Monday, September 24, 2007

The Free Burly

My dear wife displays many simple traits that I have come to cherish, respect, and sometimes count on. She has an eye for the usefulness of anything that is free. No matter what the object is, if it is free, it is intrinsically valuable. Of course, if something is valuable in this sense, then she's got to have it...because it is free. See how that works? I've reduced it to a formula, she thinks "Free = Valuable = Mine." Remember, it doesn't matter what the object is. So you can imagine our lives together living in a world where people banish useless items to the curb with the commonplace sign marked "FREE". My wife springs to life when she sees anything on a curb. I accept this about my wife. I must also be coming to a point of fully embracing this trait. I am finding that I too feel a little heart thump when I come across giveaways - something I am now that I never was before.

For instance, a month or so back I was offered a Burly trailer. Someone was going to throw it away! I thought "Burly = Burly = Cool = Lots of Money = I'd-never-buy-one-but-I'll-take-this- one." Of course I'll take! Gimmie! I proudly loaded the unit into my car and could not wait to show my family what I snagged. The unveiling would be perfect. Since the weather that day was also perfect, I knew my whole family would be playing outside and they'd enthusiastically greet me like they always do. I called ahead and told my wife I had a surprise for everyone. I was going to bank some massive "Best Dad" and "Greatest Husband" points. More than I ever have! Ever!

As I drove home I mapped out more of the details of the unveiling. I knew they'd all understand instantly what a fantastic find this was because we already owned a wobbly Burly knock-off. I'd make sure to do the unveiling with the knock-off near by. I just knew they'd see how this was the real deal and they would no longer need to fear for their lives while we went cruising.

As expected, as I pulled in the driveway I was greeted with smiles and pure joy. "Daddy, what you have?" "You got us somethin, what?"

I lugged the unit out of the car. Carried it over and set it next to the old unit. Oh, I forgot to mention the thing came in its own case. Proof alone of its significant upgrade value. As I unzipped the case and pulled the unit out the kid's faces light up. They knew. They saw. They understood. We had a new ridding trailer and this one was much better. They screamed with delight.

I got right to work. Something seemed out of order. Never mind. Ignore that thought and keep working. Pop this thing up and go for a ride. Right now! Just one thing left to do. Hook it up to my bike. Get ready to jump on kids! This is going to be a great ride. A Burly! I can't believe someone would have thrown this away!

Josh, my oldest, observed and commented, "Uh, Dad? This one must be for the snow." His mind is always thinking and so I needed clarification, "What?" "Dad? This has got to be one of those sled units cause there aren't any wheels." Again, "What?" "Look. No wheels." Yep, no wheels. None in the case either. The excitement disappeared, the kids returned to their play and I sat there thinking "Who in the world would give a way a Burly with no wheels!!"

Now I have less space in my cluttered garage and I am always moving the sled out of my way. The snow will fly soon enough.


Carla said...

I love this story!
Wifeypoints for me for keeping my mouth shut when I saw it!
Over the years I have become a bit more discerning in the FREE dept. I've been burned enough.
Free and Useless=Bad

erin said...

Be sure to put chains on your bike tires.

Jeff Burton said...

I'll invite your wife over to our house sometime. We have lots of "free" stuff. Have to make sure the kids aren't home at the time, though.

Pat Stream said...

I need a desk for our family computer.

Kim N. said...

Hey, Let me ask my husband if our Burley is still up in our rafters. If it is, you can have it, or have the wheels to add to yours.

Carla said...

Thank you, Kim!

Katie R. said...

Excellent attempt Mr. Stream.

kristi noser said...

Last month Eli and I were coming home and there on the edge of the road were car ramps. Free. Eli wanted to stop and get them, but I knew they would be in our garage soon. Two days later John was telling me of his "find". So it's not just at your house.

Swampy-Rah said...

Has anyone seen my car ramps? I was keeping them on the side of the road because Cheryl wouldn't let me keep them in the garage with the free pitching machine.

kristi noser said...

Good thing it was at Kupka's. HA!