Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to get a lightie out of the house in 24 years

Jonathan Tufts had the coolest watch in the whole of standard one. It was a rubber, digital Casio, with a calculator. That was sweet, but not as sweet at Michael Thompson’s kief Nintendo Gameboy with Turtle Panic on it. I never got a Gameboy.
            Then there was Steven and Michael Bense with their metallic-pastel Le Turbo racing bicycles. Michael had the light-blue one, and Steven had the pink one. They called that colour Salmon. The light blue was probably called Turquoise, or something.
            I badgered my dad to get me a Le Turbo and he eventually did. I came fifth in the Oosterlig Sirkel on that bike. In the under-11s. When they called out my name in assembly I still stood up, because sometimes everyone who got called out had to stand up. I was at the front of assembly so I stood up. But that day no one was standing up, just me. Took me ten minutes to realise I was the only one standing up.
            In high school, Wade Bodley had a Honda MTX, which was the raddest fifty at school. Until the MBX came out. That was the road version of the MTX. My Le Turbo got stolen when I left the garage door open. So I needed a new bike. Dad said he wasn’t going to buy me a new one. But then I saw an ad for a 1985 MBX in the window of Dagwoods CafĂ© in Rink Street.
            It belonged to the son of the owner. We go to their house in La Roche Drive and Dad pays for it.
            The MBX is the fastest bike at school for a while, but then the exhaust starts getting a bit carbonized. Within two years it barely goes.
            Luckily by then I’m off to varsity. Grant Kirchmann drives a Golf GTS, and Jono Heinemann has a GTi. Dad says he’ll get me a Golf L. I operate as a pedestrian for a year, and then, just in time for the December holidays, we go fetch my new Golf from a family in Greenshields Park.
            In August of the next year, I crash the Golf into a parked car on the way back from happy hour at the Motel. I go back to being a pedestrian.
            After varsity I move back home and Dad buys Uncle Walter’s old Sierra for me to drive to my work in Walker Drive.
            My folks buy a place in Westbourne Road and I move in there. My mom makes me pay rent. The same as Smiler and Jorgie. Four hundred bucks a month.
Cliffie goes on a diving course, so I ask Mom to pay for a Open-Water I course. It’s only a few hundred bucks.
            But Mom says no. She says, “You earning your own money. I think you should pay for that yourself.”
And that’s it. I’m grown up.
I think Mom and Dad went out to The Ranch that night. Just the two of them, to celebrate.

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