When I was an excitable young entrepreneur living in the boonies of eastern Maine, I had the most genius of business opportunities cross my mind. I was shocked by the seeming simplicity of such a lucrative proposition. Having read enough Calvin & Hobbes by that age, I was positive that a small stand running alongside a mildly busy state road would garner me enough business to fill my pockets with discreetly joyful funds that I could use to purchase the wonderful and new Sega Genesis (which I, every faithful night, would wish upon a star for, and never receive). I had neglected to consider, of course, the fact that our most loyally disturbed of protagonists, Calvin, never even made a cent in any of his ventures. What was the thought that transgressed through my mind one summer day? What could possibly have made me an excited little boy who was positive that one little nail & board roadside shop would reveal to me untold fortunes?
Quaker Oats Snack Bars.
That's right, I would open a stand and sell chocolate chip snack bars. The idea was so deliciously perfect that I set at once to assume my goal. My first order of business was planning. In our cupboard there sat a nice big box of about ten or twelve of the little suckers. I figured I could make a good profit if I sold each one at about seventy-five cents. After all twelve were sold I deduced, with stunning pre-pubescent logic, that I could then obtain two boxes of snack bars. The cycle would, of course, be easy to figure out. If I could sell enough snack bars per day during the summer, I would be as fancifully wealthy as the likes of The President (the richest man in the world for a young lad in public education). Not to mention the fact that if I were able to make a profit off of this failsafe opportunity, I would most likely be able to eat Quaker Oats Snack Bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! A goal that appealed to my youthful lust for taste-bud joy. Some of you may be thinking, why would I pine for the bland, healthy taste of something as devilish as Quaker Oats? Well, those people that question me have obviously never grown up in a "healthy" family, where soda pop was a rare commodity, not to be taken with a grain of salt. To digest, what I called as a child, Granola Bars every moment of my life, would have been a sweet heaven. My plan had been concieved, now all I could do was put it in motion.
My first order of business was to amass my snack bar empire. I clambered precariously to the cupboard and pulled out the delicious morsels of delight. After treating my genius intellect to a bar, I took them to my room where they would be out of the wandering hands of my older, hungrier siblings. When I was sufficiently content with my placement of the treats, I set forth with haste to build my quaint roadside shop. Collecting the required tools, a hammer and nail, I went to my backyard to try my luck with the large woodpile we had. Different sized boards sat in shakey array upon one another, an orderless mass of sliced tree. I picked a few choice materials from the slew and dragged them whole-heartedly to my front yard, where I had left my other supplies. I was no architect, but I had ingenuity, so I took a few pieces of board and started to hammer away.
A few nails into my operation, a phone call came in from the other side of the world. My best friend Brian was there, wanting to know if I would come over. With bated breath I informed him of my nefarious plan to take over the snack bar world with my stand. That was perfect, he said, for we could work together at his house. I was jubilant and quickly returned my materials to their original places. Hitching a ride from my parentals the fifteen hotly anticipated minutes to Brian's house, I thought only for the riches that would be held in other topics and discoveries possible at the new locale.
My snack shop empire crumbled to pieces right then and there, and was quickly forgotten in the rubble of long lost plans and endeavors.
I often ponder what would have become of me if I had actually succeeded in building my sky-high dreams. I surely would be a millionaire by now. Oh, how I rue the day I reneged on my fabulous ideals of Quaker Oats fame.
Why was the dream forgotten? Did I hide behind the realization that my hopes of worldwide gratitude were a fallacy of my youthful vigor? You often hear of clever young businessboys who successful manage their meandering pathways into a solid cashflow. Where were we, the dreamers; the people who never got out to do the wonderful, beautiful things we said we would do? In childhood, is there some ideal that only exists in our mind, and not in the mind of our world? This ideal could be to say and believe what is simply believable only to us.
The memories of that ideal are not to be forgotten. The memories of that ideal are not to be ignored. The memories of that ideal are not to be sold seperately.