Jacquiel O’Neal

Saturday morning the door bell rang – at 7:30am. I was still in bed, amazingly enough – since I have got into a nasty habit of awaking around 5:30am these days. Immediately, I thought – “Wow, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are getting their start earlier and earlier these days.” My mom answered the door, I heard a bit of mumbling as they exchanged a short conversation – then the door closed. A few moments later – another knock – damn, are they persistent! Again, she answered the door, more mumbling. At this point, I decided it was time to get my lazy arse out of bed and investigate.

To my dismay, there were no Jehovah’s witnesses, my mom said, just a man who wanted to sweep the porch in exchange for bologna and cheese sandwiches, because he was starving. When my mom explained to him that we do have any bologna, the man said, “No bologna?! How come?” Honestly, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is dreadfully bare when I am not in the house. My mom and stepdad go on hunger strikes until I return – it is quite thoughtful, yet foolish at the same time. Not only is there no bologna, there is no lunch meat in the house period. She explained she then sent him on his way and returned to her computer to continue to check emails, and then the Protestant guilt set in…..

She told me she went back outside to see if he would instead like some English Muffins with Peanut Butter and some water, but he was already across the street at the neighbor’s house, sweeping his front porch – they apparently carry bologna in their cafeteria. She walked across the street to make her offering, none the less. He accepted, and when he finished sweeping the neighbor’s porch, he came back across to sweep ours. So, I asked her, “Well, what is his name?” She had no idea.

I made it a point then to go out and introduce myself, while watering the plants on the front porch. His name is Jaquiel (which I am certain I have spelled incorrectly), and he said he will do any other chores around the place, because he really needs the money. He asked about washing and detailing our cars – he said he was really good at that. I told him that because it was about to rain (or at least we can only hope, since there are currently 370 wildfires burning in the state of Florida right now) that it didn’t make any sense to wash the cars. However, I explained, that I was working on pulling the weeds around the yard and he could help with that. He agreed, so I went back inside to get the supplies.

In the meantime, the neighbor across the street had called my mom and explained to her that we needed to send Mr. Jacquiel on his way. He had recently been released from prison for Grand Theft Auto, and we did not need him to start hovering about the ‘hood. My mom told me that he had stolen some older woman’s car after he offered to “wash and detail it”, and the PO-lice caught him while he was bumpin’ some beats in a Cadillac built for an 85 year-old 4’2” blue haired Granny. She pressed upon me to get back outside and tell him there was nothing more we needed done today – um, how is that I always have to be the “bad guy?”! Thus, I slinked back out front to deliver the unfortunate news, only to see J had moved down the street to con another neighbor into sweeping her porch. When she refused, he came back to our house to pick up his sandwiches, and I told him that we were good on chores for today, but thanked him for his help.

At this point, he looked quite sullen, and asked me if I had a bike he could borrow since his got stolen…..really?! Now, what do you think would the likelihood of him returning it if I did???

The neighbor called me a short while just to make sure that my lily-livered liberal ass hadn’t invited him in for a 4-course breakfast. To which I replied, he could stick that broom Jacquiel used to sweep the front porch right up his arse.

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