A Brand New Car!!
It is Christmas Time, I know by all the commercials I see of Brand New Cars in the driveway with giant ribbons on them; presents for the dutiful wife.
Oh, she is so surprised, so happy. All the neighbor wives are jealous and all the neighbor husbands will be sleeping on the couch. What a great generous present.
Mrs. C just watched this year’s first Brand New Car commercial and informed me that if I ever surprised her with a Brand New Car with a ribbon out in the driveway she would, in the words of my Grandma Gus “Crown Me.” Why?
“First of all, if we need and can afford a Brand New Car, I want to be part of picking it out, the make, style, color and accessories…NOT YOU!
Secondly, the Brand New Car (or brand new used car) Christmas present is the grown-up version of socks. You’re going to need them anyway, might as well make it Christmas present."
Think about it, the Brand New Car Christmas present is only for people that are so rich that it is no big deal, or for people that absolutely need a Brand New Car and go into hock for it. Might as well throw a ribbon on it and call it a present. Most women I know would think you are a cheapskate who simply dodged getting an actual Christmas present for their wife.
All of this brings me to a famous family story which is told in one of my books that you will never read and in fact I discourage anyone from reading, “The Christmas MG.”
It was 1955. My father always drooled over the classic MG TF sports car. However, with three children not yet in high school the classic MG TF sports car would be completely impractical, and the expense as a second car was out of the question. Still a man can dream, and my pop clearly dreamed of motoring to work in a top down classic MG TF sports car.
On Christmas that year, any presents for my dad were hidden away. He watched contentedly as his wife and three boys joyfully tore through their presents. When all was done he asked,
“Isn’t there a present for your dear old dad?”
“Oh, yes there is, we saved it for last. It is in the garage.”
Dad grew noticeably excited and you could see running through his head,
“Is it possible? But we can’t afford this. I mean I want it, but it is not practical and how will we pay for it? Maybe they’ve been saving their allowance and grocery money for a few years.”
So, dad went to the garage still too stunned to think logically and he had the belief that just maybe, somehow, there would be a Brand New MG TF sports car in the garage.
And there was.
In the middle of the empty garage was an 8-inch model of the very MG TF classic sports car my father so coveted. My brother yelled out,
“Oh no, it shrunk! I knew we should have had it Sandforized (giyp)!”
Oh yes, we all had a good laugh at dear old dad’s expense, and he took it well. He smiled, claimed “You almost got me” and then went back inside to open his real presents which were hidden in a closet.
Yes, he took it well, but he never again got the same gleam in his eye when he saw an MG TF sports car. It was a great gag, but he not only lost a car, he lost a dream.
I don't know what happened to the toy model...I never saw it again.
Sorry Dad…it was Jim and Chris’ idea.