Saturday, April 27, 2013

Feeding the Hordes Continues, Part I

These days, whenever Mike starts a sentence with 'Do you have any interest in ...,' I know I'm in trouble.

A few weeks ago, he told me that one of the Scout moms had volunteered to schedule a fundraising breakfast and she'd done it three times, each time neglecting to check the posted Troop schedule for conflicts.

"Hon, do you have any interest in leading the pancake breakfast on June first?" he asked me the other night as we sat and relaxed in front of a movie.

I hopped up and began to pace, instantly awake when I should have been winding down for the day.

"Me? Don't you have anyone else?" I asked. My heart rate rose. I stalked into the kitchen. Dishes lined the counter and dinner sat waiting to be put into the refrigerator. How long can food sit out before it begins to fester, I wondered.

"Oh man, I'm not done working here," I whined.

Mike raised his voice just a little so I could hear him from the living room.

"I couldn't get anyone to volunteer. People are willing to help, but no one has stepped up to run things."

I walked back out to the living room and looked at him. I'm pretty sure he could see the whites of my eyes and that my skin was a pasty shade of green.

"I don't want to run things. I am not a good leader," I said. He looked at me with those sad eyes. I don't think he even knew he was doing it. I went on. "You do remember, don't you, that I was the one who almost burned down the kitchen a few weeks ago."

"You'll be fine. You don't have to do it if you don't want to." He spoke calmly. It helped to calm me a little. He looked back at his iPhone. The problem with watching someone with an iPhone is that you never know if they're sending an emergency email or playing Solitaire. I guessed he was about to beg for mercy over the Internet. I hated letting him down almost as much as imagining all the ways I could screw this up.

But I could start a grease fire and burn down the building. I could under-cook the bacon and sausage and a hundred people could get intestinal parasites, trichinosis.  No one would show up and we'd have five hundred pounds of bacon left over. Six hundred people would show up and we'd run out of food. I'd be the only Scouter to show up to make pancakes, serve, and accept donations and I'd look like an idiot. Oh, that will happen in any case. Never mind about looking like an idiot. I'd single-handedly burn the place down while six hundred people puked their brains out on undercooked bacon and no one would be there to collect money so we'd be out seven hundred dollars after our fundraiser was over. Meanwhile, the newspaper would come and take photos of me trying to hold a bucket for four puking people while pancake batter dripped from my eyelashes.

"What would I have to do?"

"I have a meeting with the guy at the Eagle Lodge tomorrow at two. You could come with me."

"We would have to place notices in the paper, shop for groceries, and organize people the day of the breakfast. Right?"

"I'm going to be at the Camporee that weekend."

"What? Can't you reschedule it?"

"No. We've rescheduled it three times now," he said. Do you remember the part in 'Puss in Boots' when the kitty's eyes melted all resistance away? Mike can do that and still look manly. How does he do that?

"Okay, I'll do it," I told him tentatively, all the while knowing that something could go wrong. Something could go very wrong indeed.

Thank you for listening, jb

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