maryam aisha
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Money Changes Everything

My dad made a wooden box for a man who had everything: a great family, a great job, great friends, a truly great life. This man spent his mornings at the Metro YMCA working out; he spent his days at the Oregonian or out interviewing people for his feature articles in the Living Section or the Arts and Entertainment section that came out every Friday. He knew my dad from Portland Brewing, a brewery located in the heart of the industrial area, which had relocated from its original location on Flanders Street. Portland Brewing, also known as the Pink Palace to its regulars due to its outward appearance, was the place of many festivities, parties, darts tournaments (with mostly steel tip tungsten darts) and afternoons of drinking with friends.

It was this man's fiftieth birthday and he was celebrating at The Basement Pub, a tiny, dark, smoky darts room in the Belmont neighbourhood in Portland, Oregon. This man's closest friends and family were invited to help him celebrate the big 5-0 and most had arrived on their Harley motorcycles.

My dad had wrapped the small wooden box silver and white wrapping paper and he had attached a card that he had found at a small gift shop that’s well known for the variety of tungsten darts that they stock. The card had a cartoon picture of the Dalai Lama holding an empty box and exclaiming, "An empty box, just what I've always wanted." Inside the card was blank but my dad had written, "One day this box will be worth 16,000 dollars."

My dad told the man to open the gift first prior to reading the card. The man opened the gift, which revealed the small wooden box with a tiny narrow slit on one side that would fit one bill at a time, only. The man realized that there was no way to open the box. He looked a little perplexed, thanked my dad for building him the box and opened the card. The man looked at the box in his hand and then looked at my father. My father laughed and said, "When you fill up the box with one hundred dollar bills it will be worth that much, the box holds one hundred and sixty bills, so make sure the bill are hundreds." The man laughed and said that the gift was perfect.

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October 6, 2014

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