Reason #382 that I ♥ Charlie Thomas so frickin’ much:
“I bet that’s Charlie!” cried Andrew. “I bet he’s got his new car.”
“His old car,” Karen corrected him.
“His new old car,” said Kristy.
Kristy and the kids rushed out the front door. In the driveway before them was a clinker of a car. In fact, it looked a lot like Nannie’s Pink Clinker, except that it wasn’t pink. It was sort of gray. And Kristy could see a scratch and two dents just on the passenger’s side of the car. Plus, the fenders were rusting.
But Charlie was obviously very proud of his car. He and Sam climbed out of it just as Patrick, Charlie’s friend, pulled up in Mrs. Brewer’s station wagon.
Charlie grinned and waved to the crowd on the porch. “Well, here it is,” he said. “One gorgeous piece of metal.”
One gorgeous piece of junk, thought Kristy, imagining what her mother and Watson would say when they laid eyes on it.
“It may not actually be gorgeous,” Charlie went on, “but it runs like a dream, and with a little paint and some wax I can really fix it up. You guys can help me.”
“Oh, thank you so much,” said Kristy sarcastically.
Charlie was too excited to notice. “Come on, everyone. We’re going for a ride,” he announced. “We have to drive Patrick home.” And with that he took Emily’s car seat out of the station wagon, attached it to the backseat of his car, and loaded Emily, Andrew, and Karen inside. Then Sam and Patrick piled in. “You coming, Kristy?” asked Charlie.
“I can’t,” she replied. “David Michael’s over at Linny’s. I’ll have to wait for him here.”
“Okay,” Charlie said, and drove off.
Five minutes later, David Michael returned. When he found out where everyone was, he pitched a fit right in the front yard.
“You mean my own brother got a new car and he took everyone for a ride but me? His own brother?”
“David Michael – ” Kristy began. She was going to explain that Patrick had needed a ride home, and everyone else had been standing right there by the car. But David Michael had already banged into the house. When he came out a few moments later, he was carrying a big piece of paper and a fat black Magic Marker. In huge letters he wrote on the paper:
He posted the sign on a tree in front of the house where Charlie couldn’t miss it.
Charlie didn’t miss it. He took the hint, too. He let the other kids out of his car and then took David Michael on a special ride of his own.