Fistful of cards

A traveling Austinite needs a neighbor to remove certain items from his or her yard, entry-way, doorknob, screen door, driveway, windshield, and other such locations so that they don’t serve as telltale signs that the inhabitant is away from home. This week, I’ve picked up free copies of Rumbo, pizza takeout menus, fliers for tree services, information about the coming elections, and a bundle of business cards.

The cards left at this place and at the neighbor’s place all had the same phone numbers and last names on them. Each card, no matter what the service, promised “Free Estimates.” The first names were not all the same: the card offering “House Cleaning: Honest and Reliable” had a female name, but the same two telephone numbers as the rest. In addition to the card offering house-cleaning services, at this establishment were left two other cards: (1) “Concrete Work: Driveways . Patios . Sidewalks . Retaining Walls” and (2) “Trash Hauling & Garage Cleanout: Tree Trimming and Fences.”

The neighbor was left just one card by these people: “Tree Trimming Specialist: Also General Lawn Service.”

If only I’d seen who left these. Whoever did drop them off may have more than these four types of cards. I know that our driveway is cracked and that tree roots have lifted parts of the sidewalk and that there’s a low-hanging tree limb and that one of the fences needs new pickets and that anyone can look down back and see that what passes for a garage needs help. But did they look in a window and note untidiness?

Why did the neighbor get the offer of lawn work? What’s deficient about his St. Augustine? Maybe it’s that he edges just a couple of times a season. Or that his elm leaves are falling.

Just how many kinds of cards do these enterprising card-leaving people have? Offering how many services? Just wondering.

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