Teenage Confidential

June 1, 2010

Teenage Confidential: The Cost of Things

The hot, humid weather and stress from their summer jobs cause best friends Jamie and Ryan to have an argument.

To:  SpecialKaye@…..
From:  RyCourtlandt@JanitorJoe….
Date:  August 17th
Subject:  The cost of things

Hey Katie.  I’m just catching up on my emails tonight.  Jamie and I are having a great response to our website, Janitor Joe.

We’re really cleaning up this summer!  For sure, we’ve made more money than over winter break and having a blast doing it.  It’s amazing the amount of work busy people have no time for so they just throw everything they aren’t sure about into a closet in the cellar.

That goes on for a while until one day they have to put stuff into the boiler room and when that’s crowded the stuff starts taking up space in cabinets above the washing machine in the laundry room.

Cleaning out closets and cabinets sounds pretty dull but it does have its surprises.

 Today Jamie and I got into a fight about something he found while we were on a job.  It looked like a Frisbee.  A real old and warped one.

Jamie was ticked off that the woman we’d done the job for worked us extra hard asking us to not only wash out all the cabinets after we cleaned them out,  but to sweep the floors and vacuum her rug since we trailed so much dust into her living room. 

I thought a big tip was waiting but it didn’t come.  She didn’t even offer us some cold water when we were finished.

On the way home Jamie and I stopped by Hillside Park to hang out for a while.  I was hoping maybe Abbie would pass by with Ahndreya but no such luck.

Jo is away so it’s pretty boring right now.  Jamie is not always the best company.

He kept texting on his phone and was hiding something under his arm.  After finishing a Coke I sat back on the bench and opened the paper bag he’d put between us.

I took out the funny old Frisbee and turned on him.

“What’s up with this?  It isn’t ours.”

He looked up at me.  “Well it is now.  She didn’t want it.  Her loss is our gain.”

Jamie then showed me an answer he’d gotten to one of his messages.  It said, “Pipco flying saucer?  OMG that’s GR8.  I’ll give u $75 4 it.”

Jamie looked at me seriously.   “You’re always saying one mans junk is another man’s treasure.  Today we got rich.”

When I asked him to explain he said that this Pipco Flying Saucer was a predecessor to the Frisbee.  It probably dated to the early 1960s and is a hot item for some collectors.

“We’ve gotta bring this back,” I said to Jamie.  “It’s not right.”

“And is it right that she was so nasty to us and didn’t pay the full rate we agreed on just because I told her I wouldn’t vacuum her rug.  You’ve got to draw a line, somewhere, Ry otherwise our customers will continue to squeeze us for the “little extras” without paying extra.”

“That’s called Customer Service,” I answered back.

“That’s called being a pushover,” Jamie shot back. 

At that point my sister Lindsay passed by and stopped to look at the Pipco Flying Saucer.  “I don’t see anything special about this,” she said.  “I wonder if it will even fly.”  Before we could say anything she threw it high into the air and it went over the dog run in the park.

A Golden Labrador caught it and it took some time to coax the dog to let go of the Flying Saucer.

When we went back to the bench Lindsay looked at both of us.  “Shame on the both of you,” she said.  “Is your friendship down to this?”  She waved the Flying Saucer in front of us.  It was none the worse for it’s recent flight but I had to ask myself what was it really worth..

 Jamie just waved Lindsay off.  I took the Pipco back to Mrs. Harris.  I just explained that it got mixed up with some of our own stuff when we left.  I tried to tell her that she could make some money by auctioning it on eBay but she’d have none of it.

She just frowned and said she’d no idea where it came from but if we wanted it we could keep it. 

When I got home I checked email.  Jamie apologized and said he’d told the collector that the deal was off. 

“Want to come over and see the concert by Black and Blue again?” Jamie asked. 

I’m going to tell him yes.  And that he should call the collector back.  Now if we make some money off the Pipco Flying Saucer it will rightfully be ours.

See you soon.

P.S.  You’ve just got to come to the Farmers Market here on Isabella Island some day.  Everything is so fresh and fragrant you’ll feel as if you’ve been taken right up to the country.

P.P.S.  You’ve got to stop by Sweet Things on Morning Glory Boulevard for a brioche and iced Cappuchino afterwards.  Sheer heaven.  I know it’s a girly kind of treat but Abbie got me hooked on the combo.

Story (c) Katie Stevens


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