Friday, May 27, 2011

The Yellow Camaro

While watching the finale of American Idol with grandson where the two finalists received new cars, a Ford of their choice, I mentioned to the young lad that I would like a new car for my birthday. He replied that he would buy me one but needed to know how much they cost. The grandson is eight years old.

“What kind of car do you want Grandpa?” he asked.

“A Camaro I think, a bright yellow one would be nice.” I’ve always looked good in yellow.

We head for the computer and do a search for yellow Camaro's. We found a used one with only 34,000 miles for $23,000.

“Uh, I don’t have that much money Grandpa.”

“Well you have four months to earn it,” I say. “My birthday is not until September and since school is out for the summer, I’m thinking you could mow lawns.”

He thought that one over and countered with another idea.

“How about if I draw pictures and sell them?”

“That’ll work but you better get started.”

Out came the crayons. I managed to find a clean sheet of paper and soon the artist was hunched over his work in earnest, colors flying across the page. Two minutes later, “Done,” he cried.

It was obvious he was going for the minimalist style, only two colors, brown and blue covered the page. He saw the puzzlement on my face.

“It’s a waterfall. See the blue? That’s trees on the sides.”

“Of course; how imperceptive of me.”

He asked if I had a frame. I didn’t but I did have a white matte with an 8x10 opening. I taped in the artwork and we had a product.

I go back to American Idol. Thirty minutes pass and except for the blare of the TV, the household is quiet. This condition is very usual when grandson is here. I called his name. Nothing. I search the house. He’s not inside. The Missus goes into a panic mode normally seen only with a missing cat. We check the yard. No grandson. We check the street and there, at the end of the block, stands the boy, picture in hand.

Relieved, we wave him home. Seems he’s been going door to door peddling his wares, raising money for Grandpa’s yellow Camaro. And wonder of wonders, clutched in his grubby little fist were three crumpled one dollar bills.

“The lady gave me the money,” he explained. “She said I could keep the picture.”

I sensed economic opportunity here.

It was not to be. The Missus returned the cash to the generous neighbor, shattering my dream of driving down the coast of California, top down, ocean air in my face, while bystanders waved and smiled, admiring my new wheels.

Oh well, gray hair and yellow cars probably wouldn't look that good anyway.

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