Eventually we got to civilization. I bought my kid a new charger to replace the lost one. It was $45 and we both though that was an insult to humanity. Then again, neither of us wanted to even think of going back to get the charger and laptops don’t run on unicorn farts. (We tried calling to get it mailed to us but it was like trying to talk to muppets. Lost cause.)
“That’s coming outta’ your savings.”
“Sigh… I know dad.”
It was a long final day and the sun had set many miles ago. At the last fuel stop I was tanking up and the kid was inside paying when the pump shut off. Huh? Back out on the road I asked about it.
“I just paid enough to get home.”
“Not a chance! We left with a full tank we return with a full tank. That was the deal.”
I’d been clear at the start and he agreed. I can’t fault him for trying though. If I wasn’t paying attention he’d have snuck 3/4 tank of pricey diesel past me. Maybe there’s a future in politics (or thievery) for him?
We agreed that we’d stop at the last town before home and top the tank off. Once the tank was full the rest of the money in the tattered envelope would be for him. Unfortunately the last fuel stop was closed up. One of those towns where they roll up the sidewalks at night. We were both beat. I said I’d tank up the next day and that’d be close enough.
The next day he was sacked out on the couch. It had been a long trip. I had to get right back to work.
“I’m gonna’ tank up the truck. You want to come and pay?”
“No dad, I’m toast. Plus I just landed a babysitting gig and want to sleep some first.”
Sounded fine. We agreed that the money left in the envelope was just about enough to top off the tank and have $45 left over to cover the laptop power cord. “Call it even?” He said.
Note: I am such a schmuck!
When I topped off the truck I had $23.15. I’d just accepted $23.15 in lieu of a $45 charger. I didn’t know whether to be pissed or impressed. In the end I decided my son was going to be a slimy used car salesman and also probably wind up living in a solid gold house.
Lesson learned: Your kid might be a heck of a lot more devious than you think.
So there you have it. I have attempted to teach my children everything I know and aside from a few hiccups from geography/GPS routes I’m happy to say John Connor is ready for the Terminator. When the time comes he’s going to kick ass. How do I know this? Because I gave him a real world test and he cleaned my pockets.