Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Key and Dollar Bills

When our neighbors, the Cs, go out of town, they always ask Phil if he will pick up newspapers in the morning and their mail in the afternoon. Phil loves to do this and never has to be reminded. When they return and come to our house to pick up the papers and mail they pay Phil $1 for each day they are gone. After one of their trips I told them Phil loves dollar bills so they have been paying him in one dollar bills ever since.

After this last trip the Cs came to the house for their papers and mail while Phil was gone to “teen club” so he was unable to give them their mailbox key which he always puts on his keychain. When he came home I told him to just take the key to them. He told me he was scared to do it. “Phil, you’ve known them your entire life—just take it to them.” “I’ll mail it to them. No, I’ll give it to them at church.” I was surprised at how much anxiety this was causing. Today he pulled the key out of his pocket again to show me he still has it. I told him to walk up there and give it to them. “Will you go with me?” I did but I made him ring the doorbell, hand over the key and say thank you for the money. (Mr. C turned to me for a translation. Phil has cluttered speech that is often hard to understand.) He did it all with a smile and then turned around and headed home leaving me behind.

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