Spike let out a long sigh and surveyed what seemed like an endless row of windows. This job was going to take all morning. Two seven-year-olds , Connor and his friend, Blake, walked across the lawn to the front porch where Spike was wiping the window. Just like Spike, Connor had his hair spiked. And just like Spike, Connor liked to wear shirts with sayings on them. Today he was wearing a T-shirt that said “ Being Cool is my Job.”
“Whatcha doin’?” Connor asked. “Did your mom make you wash windows?”
“My mom make me?” Spike gave Connor a shocked look. “My mom didn’t make me. My mom let me wash the windows. I asked her— in fact, I practically begged her to let me wash windows.”
“Why’d you do that?” Connor asked.
“’Cause washing windows is about the most fun thing you can do on a summer morning. You get to spray water, and no one will yell at you. Then you get to use these cool window-cleaner bottles, see?
“Can we help you?” Blake asked. “We’re looking for something fun to do.”
“I don’t know,” Spike said thoughtfully. “I was thinking about keeping all this fun for myself.”
“Please,” Connor begged. “Let us help. I’ll give you half my candy bar.”
“Well . . . maybe,” Spike said casually. “I guess it might be worth half a candy bar. But just you, okay?”
“What about me?” Blake asked. His dark eyes flashed under his baseball cap. “Can I help too?”
“Well . . . What’ve you got?” Spike questioned.
“I have almost a whole pack of gum,” Blake offered, taking the gum from the pocket of his tan shorts.
“Okay,” Spike said, snatching up the gum, “you can both help.”
Connor and Blake grabbed the cleaning supplies and started on the next window. Spike took out a piece of gum and popped it in his mouth. Then he stood back, chewing the gum and watching the other two. “There’s a streak right there,” he pointed out to Blake.
Just as the pair finished wiping the window, a girl named Madison came by to see what was going on. After paying Spike a quarter, she joined the other two at the next window. Before long, there were five little kids washing the windows. Spike was feeling pretty pleased with himself. This was the best plan he’d ever devised. The windows were being cleaned by little gnomes, and he was free to do whatever he wanted. Maybe he would take a nap or watch TV.
“Michael David Smith!” His mother’s voice made him jump.
“What’s going on here?”
“I . . . I . . . I thought you were working in the church office?” Michael stammered.
“I just came back to get something. I was expecting to see you washing the windows!”
“They begged me to let them help,” Spike tried to explain. “I didn’t have the heart to tell them no.”
“Washing windows is fun,” Connor defended Spike. “That’s why Spike let us do it. He’s a nice guy.”
“I wouldn’t exactly say that,” Spike said to his mom.
“Neither would I!” Carolyn stormed. “You kids put down the cleaning supplies and go home. Washing the windows is Michael’s job!”
“But I paid him a quarter,” Madison whined.
“You took money from these kids?” Carolyn glared at her son. “You give it all back right now!”
From The Handy Helpers: Red, White, and . . . Bloopers!