Knock knock.

This had to be the 100th door Dewey had knocked on today.

He reminded himself of the $75 prize.

Sell 50 tubs of cookie dough and win the cash. Not a bad incentive for an 11-year-old. Dewey had already sold 23.

Thankfully, there were no limits to how many people could win the prize. Each kid on the traveling team could sell 50. This was big. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to make that kind of cash at that age.

Dewey he had to work harder than his teammates to sell the dough. His parents didn’t have a lot of money and would probably only buy 1 tub. His grandparents on his mom’s side weren’t alive anymore and they didn’t talk to the ones on his dad’s side. Dewey’s friend Martin told him that his parents always bought whatever the fundraiser quota was. No need to bother relatives or walk their son around the neighborhood. Dewey tried not to feel bad that his parents couldn’t afford much by reminding himself that Martin never won any of the prizes.

He stood on the porch of the only orange house on the block, probably the neighborhood. Why didn’t this house have a doorbell? And why such a bright shade of orange? Going door-to-door had put Dewey in more strangers homes than he’d ever thought he’d be in. Funny how adults told you not to talk to strangers until they realized they needed to fundraise for next year’s new basketball jerseys.

Right when Dewey was about to give up on the orange house and turn away, the grey door squeaked open. A slight man appeared from behind it. Wearing a striped shirt and stocking cap, the man reminded Dewey of Waldo from the Where’s Waldo books he always looked at when he got bored.

The Waldo look-alike asked if he could help. Dewey went straight into his rehearsed spiel.

Hi, my name is Dewey and I play small forward on Central Elementary’s traveling basketball team. Over the next two weeks, we’re selling delicious tubs of cookie dough to community members to raise money for new basketball jerseys. This fundraiser also helps cover costs for our tournament entry fees. If I can sell 50 tubs in the next 2 weeks, I’ll win $75. We have chocolate chip, sugar, and peanut butter cookie dough. They’re $10 a tub. Can I interest you in purchasing one?

Dewey was thankful his dad had helped him come up with the sales pitch. His dad worked at the local radio station as a disc jockey. He was good with words, but probably in the wrong business to make much money off his skill.

The pitch must have worked because the slight man had grabbed Dewey’s sales pamphlet out of his hands. He seemed to be studying the flavors earnestly, as if the decision before him was much more serious than it was. Dewey informed him that the cookie dough would arrive in 6 weeks. If the man chose to buy any, Dewey would return to drop off the goods. The man finally decided that he would like all three flavors.

Dewey’s face lit up. He handed the paperwork over to the man and began humming quietly to himself. 26 tubs sold. He was over the halfway mark. This was the first time he had sold 3 tubs at 1 house. Maybe the orange color was lucky.

Feeling emboldened by the big sale, he asked the man why his house was orange.

The man told him a story about a drunk driver who once crashed into his house late at night. Being awakened by a Honda Accord in your living room was no pleasantry. Thankfully, the insurance covered the damage. In order to prevent future accidents, the man had painted the house the brightest color orange the hardware store had in stock.

Walking back home, Dewey wondered how bright paint would ever help a drunk driver slam on the breaks. Sitting at the kitchen table that night for dinner, Dewey’s mom informed him that the skinny man in the orange house was crazy. At least, that’s what all his neighbors claimed.

Dewey nodded towards his mom, but internally he reasoned that the strange man was the sanest one in the whole neighborhood. He had bought 3 tubs of cookie dough, after all. That man recognized a good deal on delicious cookie dough when he saw one.

And Dewey was well on his way to that $75 prize.