Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Christmas Brat

This particular Christmas there was one thing I really, really wanted. It came in a big box and it was on the upper shelf at the Boys Market on Crenshaw Boulevard. It was a pretend car dashboard, complete with windshield, steering wheel, turn signal, ignition switch, transmission shifter on the steering wheel (that's where they used to be - remember?) and a fake AM radio. The turn signal lit up when you moved it to indicate a left or right turn or lane change and even made a clicking noise.

How neat could that be? I was obsessed with getting it.

Every time we'd go to the market I would gaze lovingly and longingly at that dashboard and remind my parents how badly I wanted it and how that would be the best Christmas present of all time.

"We'll see," they said.

One evening shortly before Christmas we went shopping at Boys again. My parents put the big box in the cart. I couldn't believe it. They were actually buying my dream present and were buying it right in front of my eyes! They always went to great lengths to keep my presents a secret, but now they were doing this right in the open?

Well, whatever. I was jazzed and didn't care if they kept it a secret or not. I was getting my fantastic psuedo-dashboard! I said nothing and they said nothing. I just kept staring at the box in the cart and felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

Out in the parking lot they were putting the box in the trunk. "Wow, this is so good," I said.

"I hope you don't think this is for you," my mom said.


"This isn't for you, it's for your cousin Darryl."


"We're buying this for Darryl. We're not getting this for you."

"But I want this! I've been telling you all this time that I wanted this!!!"

My parents were very calm. "We know that, but this is for Darryl."

All of a sudden I hated my cousin. "That's not fair! Why are you getting this for him? He doesn't even want it! I want it!" Darryl was the luckiest kid in the universe.

There was one mad little kid stomping around in the parking lot, throwing a tantrum by Crenshaw Boulevard and then in the car on the way home. I was completely mortified. How could they give the present that I wanted to my cousin? Why should they give him anything so nice?

"Well can I play with it before you give it to him?"

"No, don't you dare open that box."

Sullen and dejected, finally I gave up. I couldn't believe my dream present was going to my cousin. The world was at an end.

On Christmas morning I went into our living room and there in front of the tree was the big box. I started laughing when I realized how my parents had tricked me, and how stupid I had been to fall for their trickery. I also felt stupid for going into such a rage and thinking such unkind thoughts about Darryl.

There it was, just like at the store. I couldn't wait to play with it. And you know what? This toy was boring. I mean, how much could you do with a fake dashboard whose only interesting part was a turn signal that clicked and lighted up? The radio didn't work. You could turn the steering wheel but so what? It didn't take you anywhere.

I had imagined being behind the wheel of a real car, watching the scenery roll by, master of my destiny. But instead I was sitting there in a static living room. I hated to admit that what I had so badly wanted was not even something I desired to play with anymore, but what could I do? This was one boring toy.

They should have given it to Darryl, haha..

Do Americans have a similar accent when they sing in Japanese? Anyway.. that guy playing the acoustic rhythm guitar looks like what might be the result if a computer morphed Rick Fukamaki from our high school days to the present time.

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