The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #86, October 2008

I marvel at how people express their individuality in prescribed, pre-defined ways, whether we wear Chuck Taylor sneakers, cut our hair in the style of pop stars, or tattoo hearts or dragons on our upper arms. Emboldened by these examples, Becca and I take things way outside with our crazy lifestyle. What is the one thing that makes our home totally unique in all the world? What Yoho household freakishness makes grown men weep and policemen turn in their badges?

We receive a lot of catalogs in the mail.

Becca showed me some kid's furniture in one of these publications and I thought the prices looked pretty reasonable until I realized I was confusing the shipping charge with the sale price. You know you're in trouble when the shipping alone is over your budget.

After browsing for a while I get a little desensitized to price (and I have to admire the genius that engineers this response). I routinely drool over one magazine that is essentially a catalog of ads for old guitars. If I submerge myself in it long enough I find myself thinking thoughts like: "Huh, $12,000 for a '61 Gibson ES-355, that's a pretty good deal..." Despite the fact that even $120 is beyond my current means, the extra zeros just disappear from sight, kind of like the shortcomings of everyone's preferred political candidates.

This weekend I made the mistake of sharing a Party City flyer advertising kid's Halloween costumes with three-year-old Erik. At first it was funny seeing him in his car seat holding the flyer in front of him, like an old man reading the racing form at the barber shop, but then things began to go awry. While he was previously content being just three things for Halloween (an engineer, a fireman, and a scary guy), Erik now wants to be Thomas the Tank Engine, a hot dog, Buzz Lightyear, a UPS driver (referred to as "dis"), a pirate, Elmo, various super heroes, and much more. At times he'll just point at each successive image in the flyer and say: "dis and dis and dis and dis and dis..." It's a good thing that people with this kind of immature mindset haven't been running our world's banking system for the last decade. Oh wait!

But it's not just the flyer. Erik and I used to be able to visit Target and derive enjoyment by merely looking at all the cool toys. Someone (no names, please) made the mistake of buying Erik a Hot Wheels car on one too many of these trips and now he is disappointed if he doesn't get a toy every time. I wish this wasn't so. I'm more confident that I'll eventually convince Erik that bouncing on the sofa is a bad idea that I am that I'll convince him that getting all the costumes or toys he wants won't really make him happy -- even if (unlike the sofa idea) I really believe this is true. Furthermore, I doubt the effectiveness of deterrents, specifically those eastern threats that he'll have to carry all his worldly goods on his back during the afterlife.

My argument would probably be stronger if I only owned one guitar, but that's different.

On Friday, November 14th, I'll temporarily leave some of my parenting doubts at home, and bring one guitar to the Minneapolis Eagles Club, in part to celebrate wonderful election results, and mostly to have fun. Joining me will be St. Cloud's own Mike Anderson on the saxophones, and our usual cast of colorful characters. I hope you can join us!

Love, Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, the Knights of the Auto Order

Return the Estimate Index...