Posted by: johnhourihan | January 12, 2014

No appreciatioin

Sometimes you try to do something nice for someone, and they just don’t appreciate it.
There was no reason Mills shouldn’t have gotten himself suspended from school just like the rest of us, but he wouldn’t do it, so he got what he deserved.
I had been tossed for a week for drinking at a weekend dance, an event where there was one arrest and a lot of ratting out the rest of us.
Myself, Mumbles and Brogi were all tossed starting Monday, and Dobie got thrown out Tuesday in an unrelated incident in a study hall.
Of course, we begged Mills to get himself thrown out because he had the only car.
He said no, so it started.
Miller had a 1932 Plymouth sedan, maroon with so much body rot you could drink beer in the back seat and just drop the empties out through the two-foot hole in the floor.
But this otherwise pile of nonsense also had some of the most ingenious features that never made the consumer market.
In the trunk was a spare tire attached to a wheel. The tire was slit along the center of the tread all around its circumference. It was then slit along the edge where it met the wheel. It looked to all the world like a spare tire, but the top could be easily lifted off, the bottom half filled with ice, and it would hold two six packs of beer – hidden safe, sound and cold from the prying eyes of suspicious police.
Also, when windshield washers first started on cars all they were was a plastic container with a pressure valve under the hood and plastic tubing attached to a spigot on top of  the hood. It only took a slight re-routing of the tubing, from the hood to the glove compartment, and whenever you pushed the windshield washer button it poured about a shot of whatever you put in the plastic container under the hood.
So, with a hack saw in hand, a pillow, two cans of paint, some screws, a couple leather belts and an alarm clock we went to his house where his car was parked. We told his mother that he knew what we were doing and she bowed out of the picture.
We attached the pillow to the trunk with the two belts and some screws, nailed the alarm clock to the dash, screwed coffee cans to the side of the car just in front of the bottoms of the doors, painted flames on the hood and hack sawed off the top of the car.
All in one afternoon.
What are friends for?
Now instead of a maroon sedan, Mills had a flamed roadster with dumps, a tachometer and a  parachute.
We thought he’d like it a lot more than he did.
Instead, many years later when I met Mills’ son, who was the valedictorian of his class and I had been sent by my newspaper to get his picture, I told him how his father and I had been friends. He called me a few days later to get a copy of the picture and to tell me his father said he didn’t remember me.
I guess he was still mad.
No appreciation.
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.



  1. Can’t say I could use the spare tire or the glove box thing, but that parachute sounds like a good idea…


    • Can’t figure out why he didn’t like it.

  2. I really liked the windshield wash idea.

    • I thought you might. I’m surprised I never told you about it before.


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