True Boy Scout or Small, Misleading Youth?

I always open my door to the young people in my neighborhood who are selling things for school, sports, or other causes. I’m not only interested in supporting their enterprise and entrepreneurial efforts, but use it as a pay-it-forward effort because my children were once knocking on doors, too.

Every year, I can reasonably count on the Girl Scouts stopping by for the annual cookie drive, and for a Boy Scout or two selling Christmas wreaths and other goodies. I only need one large wreath for the front of my house, so I always tell George when we get hit so he doesn’t double down and purchase a second one. Sometimes I recognize the scout or kid, but 2019’s wreath salesman was a new face wearing the Boy Scout greens.

In October, I prepaid and purchased a wreath and a thirty-dollar tin of cheese popcorn. He must have caught me at a weak moment, because I l-o-v-e cheese popcorn and cannot be trusted around it. I don’t purchase it because of this, but for whatever reason, I caved that particular night. And the thing is, I thought about the purchase longingly like a drug addict white knuckling their craving until their next hit. Sickening, but true, it made me that happy to know my favorite treat would arrive at my front door and I would, ah, so sadly, have no choice at all, but to devour it.

Bwahaha. But then December came. The bell rang, and there was my Boy Scout, wreath in hand but no popcorn. What? The kid looked nervous, but mom—or some lady in a car on the street, yelled something incoherent my way about a mess up and they would get the popcorn to me later.

I closed the door disappointed. Damn. I’d been so close.

So when is later? It’s mid-January and still no popcorn! Is this some kind of sign that it wasn’t meant to be? Do screwups really take that long to fix? Or…. gasp…. could my Boy Scout have taken my money but had no intention of delivering the goods? Are my evil thoughts misplaced transference and wrong for me to even contemplate? Why are you making me look at my character, Boy Scout? It’s yours that’s in question.

Let this sentence burn into your soul: What kind of world do we live in where a Boy Scout would take money for cheese popcorn and not deliver it?

They’ve got that Scout Law thing, too. And the three-finger salute. And parents who should get behind the moral lessons. According to their twelve-point law, a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, thrifty, obedient, brave, clean, and reverent. I think my claim falls under the trustworthy law—to keep promises. And dammit, legal tender was swapped for cheese popcorn. A promise was made to me in October, 2019.

So where are you, Scout? I haven’t forgotten you (popcorn). During weak times, I’m thinking about you (popcorn). And now your parents (popcorn), and the harm you inflict in my soul (popcorn) if you don’t come through for all of us. That includes my inner circle, especially George who has to live with me, but also to the greater karmic duty to God (popcorn) and country (popcorn) and the Scout Law (Argh!). This is what you call living morally straight? Are wolves raising you?

Stop by to sell me a wreath next October, little Boy Scout. I will be ready for you. Ring my bell. I dare you.

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