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Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Mother Said They Couldn't Take Him Back


Still in Chicago.  Did you know it's windy here?  I'll be back in Minneapolis -- and back to writing! -- soon.  Another re-post from 2010...


My last official purchase whilst still living at my parents’ house – and the mode by which I left it – was a 1968 Ford Falcon, an old car in great shape.

All it needed was speakers for its intriguing stereo system.

And when I refer to a stereo “system”, let us be clear that the “system” was a radio with a built-in cassette player.

I wasted no time in getting two used speakers at a garage sale.

For two dollars, you just knew they had to be good!

I ran the wires from the radio to the speakers in the back and fell asleep that night with dreams of how I would make this car really cool, maybe dropping the chassis, having my name etched into the glass on the driver’s side window, buying a metal clip with a big feather attached to it for a key chain and similar necessary and perfectly legal things.

When I awoke, however, and went out to drive my new car to my new job, I could not help but notice the number of things that had accumulated in my car overnight.

Sand. Lots of sand. A pair of swim fins. Several empty Budweiser beer cans. A man’s swim trunks. A woman’s bikini top but no bottom.

The mind. She boggles.

There was a note on the front seat from my brother. He is one year younger than I and has been the figurative elbow in my ribs since they brought him home from the hospital. Attached to the note was a single dollar bill.

“Hey, Squirrel. Nice car. Ha ha. Nice stereo. You should get another set of used, blown speakers and double your sound quality! Ha ha. Here’s a dollar for you. Buy yourself some gas. Ha ha ha. Your loving brother, Kevin.”

My brother.

He's a funny guy.

17 comments:

Douglas said...

My first car was a `52 Studebaker Champion. With a radio you had to bang on occasionally to make work. It also had a fine, original interior with tufted seats. Yes, little bits of cotton sticking up through the many little tears in the upholstery. I also had to wire the front passenger door closed to prevent losing a date to a tight, fast, left turn.

My brother, oddly enough, never "borrowed" that car.

Geo. said...

Swim fins and a bikini bra? Our brothers dress a lot alike. Enjoyable post!

Linda O'Connell said...

Ha ha I had a hole in my floorboard.

Roses said...

And you didn't take a gun to him?

Your self-control is amazing. You are my role model.

jenny_o said...

What, no huge dice and pine tree air freshener hanging from the rear view mirrow? Whatsa matter, too good for the rest of us?!

And ... squirrel? Is there a story behind that? If so, we might like to hear it, if you're willing ...

fishducky said...

I never had a car until after I was married--I did, however, have a "Kevin"!!

jabblog said...

You never forget your first car. Mine was a Singer and there were (too) many occasions when I ran out of fuel, most notably at a bus stop.

Eva Gallant said...

My first car was a brand new 1967 Volkswagon Beetle I bought when I graduated from college! Loved that car!

Eva Gallant said...

My first car was a brand new 1967 Volkswagon Beetle I bought when I graduated from college! Loved that car!

Roshni AaMom said...

A dollar would buy a lot of gas!!

sage said...

So your brother "baptized" your car? Isn't that what brothers are for?

esbboston said...

My neXt younger sister T inherited by car, a fairly beat up Datsun B-110, when I bought a Datsun pickup from my older sister T. The B-110 overheated easily and we got pretty good at rebuilding it, as weLL as the manual transmission of the pickup. I think my brother B wound up with the pickup as payment for helping me move in the year 1986.

Gigi said...

Really? Chicago is windy? *sigh* Brothers, what are you gonna do? The hospital absolutely REFUSES to take them back....I tried.

Leenie said...

A little brother's job is to teach older sibs self control without getting killed.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oh my, I had an old Ford Falcon as well...not to mention an annoying younger brother.

At least yours didn't leave chicken livers in the trunk. In the middle of summer.

Rose L said...

My first car was a white Gremlin with a red racing stripe. I thought it looked so cool. No one else did. It had a tape player in it and Not the greatest speakers, but luckily I had a brother who was able to install better ones. I bought my sporty little car in 1973 and when I married in 1976, the first thing my husband did when we got home from our honeymoon was to trade it in on a Honda.
I took a 2 1/2 week camping vacation in that Gremlin with my brother and a friend. We had all our camping gear, clothes, food, etc. in and on top of that Gremlin!

Joyful Things said...

My first car was a 1962 Ford Falcon - white with a red interior - every time I turned left the horn honked.