GETTING MORE TALE #760: Eliminated Headlight
As children, we were told many stories of what being a kid was like in the 1940s and 50s. The greatest toy was Mecanno. (My dad’s Mecanno #7 set was a treasured possession.) Movies were 12 cents on Saturdays, and you could stay as long as you like. (Once my dad went to go see Red Rider with his pal Jerry Irwin. He stayed for four — well, three and a half — showings. Then his father phoned the theatre looking for him, as he was supposed to home a long time ago! Boy did he catch hell at home!) One thing my dad always emphasized to us was how sad he was that all his childhood toys were gone. His little brother wrecked some, and his dad threw out the rest. He says they’d be priceless today. All gone; somewhere in a Guelph landfill.
When kids move away from home, they don’t take everything with them. Things like old toys get left behind. That’s how my dad lost all his stuff. I had trust in him that the same wouldn’t happen to me, and my sister. The number of times we had to hear about his lost toys, his Mecanno #7 set, and all that stuff…I assumed he wouldn’t do that to us.
I assumed incorrectly.
A few months ago my sister was over at his house, went down into the basement to look at the board games…our old childhood board games…and they were gone.
We found some of them in a storage bin, but the rest had been thrown out. That included my copy of Chopper Strike, a turn based combat strategy game that came with intricate little pieces and a massive two-level board. I bought it at a garage sale for a couple dollars in the early 80s. It was complete. The game came with an army of plastic jeeps and helicopters. The copters had rotating blades, and the jeeps had moving anti-aircraft guns. Lots of easily lost components. Rare for an such an old game (1976). We played it over and over and over again as kids. I thought it would remain safely stored at the old house. It cost over $50 to replace it with a complete one again (thanks, Mom).
At least my dad saved some of the obviously valuable games, like our original Star Wars and Transformers. Everything else from Admirals to Careers ended up in the trash, lost forever. Feeling bad, my mom bought my sister a new Careers game on Ebay (and replaced my Chopper Strike).
I thought that was it. I thought the point was made. I thought our possessions were safe again.
Some of my old model kits are at the cottage. The cottage is a great place to build a model. My ZZ Top Eliminator kit has safely lived at the cottage for 30 years. A few years ago I took it out, dusted it off, and secured a few loose pieces with glue. The last time I saw Eliminator, it was fine.
This time, I noticed a few things on my shelves had been moved. When I returned them to their proper places, I saw Eliminator was now a one-eyed cyclops car. A headlight came off and was nowhere in sight. It’s gone. If it had simply fallen off, it would be on the shelf, next to the car. I only had two suspects. One of the two was more credible, while the other claims to know nothing. I know it was my dad!
“You can always pretend it was in an accident,” said my sister.
I used to think my stuff was safe in the hands of my dad. Now I realize I need to keep valuables far, far away from him!