Thursday, December 23, 2004

December 23, 2004
When I turned fourteen, my mother and Charlie Waters’ mother threw a surprise birthday party for us (his birthday was yesterday, he turned 57). My mom took us to the State Theatre in downtown Kingman and dropped us off to see a movie (25 cents each if we could pass for 12, and, of course, we could). When the movie got out, Charlie’s mother picked us up and before she took me home she said she had to go by their house to pick something up. When we walked inside, all of our friends were there and they yelled Surprise! and we had a grand old time.

The movie we went to see was brand new. It was called Oceans 11. And, we passed for 12. Hmmmmm, the more things change. . .

Eric from 24-Hour-Mobile-Car-Care finally got out to the house today to look at the ‘49. He wasn’t pleased. He told me he is “this close” to turning me over to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Autos). Pack rats have eaten through several wires including one of the spark plug connections. Eric didn’t stop there. “When is the last time you washed this?” he said running his thumb across the trunk and leaving one of those tell-tale “wash me” marks. I shrugged and said maybe six months ago. “That’s a lie,” he said with some conviction. “You haven’t even ran this sweet little puppy since the last time I was out here, have you?” I sheepishly admitted that is true. “Either get a door on this garage, and a temperature controlled interior, or sell the car. If you aren’t going to take care of it, you don’t deserve to have it.”

Somehow, I knew this was my dad talking through Eric (it even sounded like Al Bell!). Okay, I’ll either shape up, or hire someone to take care of it. I promise. And Merry Christmas Dad, wherever you are in that lutafisk infested Norwegian Netherworld.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
—George Eliot

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