Monday, May 10, 2004

Beat-Up Car Day

Today marks the annual observance of one of my son's big-three favorite events. You've got Christmas, you've got birthday, and you've got the day a tow truck brings a beat-up old car to the high school next door and dumps it on the grass by the parking lot. The purpose of this car is to show high-school kids what will happen if they drink and drive, but I doubt it has as much of an impact on those jaded teens as it does on my boy. He's beside himself with glee when that car turns up. He visits it two or three times a day. He gives it a name. He has conversations with it. He makes me take Polaroid pictures of him standing beside each side of the smashed up vehicle, and he tapes them to his wall. He waits and wonders which day he'll come home from school and find that the car has been painted over with graffiti messages like "Think, don't drink!" He worries about the car at night, and for good reason, because oftentimes a bunch of high school boys (probably drunk, ironically enough) come and flip the car over for fun. He can tell you what car has been on the lawn for every year we've lived next to the school. Last year, it was an Oldsmobile named "Fred." This year, it's a Lincoln Town Car christened "Linc." The car usually hangs out on the lawn for about a month, through prom season and on toward graduation, which beats the 12 days of Christmas for sure. You just have a happy Beat-Up Car Day, you hear?

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