Hick had no sooner come in the back door this evening than he went out the front door. He could pick up some side work with the circus. He already has a red round nose (probably got it at the auction), and with this entering and exiting skill, he could do the work of six men in the clown car.
"I've got to go back up the road. I saw some windows, and I'm going to try to get them."
"Windows? Where? In the ditch? On the right-of-way? You'd better be careful."
"No. They're in somebody's yard. Sitting by the trash. For people to take."
I think I heard the faint phantom cheer of bald men throughout the county who need haircuts every Saturday morning. A window in a barbershop is a necessity, lest a fistfight between two old geezers over road rage should occur without the proper audience.
Let the record show that Hick drives his Pacifica to work, and had stopped by the pharmacy in town on his way home. He was off to fire up the Ford F250 long bed extended cab, the official vehicle for picking up windows along the road. Not to be confused with my old Toyota Corolla, the official vehicle for picking up J-channel from the middle of the road.
A couple hours later, after Hick returned from his scavenging and barbershop-building and T-Hoe-doctoring (more on that another time) and animal-tending...I told The Pony to holler upstairs and ask about the windows. Because inquiring minds want to know. And I'm already halfway through the story.
"Hey, DAD! Did you get your windows?"
"No. Didn't get them."
"They were gone. I knew I should have got them this morning."
Therein lies the problem. One man's junk doesn't last long in his front yard. Somebody is always on the lookout for treasure. I know why Hick didn't stop this morning and come back for the truck. He was already late. I saw him hit the brakes halfway up the driveway. Then he went on. But 15 minutes later, he was back home. He forgot all of his medicine vials that he was taking for refills. Not one to use the modern convenience of an automated call-in number is Hick. Since he was already late, he could not run the risk of being double-late and actually getting to work after time to start. Even though he's salaried, and can get away with quite a lot.
I cried because I had no punchline to finish my story. And then I met a man who had no free discarded windows for his Little Barbershop of Horrors.