He’d be making more than twenty dollars a week, I thought. I didn’t want to become involved in drug-peddling and investigating at a school is difficult, but I agreed to see what I could find out.
That afternoon I was parked near the school on what I liked to think of as a stakeout, when a car stopped behind me. In it was Blandsville’s dynamic duo of detectives, Les Trade and Greg Son.
“What are you doing here?” asked Trade.
“Working on a case.”
I had long suspected that Trade and Son had been class clowns, given diplomas, dishoniris causa, by an ambitious principal to improve his graduation rate,and this grating grammar strengthened my suspicion.
“I can’t tell you. Client confidentiality.”
“Well, we’ve had a complaint that you’re loitering.”
“Yeah, and watching the girls.”
“I am not watching girls.” I don’t find tattooed, metal-encrusted, smoking girls, probably skipping classes, attractive.
“Ah hah! You’re watching the boys. I always suspected you were that way, Tuff,” said Trade.
I always suspected you were stupid, I said mentally. “Is it okay if I watch the football practice?”
“Sure,” said Son, “although you probably can’t tell an outfielder from a goalie.”
And you probably don’t know a boundary from a three-pointer, I thought.
I drove a few blocks away, parked, and walked back. A few students in shorts were running around the track, cheerleaders were practicing cheers, and football players were straggling onto the field. When the practice began, I was easy to spot Tank: he left a trail of prostrate bodies behind him.
After practice, several students approached Tank as he left the school and he handed each a small package. When he was alone, I asked him: “Could I have…uh, some stuff??”
“No,” he replied, “it’s only for students.”
This was worse than I thought: he was a supplier for his fellow students.
“And I don’t sell it. It’s free.”
Oh my gosh!
Finally, perhaps to get rid of me, he agreed to give me some, if I didn’t tell anyone and he handed me a small, brightly wrapped package labelled Yum Yum.
“Yes. What did you think it was? It’s a new product and makers pay me twenty dollars a week to give samples to students. They want to create a market and they thought I’d be a good person to distribute it.”
“But why keep it a secret from you grandparents?”
“They believe in healthy eating and they might not approve of me giving out candy. You probably know that the school cafeteria no longer sells fries or candy.”
“Yes,” I said, still stunned.
“University is expensive and I’ll need every penny I can get if I don’t win a scholarship.”
“True,” I said, “and thanks for the Yum Yum.”
I was so glad to give the explanation to the Shermans that I waived my fee. After all, they were my fellow seniors and pensioners.
And the Yum Yum was very good.