion. We were all in.
I was all for it – I was so mad that somebody would break into my truck and steal my money, I thought Murph had a great idea. Soon as I got home, I went out to the baby barn, found an old broom handle and a skate lace and made myself a pair of nunchucks, which I hid behind the kitchen stove right by the back door. There’s no way I was gonna go out patrolin’ the night unarmed, buddy.
Of course, as gung ho as I was about all this, the problem was I couldn’t tell Minnie about it. Because if I told her the money from my top secret change cup got stolen, she’d say – What top secret change cup? And that’d be the end of all my extra coffee money, so there was no way that was gonna happen.
Before we left Tim Horton’s that morning, we agreed we’d get started that night, since we didn’t wanna waste no time. It might be a little bit of a drive, but we’d start out by sneakin’ out in the night and drivin’ around to each of the other houses to make sure there was nothin’ suspicious goin’ on.
My plan was to wait until we were just about to go to bed, then accidentally-on-purpose spill the last bag of milk all over the floor so I’d have an excuse to go out and get some more, and then I’d to my patrol then.
We were watchin’ TV and when I went out to the kitchen for a drink of pop, I looked out the window to make sure the thief never came back. But there he was! Plain as day, I could see this fella dressed all in black with a black ski mask, creepin’ from the driveway down beside the baby barn.
I gotchya now! I said to myself, grabbed my nunchucks from where I hid them behind the stove and ran outside. I crept up on the fella and whacked him across the back of his head with my nunchucks, lettin’ out a big ninja yell while I did it.
Billy! Quit it!
Cyril rolled over on the ground, took his mask off and rubbed the back of his head.
I’m not the thief, I’m doin’ neighbourhood watch!
Of course by then Minnie was outside askin’ me what in the hell I was doin’ and I had to come clean about the whole thing.
The change cup in the truck you mean? she said. I took it in and rolled it. Did you know there was almost ten bucks in there?
Cyril started laughin’ even though he was still rubbin’ his head.
What are you laughin’ at? she said. I got the idea from Joan after she found eight bucks in your truck last week.