When we first moved into the house we were warned that a neighborhood guy would come by and ask if he could do some yard work. The warning was we were NEVER to pay him beforehand, only after he completed the work.
Before we had a lawn mower he would come by and mow the yard for ten bucks. That was fine with me. Or, he would come by and rake and sweep the front. Again, ten bucks. Sometimes he would ask for eight - depending on. . . I have no idea.
We made the mistake of paying him before hand (oh, and when I say "we" - I really don't mean me at all, I'm just being polite. . . which I just erased by writing this side note) and you can guess what happened? Um, yeah, he essentially ran away. It was three weeks later he finally did the work - though we had to ask him about 35 times.
This weekend, we tackled the house cleaning and I have to admit I was pretty darn cranky about it. Strapped with my portable vacuum, I was working the stairs when I heard a knock on the door. I shut the vacuum off and opened the door to see Mitch standing there. Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods:
Mitch: "Yeah, uh, Happy Mother's Day. I was wondering if you wanted me to mow the sidewalk patch in front".
Me: "Oh, I was actually going to do it later".
Mitch: "Oh. OK. I was just checkin'. See ya".
I looked over his shoulder to see knee high "grass" and was pretty embarrassed. Though I had planned on mowing it later in the day - it wasn't priority numero uno. Well, seeing it bumped it up the list.
Eventually I mowed the back yard and proceeded to wheel the mower around to the front. I plowed down the "grass" in a few easy passes and cleaned up a few stray pieces of trash in my steps. I glanced down the street and noticed the rest of the patched needed mowing. What the hell, I like to mow - It will be fun, I thought. I headed towards the next patch and noticed two figures sitting in front of a house across the street glaring at me. It was Mitch. I assume he was a little peeved I was taking away potential profits - but hey, I was being neighborly. I pressed the prime button and went to start the mover. Nothing. I tried again. And, again. At this point I was convinced his dagger eyes were tampering with my machinery. About eight tries in, it started right up and I proceeded to mow down two patches, clean up some more trash, and quickly walked back around to the back to put the mower away.
I don't anticipate Mitch to come around anytime soon. . .but then again, nothing has ever stopped him before.