In the hazy twilight of a mild spring evening, my teenage son and I are driving down our street, almost to our house. My son says, before we get to the driveway, “Hey, who is going to mow our lawn?” We moved into this house in January and don’t have a lawnmower, so this is a logical question in early spring.

I tell him, “We just had it mowed today by a guy who left a flyer on our door yesterday.” (This guy, whoever he is, is a marketing genius. He saw that I had the only yard on the street that needed mowing, and he left a flyer in my door that included the low, low price of $25 for the entire yard, including weed eating!)

My son asks me how much it cost me. I tell him.

My son’s jaw literally drops. He drops his head back against the seat first, then he turns his body fully towards me, spreads out his arms, and offers, “But Mom! I could do it for”–he thinks for a few seconds, searching mentally for the right price–“$24.50!”

While I appreciate his “generous” price-cutting offer, I have to remind him that I would first have to buy HIM the lawnmower that he would then charge me for using!

He concedes that this is not a very cost effective plan for me, but he is quick to point out that it is a great economic opportunity for him.

He drops the conversation completely when I say that if I decided to buy a mower, he’d be mowing the lawn as a chore, not as a revenue-generating activity. The topic hasn’t come up again.

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