Friday, July 08, 2016

Tauy Creek Digest #6: Bobbo

The hashtags and headlines all run together.

It seems as if twenty minutes ago, nothing was wrong. Fifteen minutes ago, another police officer shoots an unarmed black man.

He was armed? Why does that matter? There are more than 300 million guns in this country and you're worried about one black man with one gun? I know white guys with guns pointed at their front doors just in case someone looks at their house the wrong way.

Ten minutes ago, protests began. Always peaceful, always motivated by what is right.

#BlackLivesMatter. Not saying other lives don't matter. Just saying that it seems that black lives matter less. Evidence shows it. Everything bad that could happen to an American tends to happen disproportionately to the black community. We overlook things like that because the majority of this country is white so why should we care what happens?

Five minutes ago, shots ring out. No longer peaceful, once a unified body becomes separate again.

Two steps forward, one step back. That's how we are anymore. Despite all the advancements we cannot overcome, for whatever reason, our history. Why do we feel like we have to keep people down. Several generations have come and gone and we are still fighting the Civil War.

One minute ago. It all starts over again.


The blond haired boy carefully walked along the top of the eight-foot privacy fence with his arms extended while the cute dark haired girl watched. "Ooh, be careful, Bobbo," she said, in odd amazement.

"Don't worry, I could do this with my eyes closed," Bobbo said. Right about at that moment, Bobbo began to stumble and then fall over the fence. He landed with a thud on the ground in a tulip garden. When Bobbo finally rolled over and stood up to leave the garden, most of the tulips had been flattened.

"Bobbo!" a voice screamed from the direction of the house. "My tulips! What do you think you're doing?"

"Sorry, Mr. Popadopolis," Bobbo muttered. "There was this girl and..."

"Get out!"

Bobbo ran from Mr. Popadopolis' backyard and back around to where the girl was. "Are you okay, Bobbo?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Can't say that about Mr. Popadopolis' tulips though."

"Well, Bobbo. It could've been worse."

"I guess. What a great way to start a friendship," Bobbo sighed dejectedly and began sauntering home.

"You should have seen it, Max. I made a fool of myself in front of that new girl, Brooke," Bobbo complained to his best friend, Max, as they walked through the wall.

"You make a fool of yourself in front of a lot of people, Bobbo, how is this different?" Max asked, drily.

"Har, har. I just want to impress her. What should I do?"

"Stay away from her. That would impress me, anyway, if you could stay away from a girl for 24 hours."

They walked by a kiosk where something caught Bobbo's eye. He stopped to look in the case at the kiosk and saw a bracelet with five charms on a small chain link. "What about that? Do you think she'd like that?" Bobbo pointed at the bracelet. The charms were a heart, a music note, a four-leaf clover, a peace sign, and a star.

Max snorted. "I don't know. How would I know what she likes? I haven't even met her."

"How much is that charm bracelet?" Bobbo asked the guy working the kiosk.

"Ten dollars," he answered.

"I don't have ten dollars," Bobbo sighed and he and Max walked away. "What can I do to earn some quick money?"

"You should spend this kind of energy on your chores and schoolwork," Max said.

"I got it!" Bobbo exclaimed. "I'll see you later, Max."

"No rush," Max said.

"Is that you, Bobbo?" Old Lady Vandacourt asked. She had wheeled herself over to the door to answer it when Bobbo knocked. Old Lady Vandacourt was around 100-years-old, still spry and sassy, she relied on the kindness of her neighbors between the times her daughter and granddaughter would come out to help with groceries and doctor's appointments.

"Sure is. I wondering if you had any odd jobs I could do. I'm looking to earn ten dollars."

"I could probably find something for you. Come on in," Old Lady Vandacourt wheeled her wheelchair backward to give Bobbo room to go in. "You can help me clean out my kitchen cabinets. I've been wanting to do that for months," they walked to the kitchen which was stuck in the 1960s. Everything was at least clean but very dated. "Just go through that cabinet and tell me what's in the can and the expiration date. I'll let you know if you can get rid of it."

For the next hour, Bobbo went through the cans in the cabinet. Half the cans were deemed unsuitable to keep while the other half could be kept. Old Lady Vandacourt then told Bobbo to help clean out her refrigerator. Dozens of moldy plastic containers were tossed out as were a couple cartons of milk. Bobbo was excited when he was finally done with that.

"Anything else, Ms. Vandacourt? I really need to get the ten dollars," Bobbo panted.

"One more thing," she said.

Bobbo's face lowered.

"Can you take Simpson out for a walk?" Old Lady Vandacourt asked.

"Simpson?" Bobbo looked over and saw a dog lying on the couch. "Your dog?"

"Yes. He doesn't get out much except the backyard to do his business. He needs a good walk. The leash is by the door."

"Sure, I guess."

"I'll have the ten dollars ready for you when you get back."

Bobbo hooked the leash onto Simpson's collar and the two left the house. They made it halfway down the block when Brooke came around the corner. "Hi, Brooke," Bobbo stammered.

"Hi, Bobbo. Who is this cutie-patootie?" she kneeled down and rubbed Simpson's head.

"This is Simpson. He's Old Lady Vandacourt's dog. I need to get some extra money so I'm doing some chores for her."

"Oh, that's nice. Why do you need the money?"

"There's something at the mall I want to buy," Bobbo said. "What are you doing?"

"I'm heading to the mall actually."

"I'm headed back there when I'm done with this. Maybe I'll see you there."

"Maybe. I'll see you later."

"See you," Bobbo waved and they went their separate ways. Bobbo continued walking Simpson down the sidewalk. Suddenly, Bobbo tripped, fell down, and let go of the leash. As if on cue, Simpson began bolting away. "Simpson!" Bobbo hollered and quickly stood up and ran after the loose dog. Bobbo chased Simpson down the street. The dog turned suddenly and ran into a yard. He began digging in a bed of tulips. "No, Simpson, stop."

"Bobbo!" Mr. Popadopolis yelled.

Bobbo clutched Simpson with both arms around the chest and carried him away from the other bed of tulips. "Sorry, Mr. Popadopolis." Bobbo put Simpson down and the two bolted from the yard. Bobbo returned to Old Lady Vandacourt. "We're back, Ms. Vandacourt."

"Oh, good. Did Simpson have a good time?"

"He seemed to," Bobbo said.

"I don't have any cash on me but here are ten one dollar coupons for that frozen yogurt place in the mall," she handed Bobbo the coupons. "You can use them all at once and they don't expire so you can get ten dollars worth of yogurt."

Bobbo reluctantly took the coupons. "Thanks, Ms. Vandacourt."

Bobbo trekked back to the mall. Near the food court, where the frozen yogurt place was, he ran into Brooke. "Hello again, did you get your money?"

"Kind of," Bobbo shrugged. He then perked up. "Do you want to get some frozen yogurt?" he pointed to the frozen yogurt shop.

"Sure, I'll take some."

"Great. Get whatever you want. My treat."