Rich Pop, Poor Pop

by Michael D. Brooks

“Yo, Pop. Mom sent me to find out what the heck is all this racket going on out here? What are you up to now?”

“I’m making a name for myself.”

“ I can, uh, see that. I think the astronauts can see it too. The question is why?”

“Because rich people do it.”

“What? Make gigantic signs that can be seen from space?”

“No, smart-ass. Hand me that hammer, will you?”

“Here you go. So what's this got to do with you and rich people?”

“Stand back, will you? You're in my light. You know how when rich people donate money to things they always seem to have the stuff named after them?”

“Yeah. So?”

“So, I decided to do the same thing.”

“But you haven’t donated any big bucks for anything to get your name on.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.”

“Pop, as far as I know, you only give money to the church and to Habitat for Humanity — unless you’ve given up a bunch of money you haven’t told me about. Did you save a bundle switching your car insurance or something?”

“No, but I've been thinking about doing that. I’ve given plenty of money to a lot of worthwhile causes over the years. Just because you don’t know about them doesn’t mean I didn’t give to them.”

“Whoa. Okay, you got that. But I still don’t see what that’s got to do with you building a humongous sign with your name on it. What? You planning to put lights on it? And what are you going to with it anyway?”

“No, I’m not putting lights on it, but that’s not a bad idea either. I’m going to put it up on the house. I plan to let everyone know just who’s responsible for all of this, because, over the years, I spent a lot of money putting you and your brothers and sister through school, taking care of your mother, and buying this house. I’d say that’s enough donating for me to put my name on it.”

“I still don’t see what that’s got to do with you, rich people, and making a name for yourself.”

“Because without the financial support I provided, none of this would have been possible.”

“Okay, I think I see your point. So why do you think you need to make a name for yourself? Literally or figuratively?”

“Because I’m just as good as they are. I just played my part on a smaller scale. And just like them, I want everyone to know about it. So what else do you think I should put on the sign I’m putting up on the house?”

“How about just ‘Home Sweet Home’?”

“But my name won’t be on it.”

“Pop, it doesn’t need your name on it. People don’t need to know your name. The neighbors already know who you are. All anyone else needs to know is that you turned this house into a loving home. The people who matter already know that.”

“I still think it needs a name.”

“How about we just put your name on the mailbox? I don’t think Mom’s going to go for splattering your name on the house. Besides, something that big might get you fined. You're going to have to file some papers, get permission from the city, then—”

“Okay, okay. Geez. I see your point. Well, now that I've made this thing, what am I supposed to do with it? Think I can put it out on the lawn?”

“Sure, Pop. I think you can put it out on the lawn. Just don't put any lights on it. It'll clash with the Christmas decorations. By the way, how were you planning on putting this monster up on the roof?”

“Hmm... I didn't really think about that part. Okay, I’ll go with your mailbox idea.”

“I’ll give you a hand with that, Pop. ”

Copyright © 2010 by Michael D. Brooks

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