There was even advance warning to our oblivious Farmer H. When I passed his Storage Unit Store on the way home with my precious elixir and just-as-precious scratchers...I saw that the parking lot of the flea market was plumb full of cars of customers. Once at home in the garage around 1:15, I sent him a text:
"Wow. You have a crowd."
"I done ok"
"Does that mean you've closed up already?"
"No. I'm staying until 2:00."
Well. By the time I gave the dogs a delicious treat of pork-steak bones, and bread swiped through the grease in the container that held the potatoes and carrots cooked with bacon, and changed clothes, and got my lunch ready, and got settled in my dark basement lair...I'd have about 10 minutes before Farmer H showed up. Right in the middle of prime music-listening and scratcher-scratching time.
It's not that I'm doing anything secretive down there. Not like I'm trying to take over the world. Or plotting to overthrow Farmer H. I just have my routine. From filling up my yellow bubba cup with water, to putting part of my lunch in the mini fridge until I'm ready for it, to setting up my song list, to arranging my scratchers in the order I wish to scratch them. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a creature of habit, and she does not appreciate the intrusion of other creatures during her routine.
By the time I had everything ready, it was 1:45. So I called Farmer H. To see what he wanted for supper (only got two choices!) and whether he was going to the auction. Also, to let him know that I'd gotten a text from The Pony. Just general stuff. The purpose being, you see, to give him no reason that he would need to contact me during the two golden hours.
"So you're leaving at 2:00? Because if you're planning to chat, I'll just sit here and watch some of this ER marathon until you get home, and take my lunch down afterwards."
"Well, I'm closing at 2:00, but I might hang around. So I can't really say how long it's going to be before I'm home."
"That's okay. I don't really have anything to say. We can talk when I come up to make your supper at 5:00."
"Yeah. That's fine."
You see what I did there, right? I let Farmer H know that if he was planning to talk about his day, I'd be waiting right there in front of the TV until he got home. No need to interrupt my special ME-TIME. And then I let him know that IF he had something to tell me later, that he hadn't thought of on the phone just then...that we could chat before he left for the auction. And he seemed to be pickin' up what I was layin' down.
So deceptive, that Farmer H. I went about my business. Had my water and 44 oz Diet Coke at the ready, had listened to my music and scratched my tickets. It was a little after 3:00, and I was on my 3rd of 4 Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels, watching a YouTube video about Trump allegedly being a conspiracy theorist, when I heard Farmer H's tread on the stairs. Crap! What did HE want?
Wait a minute! Maybe I'd be spared in my lair. I heard the door to Farmer H's workshop open. I knew he was going to the safe to stash his take. Or part of it, because he'd obviously need to make change for his customers the next day. So I exhaled, and picked up the last of my pinwheels, and had just taken a bite...
"I don't know how them people can say they don't make money up there! I've made $268 in two days."
Uh huh. So we had to talk about it RIGHT THEN.
I swear, Farmer H couldn't take a hint if he really wanted to buy one, and I gave him a bargain price at the auction.