When your older brother Teddy had the car, he spent all of Dad’s money on flashy stuff that never worked; that stupid horn that whined like a crybaby pitcher, the hood ornament that kept falling off, the combo beer cooler and barbecue unit in the trunk and that lame video game screen that attached to the sun visor; how dumb—you can’t play games and drive at the same time.
But now that Teddy has moved to Chicago and Dad told Uncle Larry to butt out, you can make it your car. First off, you traded all the expensive glitzy junk that never worked and got back a few solid pieces that won’t attract as much attention, but will make the car run better.
Aside from the car accident that Uncle Larry caused by hogging the wheel, the other problem last summer was that you were stuck with paying off all the fancy crap that Teddy stuck on the car, because he bought it with Dad’s credit card and you had to take over the payments.
Now that kid from LA has taken over the payments for that gaudy stuff that Teddy charged to the old man, you have enough money left over to buy some practical parts to make the car run much better.
When that rebuilt generator you bought needed to be repaired, the mail-order parts’ website in Anaheim agreed to reduce the price–almost 90%. A lot of experts said that you bought too many mid-level parts, but, if a few break down, you have prudently stocked a few spares; you got some generic interchangeable parts too.
Older Brother ‘T. O.” was a lot of fun, but lacked discipline; remember the time he drove the car wearing a gorilla suit? Teddy squandered Dad’s money on high-priced glitz and that didn’t leave much for the more important parts. The car kept breaking down all summer; it became a case of “all show and no go.”
And, after the first accident, there was that crazy guy from the Japanese Driving School that Uncle Larry talked Dad into hiring to show you how to drive, Bobby, the guy with the weird mustache; the dude was so Old School, he hadn’t heard of cruise control or anti-locking brakes; the car was an automatic, but he kept telling you to depress the clutch. He thought he could teach you to drive by making you sit in the back seat.
Then, predictably, along came the second car accident, when Bobby The Genius drove the car right off Longwood Avenue and into the Fens–because he was gabbing away and looking back at you. Hey, you didn’t want Bobby in the first place.; he only got the job because he was Uncle Larry’s buddy.
The beauty part is that you saved enough money, swapping Teddy’s “Hollywood accessories” for some used, but very functional parts, so that you can gradually — in a disciplined manner– afford to add new parts to the car. In a couple of years, you will be able to compete in the the World Series Race–for a whole decade!
Almost all the race experts predict you’ll finish last in the AL East Drag Race Championship this summer. But you look at the other four cars and you think: the Bomber car has worn out parts; the Devil Ray car is good at pitching the turns, but lacks power; the Baltimore car has piston rotation problems, and the Canadian kid spent a lot of money on his car this winter.
So Ben, you have applied patience, prudence and discipline to make it your kind of car, and you think: “Well, maybe it’s not showy and the guts have been replaced with “after-market” parts, but, hey, maybe it’s better to be “No show and all GO”?