I was hoping to have a delicious recipe or fun project to share today, but sadly, I have neither. What I do have is another stupid story where you can laugh at me. I have plenty of them, in fact. And who doesn't enjoy a good laugh?!
I should start by saying that my husband and I have lots of good ideas. Really, we do. We like to brainstorm on weekend mornings while we have our coffee. We've come up with some winners, but also a few losers. This one was a loser of an idea to the nth power. It really was.
We were planning our vacation a few years ago and decided it would be a good idea to come up with a way to earn a little extra spending money. Maybe something the family could do together. A garage sale? No, doesn't sound like fun. Bake sale? Nah. A paper route? Great idea! Let's do it!!
Mr. Willoughby called the local paper and found out there was an available route in the next town over. The circulation manager said this route could be done by one person on foot in about two hours. Perfect, we'll take it.
Several days later the newspapers arrived. We didn't know that they were going to have to be folded and bagged, but we were still optimistic about our new family job. We happily sat folding and stuffing newspapers into plastic bags. There sure were a lot of them, though. Did they give us extras? That was when we looked at the map and realized we would be delivering papers to the entire town. Huh? Around 500 houses in two hours on foot? It just didn't seem possible, especially since we were told specifically that the papers had to be put on the porches.
Saturday was the day we chose to start our delivery. There was no specified day, they just had to be delivered by sundown on Sunday evening. They gave us canvas carrying bags, but we chose to take our wagon instead. There were so many newspapers that we couldn't take more than half at a time.
After about the second street, it was clear that this wasn't going to be a fun job. It was hot and sunny and the kids got tired and wanted to quit. Still, we pressed on and managed to finish our deliveries just before dark. If I recall correctly, it took somewhere around 5 hours. Could it be that the circulation manager lied about how long it would take?
So the next week we devised a new strategy. We wouldn't take our daughter along because she tired out too easily (she was 4 at the time) even riding in the wagon. She would go to Grandma and Grandpa's while we made our deliveries. Also, we would split up and get multiple streets done at the same time. Maybe going later in the day would be good, too, after the temperature dropped a bit. Once again, we barely finished before dark. We needed a better plan.
In the meantime I found out that this route, as well as the route in our town, was often handled by mentally challenged adults. A van would drop 5 or 6 of them at the end of a street and they would deliver to all the houses on the street and then move to the next street via the van. You can see how much faster that would be.
So when Saturday rolled around again, since we didn't have 5 or 6 people to help, we decided to drive to each street and run from house to house. It was the only way to get finished in a few hours.
Again it was hot. I was wearing an old shirt and shorts because, even with the bags, you would end up with newsprint on your clothes. And that's when it happened. I was mistaken for a mentally challenged person.
I was running from house to house so I'm pretty sure I was sweaty and disheveled. I ran up the front walk toward a house when the family dog came running toward me. The owner and his family were in the yard and he said "Don't worry, he's friendly. He just barks a lot." To which I responded (panting and out of breath, I suppose) "I know what you mean, my dog is like that." And he said (as if talking to a two year old) "Do you? Do you have a doggie, too? What's your doggie's name?" What do you say to that? "Her name is Molly, and by the way, I'm not mentally challenged?" I don't even remember what I said. It was then and there that I decided I didn't want this job anymore!
The next week when the papers were delivered to our house they included an extra advertising circular. It would add a half pound each and we would get an extra 3 cents per paper. There was no way were going to do it, not for that money. So we quit. The circulation manager had to come and remove the papers from our front porch. While he was loading them in his van and swearing under his breath, I stepped outside and said "You can deliver those by yourself on foot in two hours!" Hah!