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Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:45 am

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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 1:35 pm
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By Sandy Jergens

During summer, every Monday night at the swim meets, the swimmers would trade their Pokemon™ cards. Jeff's friends gave him a few cards and he was hooked! He would ask his mother everyday if she would please take him to the mall so he could buy some cards.

Jeff realized that the more chores he did, the more allowance money he could make. The more money he saved, the more Pokemon™ cards he could buy.

Jeff hollered up the stairs, "Mom, I've finished cleaning the basement. What do you have for me to do next?" His mother was practically running out of housework. She thought about how last summer she couldn't get Jeff to make up his bed. Now he was making all the beds, folding the laundry, cleaning the great room, and much more. She wondered how long this was going to last. She decided to enjoy it until this new fad ran out.

Finally Jeff saved up ten dollars and convinced his mom to take him to the mall. Off they went to The Trading Card Store. When they got there, the line went on forever. It curved out into the middle of the mall, past the escalator, towards the waterfall, and all the way down to the earthy store. Jeff's heart sank. He knew that the Pokemon™cards would all be sold-out by the time they made their way to the register. Even the booster packs would be gone.

A family in front of them had that "Don't break in front of me" look. Jeff looked at his mom and she had a look of panic in her eyes. She knew that Jeff had been saving up his allowance for five weeks. "I have to go to the bathroom," Jeff's little brother whined. They would lose their place in line. This was a hopeless escapade. Mom started thinking about how Jeff would be sulking and begging her every day to go to the mall. Her faced was pinched and strained. "I have to go to the bathroom!" Arthur got louder.

Jeff began to feel a little selfish for putting his mother and brother through this "trading card mania." But he had to get the cards today. Suddenly, he started giggling. Then his mother started laughing, and soon everyone at the end of the line was laughing, too. A friend of Jeff's from school looked back at them and said, "We're not getting these cards today, guys!"

The people at the end broke off and went off for an ice cream cone. Jeff's mom looked at Jeff in a concerned manner. "I just don't know what has gotten into you. Just yesterday, you would have been sulking for the rest of the day!" Jeff smiled at his mother. He felt like he had grown up a little bit. He still ached for the cards, though. He knew he would get an opportunity to buy the cards later. He also knew his mother worked tomorrow, and then the next day was the neighborhood tennis tournament, and then Grandma's birthday, and then their garage sale, and then the swim meat. But he would just have to be patient.

When they got home, Kelsey, the neighbor who lived up in the cul-de-sac, ran over to greet them. "Hey, my mom just found a new store called Game Players! They have Pokemon™cards in stock. Would you like to go with us?" Jeff waved to his mom, and off they went. As they were passing the gas station, a pickup truck pulled out in front of them. "SCRUNCH!" So much for the mall! Kelsey's mom got out of the car. No one was hurt in the fender bender, but both cars were dented and they had to call the police. The police showed up after about 30 minutes and gave the other guy a ticket. Kelsey's mom was a little shaky, but they still made it to the mall. When they finally got to the store all the cards were sold out! Oh well, another disappointment. They decided to buy the notebook with sleeves to hold their cards. That was better than nothing. Kelsey got out her markers and they spent the afternoon decorating their books. Jeff drew a huge colorful dragon on the front of his. Kelsey decorated hers with a Butterfly.

The next day, mom dropped by a toy store on her way home from work. She walked in and bought a pack of cards for Jeff and Kelsey. There wasn't even a line. When she got home she gave the kids their new cards. Jeff and Kelsey ran outside to find more people to trade with. They spent all evening organizing the cards in their books. They gave all of their rejects to Arthur, Jeff's little brother.

Arthur started a little book and began collecting, too. All the kids in the neighborhood met on Jeff's driveway to trade their cards and play matches.

By the last swim meet, Jeff was trying to trade for Charizard. No one was willing to make the trade. He still had lots of fun trading and learning the best tricks of the game. When he got home, he thumbed through Arthur's little book of Pokemon™rejects. There on the last page was a Charizard card. 'Wow!' thought Jeff. 'I could easily switch this card for one of mine and Arthur would never realize it. He'll never know how rare this card is.' He wasn't really sure what to do. 'If I ask him to trade with me, he's going to realize that this card is really valuable,' thought Jeff. He knew that this wasn't really the right thing to do, but what did a four year old know about Pokemon? Jeff quietly slid the card out of the book. He put it in his back pocket and headed up the stairs to his bedroom.

He peeked into Arthur's room. He was fast asleep. He looked so small and quiet when he was sleeping. 'I can't keep this card! What am I? Some kind of Pokemon™thief?' Jeff thought. He quietly crept back downstairs and slipped the Charizard card back into Arthur's book. Jeff felt like a loser for even thinking about taking something precious that belonged to Arthur. He decided he would make sure that Arthur didn't let anyone try to trade his Charizard. First thing tomorrow morning, Jeff would let Arthur know what a valuable card he had.

The next morning, the sky was black and it began to thunder. Rain was pouring down and lightening was crackling right outside. Jeff's mom thought, 'Well, so much for swim team practice.' She could hear the boys' racket from downstairs in the kitchen.

Arthur shouted over the storm, "I've got a surprise for you!" Jeff was ignoring him while he was reading the comics and eating his NutriGrain bar. Finally, little Arthur put both hands on Jeff's face and looked him square in the eye. "Jeff, I've got a surprise for you!" Jeff picked Arthur up and started tickling him all over. "What is it little Pikachu? Are you gonna' challenge me to a match?" Arthur was giggling and screaming with laughter while his older brother swung him over his shoulder and tickled him some more. "Put me down! Put me Down! MOMMM!"

Jeff assumed that the surprise was going to be an old McDonald's toy. Arthur came running back to the kitchen holding his Pokemon™book. "Here it is! I got the best card for you!" and Arthur handed over his Charizard card. It was a little bent, and wet, but it was fantastic. Jeff was overwhelmed. He really felt relieved that he hadn't tried to trick his little brother last night. "What a huge surprise! You're the best!" And Jeff thought 'I can't take this card.' "Little brother, I want you to keep this card. This is the most valuable card of the whole bunch. You're going to win the matches every time you play!" Arthur looked a little disappointed and a little relieved at the same time.

The storm canceled swim team practice so Jeff and Arthur looked through each others' cards all morning long.

This is a true story.

The end



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