What’s the gift you always wanted and never got?
Meo: What’s the gift you always wanted and never got, Perkins?
Perkins: A pink Powerwheel! I was one of the only kids on the block who didn’t have one. It was on my list every year from first grade to fifth. The parents never came through. They must have been worried I would run over my baby sister or take off into the woods never to be seen again. What about you?
Meo: That yellow Sony Walkman, the one with the gray buds that threatened to rupture your ear drums. I circled that thing in every catalogue we ever got. Sure, I got a portable cassette player with all the features the Sony had, but it wasn’t the same.
Perkins: I remember the Walkman. I never owned one, but I did have a Discman. What was so special about the yellow one? Did its neon glow stop traffic?
Meo: First. I had a Powerwheel. It was awesome. Pow-Pow-Powerwheels. Pow-Pow-Powerwheels. Power makes ’em go! The Sony was special because other people said it was. Much like the iPod these days, which I do not own. I’m told, years later, the Sony was a piece of junk. The cassette player I had, it didn’t even have a brand, never died. If I could find it, I could probably jam my bootleg copy of “The Razor’s Edge” into it and rock out to “Thunderstruck.” You have a car now. Does this ease your old wounds?
Perkins: I’m guessing you and your Powerwheel were pretty cool. Did you listen to your Walkman while bombing around in your Powerwheel? I will never get over the pink Powerwheel. When I have children, I am so buying them each their own Powerwheel. I still bother my parents about it. And how can you not have an iPod? You are quite possibly the last man on Earth not to have caved in to those adorable advertisements.
Meo: I won’t join the Apple cult ... What’s funny is I recently explained all this to my mom; why I wanted the Sony; that it was a status symbol more than a music player. She completely understood. And now, 20 years later, I understand her and my dad’s rationale. Same stuff, less expensive. Name shouldn’t matter. I use that philosophy with just about everything I buy now. Bang for the buck. And I own a Sony Walkman MP3 player. It’s fantastic. Or it was until it went through the wash. Bottom line: Moms are smart.
Perkins: Sadly, there is no cheap version of the Powerwheel. I suppose the next step down could be a Cozy Coupe, otherwise known as the Fred Flintstone mobile. I’ll never get over it. My Honda Accord is no Powerwheel. My relatives call my mom the “safety officer,” and she probably was being a cautious mother. I totally would have tried to take out my sister.