I'd really like you to read my column. And, to wit, I'd like to think that you're truly enjoying doing so.
So, I'm guessing that, given the amount of time it will take you to scan it, I should float you at least $10. There's another $5 in it for you if you seem to be absorbing all the word play and innuendo. Reacting to it affirmatively will net you another two bills.
I'm sorry. Isn't this how things work now?
According to the calculations of today's collective youth, any way, every daily task, responsibility and, apparently in some cases, even hygienic habits, have their allotted price.
Confused? Not if you're the mother or father of a teen or tween, you're not.
Children, children, children - what on earth is your 2011 definition of the following two words: "Chore" and "Allowance?" Because we parents clearly have a different take on the meanings of both.
I was taken aback the other day by my son's assertion that he should be paid $40 a week for his chores, which include but are not necessarily limited to cleaning his room, vacuuming floors and loading the dishwasher.
Forty dollars? For one week's allowance? What exactly are we allowing, anyway? Bribery, hijacking and larceny?
"Oh, come on, Mom, I do so much! What about feeding Monnie and ... brushing my teeth every morning and night?" came the argument of my future defense attorney son.
"Um, you seriously think Dad and I should pay you for brushing your teeth?!" I said, coming dangerously close to a contempt of court citation.
"Listen, if I don't, I'll get cavities and you'll have to pay extra next time I'm at the dentist," came the cross examination.
The defense rested. Sometimes having a smart kid hurts.
I thought perhaps it was only Kerry and I who were fighting off such parental mugging, but I soon learned that all of tomorrow's leaders appear to have set the entitlement bar precariously high.
For instance, my buddy Karen Abraham (we work together during the day) of Stark County recently discovered there's no "tine" like the present for allowance brokering.
"The other day I made what I thought was a fabulous offer to my son. I said I'd pay him to clean, sort and refill the utensil drawer," she told me.
With all the ire of a prince who's been asked to hose down the castle for a pittance, her 11-year-old scoffed, "Take 'em out, clean 'em and then put 'em back? I'm not doing all that for $10!"
Ah, but the would-be royal soon watched the offer go up like a moat drawbridge and indeed, the Queen Mum let her youngest heir know that he'd now be performing said task for the low, low wage of $0.
Take that, Prince Pauper.
My one pal, Linda Ellison of Howland, doesn't even bother with the facade. Now, instead of paying her teen daughter and pre-teen son for working, she penalizes them for not.
"Listen, if they want to be able to text at will, by God, they're going to feed the stinking fish and clean the tank!" she said, clearly battle-worn.
You tell 'em, Lin.
And just when I thought the next generation was doomed to greed and grandiosity, I detected a platinum, er, silver lining in the cloud of materialism.
I noticed my son run over to our neighbors' house and open the car door for his friend's struggling grandfather. I watched with pride as he then opened and held the front door for him - assisting him through the entryway.
"So, how much is that gonna cost me?" I said, testing the waters.
"Don't be ridiculous. I'm not taking money for helping somebody," he said.
Sigh and just like that, my eyes filled with a bit of their own waters.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.