News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2007
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TOM WRIGHT

In praise of an 88-cent whistle

Trey and I went shopping after Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day when we discovered he had no toys. We reached that conclusion by eliminating our possibilities of what to play.

Here’s how the conversation went:

“Tom Tom, what would you like to play?” the 5-year-old asked?

“I think I would like to play with your race cars,” I said.

His reply was negative. “What else do you want to play?” he asked.

I suggested that we go outside and ride his Christmas bike. He said the weather was too cold.

And he was right. Savannah, Ga., can get chilly in mid-March.

“What else?” he asked.

“Why don’t we take turns playing a game on your Leapster?” I asked.

That wasn’t what he wanted. I knew that. Finally, I suggested that he had no toys and that we should go to Wal-Mart and pick out one.

He got his coat and we were off.

He was sleeping by the time we made the mile trip, and I debated waking him. But I shook him and asked if he’d rather go home and nap or wake up and shop.

We shopped.

“We’ve got to get a toy for Ruby Gray, too,” I said. He said he would help pick out the right toy for his younger sister.

I told him that I didn’t think she would like the dinosaur he picked.

He settled on a Pokemon ball with Pikachu tucked inside for himself. The ball had a tether that fit around his tiny arm.

The idea was to throw the ball at someone, and Pikachu would pop out and produce a gigantic scare.

For Ruby, we settled on a battery-operated, bubble-blowing machine.

On the way out, I fished two items from the 88-cent bin. One was a whistle that sounded like a clarinet and the other was a package of rocket balloons.

Do you want to guess which toys from the $30 I spent were the biggest hits?

That’s right, the 88-cent toys.

Even their mother competed for time with the whistle.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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