We all have a gift in life and, when I was about eight, I found out mine. It was odd because I wasn’t the handiest kid in the world, but I always kind of love those red wagons kids play with. You know the ones, Radio Flyer is the best known brand but they’re a part of just about everyone’s childhood. Even in today’s computer, ultra-digital age, kids still play with the silly things.
Anyhow, one day a little boy I knew broke his. He didn’t have the gift. In fact, I’ve known this guy my entire life and he’s never been able to fix anything, except a drink that is. He’s a writer of course. Anyhow, his wheel was busted and he was worried because he needed it for some school project. So, I grabbed some of my dad’s tools — I was an odd girl who liked to play with tools — and I started messing around. Next thing I knew, I’d fixed his wagon.
Well, word got around pretty quick in the neighborhood and for months barely a week went buy when a parade of red wagons didn’t come by the house on the weekend. I started charging. Not cash, but barter. I took payment in candy bars, gum, and, for a particularly tough job, a toy.
Still, it all came to an end when my parents figured out what was going on. You’d think they’d be proud to have a budding mechanic/entrepreneur on their hands. Actually, they kind of were, but the parade of kids coming by the house, most of whom neither they nor I knew, was starting to bug them and my dad was concerned about me maybe hurting myself by using tools like that. From then on my nearly magical ability to fix red wagons was exercised on only an occasional and strictly pro bono basis. Sad.