Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer jobs

Usually I only see kids out on Saturdays, but with school out it's an everyday event: kids riding bikes, riding skateboards, huddled in awkward co-ed groups or hunched over in gender-specific plotting. Sitting on porches, gazing at shop windows, eating bagels.

I've also seen a fair number of kids at the workplace, and generally involved with whatever it is their parent does for a living. Even a few lemonade stands—my neighbor says her kids used to make bank with their stand on Farmers Market Saturdays.

Today I was delivering mail around the corner from the house, on the street we like to think of as Boom Town. We call it that after an Ian Livingstone game of the same name. You play a 1950s developer trying to build the most desirable subdivision you can while steering the little unpleasantries of town life into someone else's subdivision. (Nobody wants to live next door to a pawnshop.) In our little Boom Town we have a DIY carwash, a car repair shop, a tattoo parlor, a medical marijuana clinic, an Internet cafe, and a used clothing store, one right next to the other!

I'm not sure who the enterprising party here was, the kids or the parent, but whoever it was was having a summer sale, parked across the street from Boom Town in their brown beater of a car: mom smoking a cigarette and talking on her cell phone, two 8- to 10-year-old boys goofing off in, on, and around the car, and a cardboard box of glass pipes sitting open on the trunk.

If you think about it, it really was a good location to sell glass pipes.

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