A spoiled teenage boy decides to "borrow" his dad's expensive new car, but the adventure ends badly. So his dad came up with the perfect punishment.
Dylan Underwood was on top of the world. He was sixteen, and he had just earned his driver's license, and all he needed now was a car. He could just see himself in some slick mean machine pulling into the school parking lot...
He was going to be the first dude in his class with his own car, and that girl he had his eye on would sit up and take notice! Dylan was caught IP in daydreams of his amazing future.
There was only one thing he needed to make that dream a reality, and that was to get his dad to loosen the purse strings and buy him a car, a really cool car. Dylan thought he could manage that, but he was wrong.
Driving his father's car | Source: Shutterstock
Dylan walked into his dad's study. "Hey, hey, dad-man!"
"Hey Dylan," Mr. Underwood smiled, " I suppose I don't have to ask how it went? You have your license?"
"Yes, I do...And now there's only one thing I need..."
Mr. Underwood was no fool, he knew what Dylan wanted. "I know what you need...GOOD GRADES!"
Super cool with a driver's licence | Source: Unsplash
"Come on dad..." Dylan whined.
"Listen, Dylan, at the beginning of the semester I promised you a car if you improved your grades, and that hasn't happened, buddy."
"Dad, listen, I can turn this around..."
Mr. Underwood shook his head. "Dylan, if the car was really that important to you, you would have worked harder." he sighed, "You're a clever boy, Dylan, you're just lazy..."
Bad grades, no car | Source: Pexels
"But dad..." Mr. Underwood had a glint in his eye that Dylan knew well. There wasn't going to be a car. He stomped up to his room, turned on the music full blast, and had a tantrum.
An hour later his phone rang. "Dylan! Hey man...Are you road-worthy?"
"Hey Tyrone, yeah...I got my license, but my dad says no car."
Going to a party | Source: Unsplash
"Well can you borrow his car for Friday? Susan's parents are away and she's having a PARTY!"
So Dylan dragged himself downstairs again and asked to borrow his father's car on Friday night. Mr. Underwood didn't even look up from his book. "No," he said calmly and turned the page.
Dylan wasn't going to tell his friends he couldn't borrow the car! His rep was on the line, so when his mother and father left for dinner with their friends on Friday night, he palmed his dad's car keys.
Dylan's plan was simple. His parents would be out until at least midnight, he could be back by eleven, and his dad would never know he'd taken his vintage 1965 Pontiac cabriolet...
By the end of summer, Dylan was ready to buy his new car, but he was in for a surprise.
'Borrowing' dad's car | Source: Unsplash
But Dylan wasn't counting on Karma. He had picked up Tyrone and they were on their way to Susan's when the car ahead of them braked suddenly. Dylan reacted, but not soon enough.
He heard a distinctive crunch and a squeal as the metal folded. Dylan stepped out of the car. The gleaming front grill was twisted, the hood crumpled. "Man, I'm dead, dead..." he moaned to Tyrone, "I'm so dead..."
Dylan was standing repentant two hours later as his father's once gleaming pride and joy was loaded onto a tow truck. "You and I," Mr. Underwood said coldly, "Are going to have a talk..."
"Dad, I'm so sorry..."
A damaged car | Source: Unsplash
"Not yet, but you will be..." Mr. Underwood said.
The next afternoon, Mr. Underwood took Dylan to his friend Fred Goyle's garage and introduced him to one of the mechanics. In his early twenties, he was a young man with a wide smile and a shock of sandy hair.
Mr. Underwood said: "Gavin, this is my son Dylan. He is going to be coming in every afternoon after school to work with you on the Pontiac."
"DAD!" cried Dylan, "I have soccer practice and..." He stopped when he saw his father's expression. "Yes, Sir." He mumbled.
Working to fix dad's car | Source: Pexels
And so Dylan started working at the garage every day after school. He hated it at first. It was noisy and dirty, but soon he became fascinated by the way Gavin finessed the machines he worked on, crooning to them as if they were babies.
The oil wasn't dirt, he realized, it was the lifeblood of engines, and Gavin was a surgeon... Soon Dylan was spending his Saturdays at the garage too, and within a few weeks, the Pontiac was once more pristine.
Dylan knocked on the door of his dad's study. "Dad? Can I talk to you?"
Proud dad | Source: Pexels
Mr. Underwood smiled. "Sure, son! What's the matter?"
"Oh nothing's wrong, I just wanted to talk to you... You know that car thing?"
"Yes?" asked Mr. Underwood, "What about it?"
"Well, I was thinking...I could work with Gavin at the garage over the summer, earn a bit of money, and then buy a cheap car. By then I'll know enough to fix it up, and Gavin said he'd help."
The new car | Source: Pexels
"That sounds like a great plan, son!" said Mr. Underwood.
And it was. By the end of summer, Dylan was ready to buy his new car, but he was in for a surprise. His father continued with an equal amount and went with Dylan to help him pick out a better car.
Dylan fixed up his new car with Gavin's help and was soon proudly driving to school. He was proud of his car and proud of the work he's done -- but not as proud as Mr. Underwood was of his son.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Keep your word. Dylan had made a deal with his father, but he didn't keep his word, even though he expected his father to fulfill his side of the agreement.
2. Hard work is its own reward. Dylan learned that something you have to work for is much more valuable than something that is achieved without effort.
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Any resemblance in this story to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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