Magazine article Success

How the Obsession Began

Magazine article Success

How the Obsession Began

Article excerpt

I ADMIT IT. I have an obsession. And I know exactly who to blame: my grandmother.

It all started one afternoon when my grandmother picked me up from school as she often did. We'd eat lunch in her car in the parking lot of a movie theater before going in, or we'd take our picnic to the Fairyland Amusement Park, where I'd ride the Jolly Trolly.

On the day the obsession began, right before seeing The Black Stallion, my grandma asked me what I got for my recent birthday. "A new Atari game and $47." "What did you do with the money?" she asked. "I dunno." I shrugged. Some went to the arcade. Some went to bubble gum. "Well, Darren. It's time you start keeping track."

After the movie (which was awesome!), Grandma drove me straight to her bank. Inside, she introduced me to a woman, Deborah, and said I was to be her newest depositor as I splattered a wad of crumpled bills and change on the counter.

"Well, how impressive, Mr. Hardy," Deborah said. She winked at my grandmother, scooped up my life savings and disappeared.

"Gramma!" I shouted. "She took my money!" "Don't worry, Darren," my grandmother said with a knowing smile.

Just then, Deborah emerged from a back room and handed me a small, sacred book. A passbook. I held it in my hand a moment and then opened to the first page, which was stamped with a number: $23.12.

There it was. All the money I had, or at least what I hadn't wasted, was printed right there on that passbook. I stared at it.

"Is there a problem, Mr. Hardy? …

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