Wholesale rocks. If only I had never heard those two little words together years ago, things would have been different. It all started at the tender age of 11 when my dear father decided that I was wasting away my summer and decided to make me into a little wholesale rock entrepreneur so that I wouldn’t be "bored." This consisted of rolling the creaky old wheelbarrow almost a full mile down to old Farmer Ben’s place where he had some rocks cluttering a field that looked like it had just passed through the asteroid belt. Farmer Ben joked that he liked to call them "wholesale rocks" because they were the whole reason he got the sale of the farm at such a good price. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that his wholesale rocks joke was the reason why he got stuck being a farmer and not a comedian.
Since Farmer Ben was eventually hoping to be growing something a little more nourishing than a rock garden, his wholesale rocks had to go. This worked out great (in Dad’s mind), since he had great visions for Farmer Ben’s wholesale rocks for his latest, greatest landscaping project in our backyard. The obvious solution to both of these men’s worries can be summed up with two words: child labor. Five cents per rock from both Dad and Farmer Ben at about ten wholesale rocks per wheelbarrow and an average of five round trips per day meant a cool five bucks cold hard cash and a very tired boy at the end of the day. Dad never had the heart to tell me that he probably made the equivalent of my entire summer of sweat, blood, and tears over wholesale rocks in a day or two sitting at his desk in his air-conditioned office. When I think he sensed me getting discouraged with the job, Dad gave me a "raise”: five more cents per wholesale rock to go straight into my college fund. Thanks Dad.
The all-time low point of my wholesale rock career, probably of my entire life, came on August 17th when a suspicious looking pile of rocks appeared in our neighbor’s yard. Our neighbor, probably inspired by my daily parade of rocks by his house, ordered some real rocks at wholesale prices for his own landscaping project. Ordering rocks that way sure makes things a lot easier!