The Disinterested Son…
“My son needs a car, his first car.”
Imagine yourself at 17, a high school senior, your dad takes you to a new car dealership and is going to buy you a new damned car, anything you want up to $40,000…how would you act? Excited? Enthusiastic? Would you have a scenario crafted in your head? Not this dude, he was barely responsive, looking at his phone, non-communicative, zero excitement, no interest at all.
“I was thinking about a Jeep.” The father said.
We walked to a new Wrangler, a white Sport two door. I said to the kid, “Can you drive a stick?”
“Do you want to learn? It’s not hard.”
“No.” He went back to his phone. I tossed a change up, “The red one is an automatic, you want to look at it?”
I showed them the car, the kid showed no interest, the father did. “We should drive it, I’ll need a copy of your license.”
“I didn’t bring it.”
“You didn’t bring your license?” His father said. “Why not?”
“I never carry it.”
“I haven’t driven for almost a month, why should I?”
“Your mother says you’re a good driver.”
“How would she know, she’s only ridden with me once and we just went to the store and back.” He went back to his phone.
The father said, “Show me something that might catch his interest.” He and I walked to the used car line, sonny boy tagged along behind us. I pointed out a Subaru WRX, kid shook his head no, I suggested a Mini-Cooper, the kid shook his head no again. I stopped at a black 2013 Camaro convertible, “This is a very nice, low mileage Camaro, V6, automatic.” The kid looked up for a minute from his phone and shook his head no again.”
The father looked at me, “Sorry for wasting your time, Josh doesn’t seem to interested in getting a car.” We shook hands and watched them walk off, get in the dad’s Mercedes S Class and drive away. Young Josh never looked up from his phone.