Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Joe Montana and the Empty Wallet

Creative Writing assignment. idea taken from/inspired by:

Write a monetized micro-story. 300 words or less. Give your story a title.

[mine comes in at over 500... oops]

Joe Montana and the Empty Wallet

It was a rainy afternoon in the fall of yesteryear. The family station wagon, yellow and rusted, was filled: mom and dad up front, older sisters one, two and three in the middle, me in the back. It was the monthly Saturday shopping trip to the discount store. All of the women of the family went in, the men stayed in the car. I was no man, though - a mere 7 or 8 - but I felt like one now sitting in my mom's front seat next to my dad, listening to news radio.

And we waited… and we waited… and waited some more. My dad said "It's what men do… wait on women!" Then he laughed. I didn't. I was impatient. My mind began to think of all the things inside that department store that i would want. I made a list in my head. My eyes grew big and my heart began to race. I knew what could make the torment of waiting be forgotten and forgiven.

Football cards. Yeah. Football… I had begun collecting trading cards a few years earlier, mostly baseball but this was a November Saturday. It was football season and I wanted football cards. I didn't want the measly single pack with 15 cards, I wanted the three pack with 51 cards, wrapped in cellophane, no doubt hanging near the check out counter, luring young boys to nag their parents to buy them.

Now all I had to do was get in the store.

My dad, enjoying the newscast wouldn't budge. I asked my dad if I could "please, please, please get a pack of football cards?"

"I don't have any money" my dad said. I didn't believe him. What kid does when a parent says that? Of course he has money. He's a dad.

I pressed him more and more… begged… pleaded… begged some more. With raised voices, we went back and forth.

Then finally, the moment of infamy arrived. Looking me square in the eye my dad firmly spoke "I don't have anything."

I asked him to show me his wallet… a no no for kids… but he did it… he opened it up… and there, inside was a crisp one dollar bill. no other bills but one. Gazing at his last dollar, I asked if I could have it and he obliged.

That rainy Saturday afternoon, at the age of 7 or 8, I took my dad's last dollar, went in to the store and walked out with a cellophane wrapped pack of 1882 Topps football cards. With a Joe Montana action shot staring at me through the clear plastic wrap, I was now in heaven.

Twenty five years later as I said my last goodbyes to my father, all I could think of was that rainy Saturday afternoon when he literally gave me all that he had, in order to bring me just a fraction of joy wrapped in cellophane. Even though my dad is no longer with me, I still have that Joe Montana card. It now serves as an everlasting reminder of how great my father really was and how a measly gift of a dollar bill can have lasting effects on one's life.

~Tim Beck
Oct 26, 2011

1 comment:

troy. said...

good stuff