Our hero returns home one evening to find his porch littered with toys, sweet wrappers, bits of string and banana peels, sure-fire evidence that little children have been playing upon it. Eager to sort things out, he goes over to Screaming Lizzie, the three-year-old from next door, and accosts her.
Good evening, little cretin.
Good evening, baz. Wassap!
Not that good. You see I just got home to find my front porch submerged in the debris and detritus of your day’s activities. I can’t make it to the front door because of all the junk in the way. I fear I might trip over your teletubby doll, fall and injure myself.
There’s a perfectly good explanation for that, Baz. You see, my parents told me not to play on our porch because I make it messy.
So you decided to play on my porch instead?
It’s called thinking outside the box, Baz.
But, now my porch is a mess.
I agree. That is a problem. However, all I can offer you is my deepest sympathies. It is your porch and therefore your problem.
The porch is mine, granted, but the mess, it can be convincingly argued, is yours.
Well, I disown it henceforth.
This is ridiculous. You cannot really expect me to clean up the mess you made playing on my verandah instead of the one provided to you by God and your parents!
I am having a problem understanding why you are so perplexed, Baz.
Because I am not the one who made the mess! Why should I clean it up?
Look at it this way: when there is a heavy storm, and the wild and angry winds blow leaves and twigs onto your porch and wash mud onto your verandah, who cleans it up?
Well, I do, but…
But you are not the one who brought the leaves and twigs and dirt there.
I’m not but…
But the reason you clean them up is because they are on your verandah, and when a mess lands on your porch it is your responsibility to dispose of it.
But how the hell do you expect me to clean up a mess of this nature and magnitude? What do you take me for, some sort of neat person? I absolutely detest you, and I abhor the ground your shadow falls upon, but if I liked you enough to let you into my house, I would invite you to see the interior of Chez Baz. Therein you would observe that neatness is not my forte, and tidiness is not the gift God blessed me with. At the best of times my home looks like the aftermath of Shock And Awe.
You are a messy person? That’s funny. One doesn’t get that impression by looking at you. You look like a very well-organised young man.
I don’t appreciate a three-year-old kid calling me a young man, firstly. Secondly, in spite of what my well groomed outward appearance may indicate, I am not a tidy person, I hate cleaning up, and I am certainly not going to clean up that trash you left on my verandah.
Well, suit yourself. It makes very little difference to me. That means when I return to your veranda tomorrow I will find it just as I left it and will be able to continue where I left off.