Friday, August 7, 2015

My White Whale

When I was a boy of maybe 8 we went to Disneyland and when we were leaving my sister and I all got to get one item.
This was mine.
   I loved Herbie and this was so cool. It was die-cast metal and while heavy it rolled really swell. There was even a switch on the side that, when pressed, made Herbie separate into two pieces. Just like in the movie.
I played and played with this car. I'm pretty sure I even slept with it.
For not even two weeks.
  I had a friend named Chris from church. He lived with his Grandma and spoke really loud sometimes but he was my friend.
He came over once and we played with Herbie in my room for hours. Then when it was time for him to go he asked if he could borrow Herbie.
I was hesitant obviously, I mean, this was my Herbie we were talking about.
  Then I remembered he didn't have a lot himself. He was being raised by his Grandma and while we were by no means "rich" I had a lot more things then he did. I thought that it was a "good" thing to do, the church thing to do.
I made him promise to take good care of it and his face lit up and he promised.
The next day his grandmother brought it back over inside of paper-bag. She brought back this mangled ball of scarred metal wrapped in rubber bands.
Seems Chris had spent three hours the other night just rolling Herbie up and down the driveway and not necessarily using the wheels either.
My beautiful car was virtually unrecognizable.
They had tried to fix it with glue and rubber bands but it was pointless.
Herbie was dead.
They offered to replace him but as far as we knew they could only get him at Disneyland. I said it was OK and I understood that accidents happen.
This hurt more than I would let anyone know. 
 Oh we eventually went back to Disneyland a couple of years later and I went back to the same shop with some boyish notion that everything would be the same and I could just replace my Herbie.
 I left in tears with a "Big Al" patch.
I've been looking for Herbie on and off now for, oh some 35+ years. I see him occasionally on E-bay. He runs anywhere from 200 to 500 dollars.
Sometimes I find him but don't have the disposable income to get him and sometimes I have the disposable income but he is nowhere to be found.
This toy would not complete my life, I have 2 kids that do that.
If I ever were to get it I would probably just set it on a shelf.
But I would still have Herbie back and every time my eyes fell on his curved white hood the eight year old in me would smile.

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Thrill me...dripsome brain droppings here.