Neil's wheeless 7‏

Friends Watching Neil;

Telephone answering machines are great inventions. If you are not at home, you can still get a message.

For instance: Beep. “I had a good day today. I held a baby and he smiled at me.” Beep.

We are somehow cheered by this knowledge – but what exactly do we know? Well, I surmise:

1. Neil didn’t fall down and break his crown.

2. Neil is not listening to the tour guide. Against the prevailing instructions, he is talking with the natives. How else would he get a baby to hold?

3. No ransom note yet.

Regarding item #3: One of Neil’s friends (Theresa) asked me what exactly was Plan B; what will I do with a ransom demand?

My plan was that I would check my pockets for spare change and see how much I could afford. My wife, Neil’s daughter Julie, after some analysis, thought that was inadequate preparation. Just like the Greek economy, it needs work.

Perhaps we could get some direction from literature. I asked her if she had read the short story The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry. (Capsule summary: the boy is so obnoxious that the ransomers eventually pay to have the parents take him back.) Julie had read it. Ixnay on that.

I lurched off in another direction. OK, how about if I email everyone and ask for contributions? Surely, if everyone pooled their spare change, we might get upwards of $7. Julie liked that a little better; but, she was concerned with speed of response. Would the donor community be able to move quickly enough to satisfy the Ransom Demanders?

The light dawned and here is my best Plan: I will collect donations now, in anticipation of anything untoward. Then, when the worst happens, I will be ready to expeditiously act. So, everyone send me cash now, preferably large amounts. Dig deeply. I will hoard it carefully. Think of the fun! From the comfort of your home, you will be a vicarious part of Neil’s adventure!

I’ll be waiting by the mailbox.

-Steve

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