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The Solicitation

Ding dong.

"Who can that be?" asked the husband, not getting up from his desk.

I scrambled up from mine and down the stairs.  I hoped it wasn't another salesperson from the carpet cleaning or bug zapping service. I also didn't want to get down there and find someone clutching slick campaign material to give me. I doubt it was religious people. They rarely show up around dinner time. Aw, gee. I hoped it wasn't anyone we knew. The husband and I bought hot dogs at the Farmers Market for dinner. There was only enough for the mama and us.

Our front door was open. I saw a young man on the other side of the security gate. "Hello," I called, as I walked down the last few steps.

"Hello," he said, pressing his face into the gate. I love that security gate. I can see the people on the other side of it, but they can't see me. I'm just a voice behind it.

"What do you want?"

He stepped back quickly. "I couldn't tell where you were."

I laughed. I almost opened the door. Less gruffly, I asked again, "What do you want?"

"I'm not selling anything."

"Okay. What do you want?"

"Uhm, my name is Danny. I live down the street," he said, pointing to the north. I didn't recognize him from any of the houses on my block.

"This is going to sound odd, but I need an ingredient." I finally noticed an empty glass jar in his hand. "I'm cooking a special meal for my mom's birthday and I ran out of an ingredient."

He paused. "What do you need?" I asked.

"Would you happen to have some vodka or gin?"

I paused. Do I really want to give someone I don't know some liqour? "Sorry. Can't help you."

"Thanks anyway."

Upstairs, the husband asked, "What did he want?"

After repeating the tale, the husband asked, "Why can't he go down to the liquor store?"

We heard our next door neighbor saying, "Sorry, we don't have any."

"I've never heard of a neighbor asking for an ingredient," said the husband.

"I've had neighbors do that, but I knew them."

"What's he going to make anyway? A martini?"

I wonder if the kid ever did get his jar filled with vodka or gin.


  1. Hilarious. I never would have thought of asking a neighbor for liquor.

    Hmm, I've kind of got a headache. Wonder of Willie down the street has any percocet I could borrow.

  2. That is very strange. I also wonder whether anyone gave him any vodka or gin for his mother's "special birthday meal."

    This may also be a nonsequitur, but I read your later post first, about helping the young women push their car, and I saw your reference to the solicitation, and I immediately flashed back to the time some folks helped me dig out my car after a blizzard, and they turned out to be born-again shovelers. On the one hand, I was grateful for their help. On the other, I didn't think that meant I had to be a captive audience to hear about how much they loved their church. Helping strangers--and being helped by strangers--is so unpredictable. What makes it interesting, I guess.

  3. Tara, that snort you heard was me.

    Sue, you said that right. It's an adventure each time the husband and I walk out the door.


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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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