Cheese Is Not Meat

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Goats will make you money, and keep the lawn trimmed.

Submitted: September 06, 2015

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Submitted: September 06, 2015

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The old man told me the goats were already sold.  The new owner would be by in two weeks to pick them up.  His former employees, the folks living in the trailer park down the road, would tend them until then.  Nothing for me to worry about. 

He said the cheese making equipment in the barn was so old he couldn’t sell it.  He threw that in at no charge when he sold me the property.  What I wanted was the house and the land.  I figured some of the equipment would be of interest to collectors, they don’t make stuff out of cast iron these days.  After I clear it out, the barn will make a nice workshop.  I’ll keep some of the tools and the hefty stainless steel tables.

That’s what I was thinking, all the way up to the day after I moved in, and the doorbell rang.

When I opened the door, I saw a pleasant looking thirtyish Hispanic couple standing at the bottom of the steps, smiling.  The man waved at me when I made eye contact.  But the voice I heard came from right below me.  I looked down and a tiny fellow in a blue business suit was speaking.  His features and the high pitched voice made it clear he was the couple’s son.  There was no trace of an accent when he spoke.

“Hello, Mr. Serge.  My name is Tomas Sandoval.  These are my parents, Sebastian and Olivia.  They operated the creamery in your barn for the past five years, until it closed.  We are Sandoval Enterprises, Incorporated.  We have a proposition for you.  We would like to lease your facility and resume operation of the creamery.”

Wow.  I didn’t see that one coming.  I said, “Umm, uh, well…” and a couple other one syllable words, then he handed me a manila folder.

“This is our business plan and earnings projections.”

“You’ll note that Plan A does not require any capital investment or time and effort on your part.  However, as the graphs in Plan C indicate, with an upfront one time investment of twenty thousand dollars, we can reduce time to reach profitability to as few as six months.  We would pay back the loan over 10 years at 9% interest.  Of course there is inherent risk in person to person loans but this deal beats current money market rates by a factor of 8.18.”

“Do you have any questions?”

I could only think of one thing.  “Um, how old are you?”

“I will be six on December 19th.  But do not worry, my mother is the COO of the corporation and handles all the paperwork and legal business.”

“Okay, so your father is the CEO?”

“No, my father is the Vice President of Transportation.  He drives the truck.  He can drive any truck, no matter how old, no matter how bad the road, and get the product to market on time.”

“I am the CEO.”  He handed me a trio of business cards.

More stuff I didn’t see coming.  “Well, okay then.  Are you folks legal?”

The little man said, “You’ll find copies of my parent’s visa and immigration papers and my birth certificate in the appendix.  I have dual citizenship.  I think of myself as American.”

How many five year olds with dual citizenship have an appendix?  Aside from the one near their liver.  The kid was both interesting and annoying.  I decided to troll him.

“If you are so smart, why did you call me Mr. Serge?  An adult, American businessman would have called me Mr. Wlodarski.”

“My market research indicated that folks like you, white, male, middle aged liberals, would respond better to their first name.”

Market research?  Later that day, I wrote “for cheese making stuff” at the bottom of a check and handed it to the COO of Sandoval Enterprises. 

Tomas assured me it would only take a phone call to cancel the sale of the goats.  I was in the cheese making business.  And I had never so much as seen or tasted cheese made out of goat milk.

Turns out I actually don’t like it that much.  The only cheese you will find in my refrigerator is Kraft American.  But I wasn’t unhappy when I saw Sandoval Organic Creamery products at the grocery store next to the orange stuff.  Tomas and his parents were good at market research, among other things.

Things happened fast, ten years went by quickly.  The operation outgrew the barn by the end of the first year.  We’ve been expanding ever since.  Tomas is having a helipad installed.  Now that we are exporting worldwide, he spends a lot of time in airports.  When he is home, I give him driving lessons, on the dirt roads on the farm, in a green 1955 Ford pickup truck that came with the property.  Sebastian and Olivia are too busy to teach him.  I suppose I’ll take him to get his driver’s license in three months, when he turns 16.

We had a party when they transferred the last installment to my account, to pay off the loan.  Twenty grand doesn’t seem like much money now.

The Sandovals took it well when I told them I was moving.  I’d bought the farm to have a quiet place to do my writing.  Now there is a parking lot for visitors, they take the tours that run every thirty minutes during the day.  That and the helipad were too much.

When I told them I had bought Mr. McMurtrie’s property, about 10 miles away, Tomas grinned and said, “Sweet!  I’ll build a helipad there.  That way we can still watch football and golf on Sunday afternoons.”

Ugh.  This is going to be more complicated than I thought.


© Copyright 2017 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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