Farmer H has been known to mess up a good thing. I'm pretty sure he's done it again. That's what happens when he doesn't consult the current ruler of Hillmomba before making decisions.
This afternoon I was chatting with him on the phone. That's because he can't wait until he gets to the Mansion to chat. He missed me SO MUCH during the day that he starts calling the minute he walks out to his car. I know that, because the greeting I got when I picked up the phone was:
"You've been on the phone! I've been trying to call you since I started home!"
"Oh. So I guess I'm not allowed to talk to my boyfriend, even though you go see your girlfriend every Saturday while telling me you're going to the plant to get some junk?"
"Who were you talking to?"
"Give it a rest! Just The Pony. About your trip next week."
"Oh. I'll be there in a minute. I'm up by HOS's house. I'm going to ask his daughter to feed the animals while I'm gone. Just a minute--"
"WAIT! What? We always have HOS do it when we're gone. And I could do it myself now."
Of course I could hear Farmer H mumbling out his window to the upcoming high school freshman. When he got home, and was floating just below the surface of Poolio on the raft that is not quite rated for his weight, I went out and leaned on the back porch rail to get the facts.
"I figure HOS doesn't like to do it. And she never has money. So we can just pay her to do it, instead of HOS."
"But you told me I didn't have to pay HOS anymore, now that he lives up the road. And I've been giving him lottery tickets. I'm pretty sure he likes getting lottery tickets."
"Oh. Well. She can do it."
"Then I won't know if she really did it. I'll have to walk over and check to see if they have water. It's HOT. I can't worry that they don't have water. I KNOW that HOS is dependable."
"It'll be fine. I'll have HOS check and make sure she does it."
"How will he know, unless he comes down here? And if he does that, he might as well be getting paid in lottery tickets."
"He can ask her if she did it. Then let me know."
"How much are you paying her?"
"I don't know. I didn't tell her the amount yet. Forty dollars?"
"FORTY DOLLARS? I give HOS twenty-five dollars in lottery tickets! That's almost double. For someone who might not be dependable!"
"Oh. I thought you gave HOS a hundred dollars."
"That was when we were gone for four days, and he fed the dogs and cats, too. And he was living over in Bill-Paying Town, and had to drive out here, so it cost him gas in his truck. And NOW he's going to find out that you're giving his daughter forty dollars, and all he got was twenty-five dollars worth of lottery tickets! I'm not giving a kid lottery tickets."
"Well, I didn't tell her the amount yet. We can give her twenty. That's five dollars a day instead of ten."
"I doubt she'll want to do it for that."
"She'll do it."
"I guess you'll give her the money when you get back?"
"I guess. Before I leave. Or when I get back."
Farmer H has never been much of a businessman. If he'd only talked it over with me, we could have ironed out the wrinkles in his plan. And settled on the price. And he could have given her the specifics and the payment and included way that I would know when she was done. For example, maybe she would do it in the afternoon, before she got in Poolio for a swim. Or send a text.
Let the record show that when we owned rental property, Farmer H rented a duplex to a man with a wife, three kids under school age, and no job. Rather than the college girl who looked at it with her parents.
Let the record further show that we no longer own rental property.