Chicago — My middle young dude, Zippy the College Boy, is so over-the-top, face-meltingly hot for cars, it gets sort of scary to walk with him through any big city.
Off in the distance will be some sort of growl or other and Zippy the College Boy will stop dead in his tracks, head cocked like a walking dog trying to identify the rustle in the bushes and deciding if it’s something to sniff, chase, eat or pee on. Not that those are the choices for Zippy the College Boy. He’s trying to identify the make of the car. From just the sound of its engine. Or, if he’s lucky, but the view he gets out of the corner of his eye as it roars past.
So. Cars. He’s in lust with them.
Which makes what happened here in Chicago all the more understandable. We walked past an exotic car dealership called the Perillo Bentley Gold Coast and simply lost Zippy the College Boy. He had to keep using his sleeve to wipe off the window of the store because his breath was steaming up the view, and the drool was making it look sort of runny.
He was in lust. Deeply in lust.
Unfortunately for him, the shop was closed, so he had to content himself with looking in the window. Still, he immediately perked up when his mom and I said he could come back the next day to walk around inside. To which, the next thing he said was approximately: “I need to go get a nice shirt. Something button down and maybe a sport coat. I don’t want them to think I’m some kind of slob. You’ve got to look nice if you want to get into a place like that.”
Not sure where he got that idea from, but it was hard work dislodging it from his head. Eventually I hit him on the noggin several times with my wallet to get across the idea that money talks and it doesn’t matter what it’s wearing. Not that we could afford to buy one of those cars, you understand, but it was the principle.
So we get there the next day and, basically, Zippy the College Boy goes nuts. He took pictures of every single car in the showroom and then started casting covetous glances up the stairs of the place, where he knew there would be even better cars.
Unfortunately, the stairway was blocked with a sign that said, again approximately: no entrance without advance appointment.
He was crushed. He seriously wanted to go up there. “Go on,” I told him. “Ask someone. It can’t hurt.” He refused again and again. Finally, and probably only to avoid hearing me say go on go on go on more, he went ahead and asked.
Lo and behold, he was allowed to go up the sacred stairs and oogle the cars.
All of which brings me to the point of the post and explains the title.
It’s something we need to make sure our little dudes understand. It’s okay to ask for permission to do something. The worst that can happen is you’ll be told no. Just make sure that, if the answer’s no, they don’t keep after it and after it and after it again and again and again.
You’ll never be allowed to do something if you don’t ask.