Old man Sam has a wonderfully eclectic home, there on Freedom Lane.  A large lot, with a spectacular view and wide lawns. It started out as a modest Colonial home, but has undergone several renovations through the years.  Sam’s family has been growing ever since he moved in, and while there are some ugly stories about the previous tenants and how they were treated, our tale today is not about them, or their sad story.  It’s about an incident that occured recently at the sprawling residence.


George, and his friends Karl, Richard, David, and Donald had been playing in the yard for some time.  As it often the case when children are playing with reckless abandon, some things around the house have been broken.  George, after the first thing was damaged, started to express some concern that Sam might get upset when he returned, and found out that the boys had been a bit careless.  George, always looking for his Dad’s approval, was worried that he might be upset that the boys had broken some of the things George Sr. had helped work on over the years of his friendship with Sam.  Karl, Donald, David and Richard assured George, however, that everything was fine, and that Sam would understand they were just having fun.  George, not being the brightest of the bunch, and thinking his buddies would surely not lead him astray about something so important, was relieved to hear that Sam would be cool about any “accidents” that might happen while they played in his yard.  The games continued.
After a while, George looked around, and noticed that they had managed to break several statues in the yard.  Statues that George suspected Sam really liked, as they were of people that he had known in his long life.  Friends and respected associates, some of them were now scattered around the gardens in pieces.  George was secretly very concerned about the large bay windows they had broken, and was wondering how Sam could not be angry about them being shattered.  Those windows had been installed just after some big trouble back in ’29, and George remembered Sam’s story about how long it took to replace them, and how cold the house was for a long time. His buddies, however, assured him that Sam would be cool about it… after all, they’re just windows!  They’re easy enough to fix.  “We’ll just borrow a few bucks from Sam’s family, and put in new ones!  He’ll never know!”  George, being George, decided that was a good idea, and agreed.  karl talked to some of his buddies who spent a lot of time playing “King of the hill” up the road, and got them to give him some of Sam’s family’s money to replace the windows.  A quick order was placed with ACME windows, for the cheapest set of glass they could find, (some men who would later be discovered to be working in Sam’s neighborhood without the correct documentation were hired to install them) and the plan was set.  Karl and Richard, being the evil genius’ of the bunch decided they better make themselves scarce, and told George that everything was cool, and that they wanted to go over to George’s house and swipe some beers from George Sr’s porch refridgerator.  George, always up for a stolen beer, agreed, and off they went.
Now, While all this had been going on, Barry had been trying to keep an eye on things.  Relatively new to the block, he’d been down the street most of the time, lending a hand at a homeless shelter and a volunteer center.  He’d occassionally get by Sam’s house, and a few times even told George and his buddies they were going to break something if they weren’t careful.  Being the “cool kids”, however, George and his friends didn’t listen, and usually called Barry and his friends names.  Realising that there wasn’t much he could do right then, Barry went back to lending a hand at the shelter.
Recently, some of Sam’s relatives stopped by, lamenting the shambles Sam’s house was in after George and his buddies had thoroughly trashed it.  Barry, being the helpful sort, offered to help clean it up.  Barry had always been a fan of Sam’s, and thought it was a shame that George and his buddies had done so much damage to the house and grounds.  Sam’s family asked if he was serious, as there had been a lot of damage done, and it was going to be a big job to clean up.  Barry told them he wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, and that he had some good friends to help him do the work.  Sam’s family was enthusiastic, and gave Barry the keys to the house, and told him to start right away.
Well, you all know the old saying, “no good deed goes unpunished”, and sure enough, it didn’t take long.  Barry knew the windows were the most important thing to replace first, so he took a look at the cheap things that had been installed just before he got there, and realised they wouldn’t stand up to a strong wind, let alone a storm.  Barry immediately orders triple pane storm windows, and scheduled their installation by certified experts in the industry.  As is often the case in such emergencies, there was an immediate snag.  There were no delivery trucks available, as the only one that could do the job was in the shop, and the owner might not have the money to fix it!  Barry, using the skills he developed as a “community organizer” got Sam’s family to agree to co-sign on a loan to get the truck fixed, and got the new schedule in place to get the windows replaced.
Back at Sam’s place, while waiting for the new windows to arrive, Barry noticed a bunch of George’s friends standing around, watching him work.  Smiling his mega-watt grin at them, he yelled, “hey, come on up here and give me a hand!”.  The crowd, some drinking tea, just looked at Barry like he was crazy.  “NO!” they yelled back at him.  “It’s clear you messed up Sam’s house, and now you’ve borrowed all that money to buy those expensive windows, YOU fix it!”
“Look here” said Barry, “those windows are a good deal!  They’ll cut Sam’s energy bills down to reasonable levels (have you seen the gas bill from last winter??), they’ll stand up to huricane force winds, and they look very nice, to boot! Come on, come help me clean this mess up!”
“NO!” was the response.  “We know what’s going on!  When we got here, YOU were holding all the broken glass and statuary in YOUR hands, so YOU must have broken it!  We’re not helping, and we’re even going to get that loan called in if we can, and we’re going to tell Sam you trashed his house!  He’ll believe us, we’re his best friends, and he loves us more than anybody else!”
Barry just shook his head, and went back to work.  “We’ll see,” Barry muttered to himself, “Sam is a fair guy, he’ll know what happened.  Shoot, I’ve even got the video from George’s You Tube postings to show him what happened!”
So, the question is, is Barry right?  Will Sam know what happened?  Will he understand that George’s friends are crafty as a “FOX” about telling creative stories about what happened?  Sam is due back next November, and we’ll see what happens.

Advertisements