The kid next door has made himself available for the NBA draft. He's 7' 2" and weighs 215 pounds. He's also 11 years old and in the last two months of fifth grade. He wonders if he's doing the right thing.
The local newspapers have questioned his decision. They portray the NBA as a scary environment for an 11-year-old. There have been columns that say high school seniors never should go to the NBA and that even college sophomores and juniors should be afraid. The boy from next door has become a bit confused.
"Whatcha think, Mr. M?" the kid asks.
"I say, full speed ahead, Arnold. Go get 'em."
"You don't think I'm too young?"
"This is America. No one is too young for anything, Arnold. If the buck is there, you have to take it."
I have been his principal employer until now. I have given him $5 or $10 a week to mow the lawn, to shovel the walk, to do odd jobs I need done. He presumably will make $10 million for the next three years in the NBA. He averaged 73 points per game for the Rositani Bakery Mitey Mites this season. I say he's more than ready. What team doesn't need a 73-point scorer?
"I was kinda looking forward to sixth grade," he says. "We were going to learn about long division and U.S. history. All my friends are going to be in sixth grade. It would have been fun. Then junior high. Then high school!"
"You'll be fine, Arnold," I say. "You'll be a millionaire by the time any of these kids have zits."
"I won't miss long division? U.S. history?"