October 15, 2011

The Little Red Fan

Once upon a time, a little red desktop fan sat on the shelf at a local Target.

With every visit to Target, a little boy named Andrew would beg his mother to buy the little red fan for his bedroom.

With each visit, little Andrew would leave Target disappointed, knowing his bedroom would not bask in the stirring breezes of that tiny desktop fan.

Oh, it's not that we don't have central air. We do.

It's not that it's a steamy time of year. It's not.

It's merely the coolness factor of a personal red fan for a seven-year-old boy.

That coolness factor led to unflattering begging behavior with each Target shopping trip.

And then, Red Fan Day dawned. No one knew yet that it was Red Fan Day, but the stars were aligning just so.

On what was anticipated to be just another ordinary shopping trip, young Andrew entered Target with his mother, plodding along beside her as she bought socks and underwear for Big Brother, acne wash for the household Teens, and cat food for the Nellie the Cat.

Nearing the red fan aisle, Andrew made a sudden dart for his treasure. Toting the red fan behind his mother, the badgering began:

"Mom, can you buy this red fan for me, please?"

"No, Andrew, we've been through this already. We're not buying a fan."

"Please, Mom? I'll put it in my room, on my nightstand. It won't be in the way."

"No, Andrew. We don't need a fan." [Mom proceeds to push cart toward the other end of the store.]

"Please, Mom, please?"

"No, Andrew."

[Long pause. By now, Mother and Son are on a completely different end of the store... far from red fan aisle, with Andrew still traipsing behind Mother, fan in-hand.]

"Mom, listen. I'll clean my room if you buy me this fan."


"Mom, I'll clean my room, AND I'll clean the whole basement.


"Wait a minute. I'll clean my whole room, AND I'll clean the whole basement. AND I'll clean out the van for you—if you buy me this fan."

[Excuse me? Cart slows.]

With all the earnestness a seven-year-old can muster,
"Okay Mom, I will actually work for you for three hours today—if you buy me this fan."

[WHOA. Cart slows. Mother's ears are way-perked-up.]

"No, no, Mom, actually...listen... I would work for you for A WHOLE YEARif you would just buy me this red fan."

[Cart comes to a sudden stop. Mother's feet come to rest. Mother wheels around for a discreet glance at the price tag on the little red fan. Clearance marked: $1.67. Angels start singing.]

In the blink of an eye, Little Red Fan had a new destiny, indeed a whole new identity. It was now the bedroom-cleaning, basement-cleaning, van-cleaning, work-for-a-whole year fan.

The little red fan found a temporary home in a shopping cart, took an adventurous romp down a check-out conveyor belt, and found its way that afternoon to the nightstand of a little boy named Andrew.

Mother never spent $1.67 so well.

Son felt like he'd never made a better deal.

Andrew's bedroom, and the family basement and van never looked so good.

There are deals.  And then there are deals.  This was a DEAL.

Just don't ask about the insanity-provoking rattling sound coming from that little red investment.

You KNOW you'd work a year for this fan...

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