"Okay," we say. "See you later!" And pack up, putting tops on the boxes, and hooking down the bungee cords.
"Can I borrow a book?" yells a kid, crossing the street.
"Sure." (Unpack the boxes.)
"Do you have The Diary of a Wimpy Kid?"
Yes we do, though we've got it squirreled away in Cheryl's box. We do that sometimes, reserving especially popular books for our regulars who've read everything else or who, because they live near the end of the route, rarely see the good stuff.
So we pull the Wimpy Kid book out, and off he goes. Cheryl writes it down, and I reach for the wagon handle.
"Can I borrow a book?"
We look up, and there's another fellow - this time on one of those wacky skateboards that twist in the middle.
"Can I borrow a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book?"
"You can't borrow the first one," says Cheryl. "But I have number two. Is that okay?"
It is, and so he takes it and goes.
But Cheryl and I are no fools. We wait while the next one wanders across the street.
"Can I have a Wimpy Kid book?"
"You can borrow one." Cheryl's always good at re-framing like that. "Numbers one and two are gone. Would you like the third book?"
He agrees, and heads back across the street, passing a friend midway.
"Do you have any books?" ask number four, somewhat gratuitously. "Can I borrow The Diary of a Wimpy Kid?"
"All we have left is number four," Cheryl says. "You'll have to trade somebody if you want to read a different one."
He nods, takes number four, and runs to catch up with his friends.
I snap a picture and then, because we're intensely smug and mean-spirited, I quip "I heard boys don't like to read."
"That's what the research shows," Cheryl remarks grimly. "They need hockey players to influence them first."