It’s my birthday. The first day of my 29th year. And I was given an awesome gift: the chance to write. The prompt came from a Chrysler commercial of all things, so of course it’s all kind of cheesy:
This is the text of the commercial:
“I got a question for ya. What does this city know about luxury, huh? What does a town that’s been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? Well I’ll tell ya: more than most. You see, it’s the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us. That’s who we are. That’s our story. Now it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers. The one being written by folks who’ve never even been here, who don’t know what we’re capable of. Because when it comes to luxury, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for. Now we’re from America. But this isn’t New York City. Or the Windy City. Or Sin City. And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City. This is the Motor City. And this is what we do.”
Our professor asked us to write our own piece that started with the first sentence and ended with the last sentence of the commercial. We only had about 10 minutes, which was pure torture. I managed to grind out something I was halfway pleased with, but when I got home from my soccer game after class I decided I had to write it out to my complete satisfaction. Well, I say complete…I’m rarely 100% satisfied with my writing (Case in point: Since I posted this five minutes ago, I’ve already rewritten the previous sentence twice). But as my favorite prof says, “your writing might never be done, but it is due.” I decided after who knows how many months, my blog was due some new content. So here it is:
“I got a question for ya. What does a kid who grew up in the sticks know about the finer things in life? We’ll I’ll tell ya: more than most. You see, it’s you city folk who really missed out on a childhood. Yeah, y’all had fancy restaurants and tall buildings. A Starbucks on every corner and a patch of grass with some multi-million dollar jungle gym next door. But did you have a backyard that went on for miles? Have you ever known the freedom of being 8 years old and setting off to explore the woods with only your dog for company? Have you ever tried to ice skate with tennis shoes on your very own pond? Did you regularly roast marshmallows over a giant bonfire that your dad built with wood he chopped earlier that day? After a big snow, did your neighbor plow your gravel driveway with his tractor and expect nothing in return but a simple thanks and maybe one of your mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls? Add hard work and self-sufficiency and the touch of local pride that runs generations deep in every last one of us country kids. That’s who we are. That’s our story. Now it’s probably not the one you’ve heard about us poor rednecks who are poor as dirt and twice as stupid. The one being told by folks who’ve never even been in a small town, who don’t know what we’re capable of. Because when it comes to living, it’s as much about where you’re from as where you’re going. Now we’re from America. But this isn’t New York City. Or the Windy City. Or any city. This is small town America. And this is what we do.”
Of course mine is way longer than the commercial. And I probably went a little overboard using the same wording as the commercial throughout my own version. But writing it made for a great end to my birthday. And who knows, maybe next time I’m visiting my parents in my hometown I’ll shoot some video and make my own commercial!