Here's how we roll in Hillmomba.
There is a scholarship deadline on Friday. This scholarship is no secret. It has been published in the Newmentia announcements for nigh on two months. The Pony has spent a week working on his submission. Students must go to the sponsor's website, click for the form, and get an ID number. Fill out information for academic honors, work history, community service, and standardized test scores. They must write an essay of 500 words about what they have learned about leadership roles. They need a letter from the counselor. An official transcript. Printouts of standardized test scores. And a copy of their current semester schedule. In addition, they can have 10 pages (front and back acceptable) of documentation for newspaper articles, copies of awards, etc. that feature them.
All of this information has to go in a folder with pockets and prongs. Then it must be delivered to a local lodge (closest to the applicant's home) by Friday. The Pony had his packet completed by Tuesday. No waiting until the last minute for him! He said a girl and a guy in his class were also applying. Except the girl had another deadline to meet which was more important, so she didn't think she would have hers ready. And the other kid plays sports.
"Remind him, Pony, of the deadline. He might have trouble getting his turned in on time."
Farmer H told me where the lodge was. He used to live near it. He said we could probably drop it by there any time, but to call and ask. "There should be a bartender there all the time. In the bar."
Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was skeptical. "All the time? Surely they don't start drinking in the morning! Besides, we can't get there until after school. And The Pony has an appointment this afternoon, and has to work at the blood drive Wednesday night until 6:00."
"Is The Pony giving blood?"
"Um. NO! That would be like helping people. Isn't it enough that he's forced to hand out snacks to the donors for NHS? I'll call the lodge and ask when a good time is to bring the application."
And I did. Except nobody answered all day. Even after 4:00. Farmer H was taking The Pony to his appointment. So he said they would swing by there on the way home. "Tell him that if his buddy is done with his application, we can drop it off for him."
That trip was for naught. Nobody was around to take the application. It was bingo night. But a guy said to bring it back Wednesday. That they had their regular meeting at 7:00. Wednesday would be good.
So...Wednesday evening I left The Pony handing out snacks. Which he appeared to be doing by sitting at a table and waiting for a poor donor depleted of blood to stagger over and ask for a snack. He had come to my classroom to get his application folder. The agreement was that he would put it in his locker until Farmer H got there. However, he came to get it, and had it sitting on the blood snack table in front of him. With orange juice and water all around. I shudder to recall the sight even now.
I got home before Farmer H had left to pick up The Pony. He came home to feed his animals and admire his themed shanties. So there I was in the La-Z-Boy, Farmer H on the long couch, chatting about The Pony when I said, "WHAT TIME ARE YOU LEAVING TO PICK HIM UP?"
"In a few minutes."
"A few minutes! He's done at 6:00. It's 5:40 already!"
"It only takes 15 minutes to get there."
Let the record show that it takes 10 minutes to get to town to the gas station chicken store. It takes 10 minutes to get to the bowling alley. Newmentia is two-and-a-half towns over from there!
"Bull. It takes me 40 minutes, one-way."
"It takes you 40 minutes to get anywhere. I take the highway."
"The highway is only three miles of your journey. It takes longer than 5 minutes to get to Newmentia from the bowling alley! Even by the highway, it's another 15 minutes, minimum! And you sit here arguing with me instead of leaving to pick up The Pony. You need to get that application to the lodge before that meeting starts at 7:00, or nobody will be there to take it. And it looks like they won't be around every day in the bar."
"All right. You always get so excited."
Somebody has to light a fire under him. The Pony is lucky he didn't have to walk.
Let the record show that the application was handed over to a guy in the parking lot who said he was going to the meeting, and he would take it in.
Let's hope he wasn't just looking for bingo and a drink.