The Inside Scoop

Vitality Stories

tiger drive

The Inside Scoop

What the cantaloupe?!

Thanks to your encouragement and your ‘Go Teri’-s, I was able to finish the edits to Tiger Drive as planned. In addition to your support, I had the amazing Tiger Drive Squad keeping me on my fingertips as they read each edited chapter. The squad came back with suggestions and some much needed praise, and I really enjoyed the daily interaction with these twenty readers.

When Tiger Drive Squadster Lorraine Watson (Follow Your Light) finished reading Tiger Drive, she said, “As with all good books, it’s a struggle between finding out the end and not wanting it to be over. It feels like I’ve been hanging out with you for several weeks and now it’s over. A gap. Void. So I changed out more electrical outlets.”

I felt like I was hanging out with each squad member, too. For the past week, I’ve been torn between being happy the editing is done and sad that I’m not hearing from the squad every day. One reason is that, after each chapter, I shared an “Inside Scoop.” Tiger Drive is fiction, but like most writers, I drew from personal perspective and experiences. The Inside Scoop served as a fact vs. fiction tip. In return, the squad member often sent me a note sharing a similar story of his/her own, and I enjoyed getting to know each person better. Here’s an example of what I might have shared:

In Chapter Two, the mother, Janice Sloan, is anxious to head to the Creek Bar for a weekly karaoke contest she participates in. While her three eldest children are on their own, she still has two daughters (17 and 19 years old) and two sons (10 and 11 years old) at home. So she says, “Find the boys and make sure everyone does their chores. If no one calls me at the bar, I’ll bring home a cantaloupe.”

Inside Scoop:
I know what you’re thinking. What the cantaloupe?! Why would that be an incentive for anyone to do their chores and not pester dear old mom? Why would Teri use a cantaloupe and not chocolate ice cream, or licorice in the story? Well…

When I was little and whenever my parents went out on the town, they’d promise to bring us home a treat if we didn’t call them at the bar (we had the number memorized). In fact, here is my first memory of this be-good-and-you’ll-get-a-treat negotiation.

I was almost four years old, and we lived in a one bedroom basement apartment in Boise, Idaho. When I say “we” I mean my parents and five of us kids. Mom and Dad decided to go out for drinks and leave my oldest brother, Tim in charge. Tim was about nine years old. Mom said, “Teri, if you’re good for your brother, I’ll bring you home a treat.” But I swear, I heard “present.” At that age, I doubt I understood the subtle difference between treat and present.

A present?! A present! Oh boy, was I good. I was so good that I did everything Tim asked me to do. Fortunately, he never asked me to go to bed. I was so excited and determined to stay up for the Barbie Doll I was sure to receive. I remember asking him to help me stay awake, and he told me to keep washing my face with cold water (I have no idea how he knew this tip).

I wanted to sleep, but I wanted that Barbie Doll even more. I don’t know how many times I splashed my face with cold water, but for sure, this was the greatest commitment I had made in my young life.

My parents were shocked (and disappointed) I was still awake. I said, “I was good. Where is my present?”

My mom sat a bag on the counter in the kitchen, and she pulled out two large cantaloupes. “Do you want some now?”

I was devastated. Cantaloupes?! I didn’t want a crummy cantaloupe. What kind of present is a cantaloupe? No beautiful Barbie Doll. My whole night flashed before my eyes.

The next morning, exhausted from my late night, I trudged to the kitchen table with one of my old and tired Barbies, and my mom made me Sunday silver dollar pancakes. She even made a dime-sized one for Barbie. I forgave her, but I never forgot that a treat wasn’t worth waiting up for. Parents-one; kid-zero.

If this silly inside scoop triggers any thoughts or memories of yours, please let me know. I like learning more about you.

Until next time, thanks for being you!


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