Monday, January 6, 2014
The Next Donald Trump
(Camera close-up on pretty young woman in a parka, speaking into a microphone)
KIM: This is Kim Sheffield, reporting for Talbot’s Peak Cable Access Channel 11. If you’ve looked out your windows lately, you might have noticed a lot of snow on the ground, and a singular boom in real estate.
(The camera pans to a back yard, where several young children are climbing and sliding on an elaborate snow castle)
KIM (voice over): This latest trend in winter play equipment is the brainchild of Tommy Calhoun, possibly the youngest entrepreneur in Talbot’s Peak history. (The camera swings back to Kim and a ruddy-faced boy in a snow suit) How old are you, Tommy?
TOMMY: I’m 12. Can I say hi to my mom? Hey, Mom! I’m on TV! (waves to camera)
KIM: How did you get started in the snow castle business?
TOMMY: Well, me and my brother Timmy, he’s 10, and our cousin Richie, and sometimes our other cousin AJ, we had this snow-shoveling business so we could get money for ice hockey equipment ‘cause Richie’s got this cool sliding pond on his property. Anyway, we’d be out there shoveling and there was all this snow just, like, going to waste, so we’d build stuff with it. You know, castles and forts and slides and stuff. We didn’t really do all that good with the shoveling. The castles were more fun.
KIM: You’re all otters, aren’t you?
TOMMY: Yeah, we’re otters. We like to play in the snow. Anyway, one day we’re out looking for sidewalks to shovel and this big tiger guy comes up and says he’s seen these snow castles all over the neighborhood and did we make ‘em and we say yeah and he asks, can we make one giant size? You know, like, for grownups? And we say sure we can. So we did. He paid us, too. Twice what we asked for. We had to bring in Richie and AJ’s sisters and cousin Kevin—he’s 9—but we got it done. It was great!
Then we start getting calls. People want forts and that for their kids to play in but they don’t wanna build ‘em themselves. So we come over and show ‘em how to make their own castles and slides and stuff. We let the kids help out. Well, the older kids. The little kids just want to jump around in the snow. That’s okay with us. Half the fun is making the fort so you can play in it. Then we make snowballs and have wars. It’s a blast!
KIM: Did you get your hockey equipment yet?
TOMMY: Oh yeah! What we got from the tiger guy paid for that. Our dad helped Timmy and me open savings accounts at the bank. Now when we want stuff in the summer we’ll have money for it.
KIM: Sounds like quite a business. You get paid to make forts and play in the snow and babysit the smaller children—
TOMMY (looks aghast): No! We’re not babysitters! That’s for girls. We’re construction workers. We made that big hammer and ladder out in front of Beaver Brothers. You climb up the ladder and then slide down the hammer’s handle. It’s really neat.
KIM: Any idea what you’ll do when the snow melts?
TOMMY (shrugs): I dunno. Timmy and me, we’re trying to earn enough now so we don’t have to work in the summer. Then we can play at the river all day. I know we won’t be cutting grass. That’s too much like work. Anyway, we can’t beat the goat kids. You don’t even have to pay ‘em. They just eat the lawn.
KIM: And that’s how enterprising young people turn a pastime into a successful seasonal business. I suspect we’re going to be hearing big things about these otter entrepreneurs over the next several years. This is Kim Sheffield, Talbot’s Peak Cable Access Channel 11.
TOMMY: You want a hot chocolate, lady? My treat.