What a Bargain! The Story of a Girl and a Tripod

     Once upon a time, there was a tripod sitting on one of the first tables at a neighborhood yard sale. While it sat there, baking in the sun, it was longing for someone to buy it. For someone to give it a new life. Things were not always this way.

Over a decade ago from the present day, there was a girl named Kim, who went to a bargain store with her parents. Kim was only 10 years old at the time time. She was just getting into shooting films with her friends.

Her parents, just bought her a new shiny, silver camera that she could use to start making films with. The reason Kim was going to the bargain store with her parents was to buy some paper towels. Her family always got their paper towels from this bargain store because you could buy individually wrapped rolls for a buck! “ What a deal! ” Kim said when her parents told her about it.

As the family entered the bargain store, there was a tripod in a green, purple, and yellow box. With the front of it transparent so that the customer could see the tripod inside. It was in a stack with a bunch of others that were almost identical. However, the one that initially caught Kim’s eye was the one with a manufacturing defect.

Not only were the cardboard corners of the box concave, it looked as if the tripod with the defect had seen its fair share of passers-by. The defect was involved with the legs of the tripod, it was the top of it. Where the camera would sit stable upon a steady piece of plastic, the top of this very very tripod was missing something. A way to change the indicator, that showed if the tripod was level or not. A little off to the side of the tripod that, as Kim found out by looking at the other tripods surrounding it, was filled with a green, liquid slime, and a bubble.

It appeared to young, 10 years old, Kim, that in order to make the plastic tripod level, the bubble needed to be in the center of the circle. There was a ring engraved on the outside of the structure. The smart girl figured out that the center of the engraved ring is where the bubble needed to go. This would indeed make the tripod level.

After all, she had been reading multiple books on filmmaking, so it was not just some sort of hobby to her. Kim wanted to make a career out of it.

As the young Kim reached for one of the tripods that were perfectly manufactured, her parents stopped her. They pushed the tripod back into the stack. Then, Kim’s mother told her,

“ We can not afford to spend $10 on a brand new tripod for you. We just spend $450 on that silver camera we got you ”.

“ but… ” Kim said.

“ No buts. Now let’s go get what we came here for and leave ” Kim’s mother said.

“ Okay, ” Kim said, shrugging her shoulders and having the joy of owning a new tripod to aid her new camera was ripped away from her.

As the family reached aisle nine, where the individually wrapped paper towels were, Kim saw another child with a tripod in the green, purple, and yellow box. It had the transparent front so that the tripod would be visible. The child seemed so happy wrapping their arms around the box as if they were giving it a tight hug. Somehow the box was not ruined by this.

The child in Kim’s eyes looked so happy to have the tripod. Their face was full of bliss. The smiles on that of the child and their parents face only made Kim sadder. She was not able to have a tripod of her very own.

As the child with the brand-new tripod and their family passed Kim and her family. They simply went to grab something off of the shelf. Kim started to cry. To her, it was like the child was mocking her. The child, destroying her dream of being a filmmaker.

As Kim did this, she unintentionally drew attention to herself. The family with the child that had the tripod in the green, purple, and yellow box, felt very bad for the little girl, crying the middle of the bargain store. They did not know her, or why she was crying. They just decided to move along with their day. The mother of the child whispered something to her husband as they left the aisle.

When Kim’s parents stopped what they were doing, they both kneeled down to their child, in the middle of the aisle way. One parent wiping away the tears, another consoling her by rubbing her back. When they asked Kim what was wrong, Kim said, “ Nothing , it just seemed like that child with the ‘fancy new tripod’ was mocking me. ‘Ha ha, I destroyed your dream’ ”.

Kim’s parents were taken back by these comments. They had no idea that their daughter was this interested in filmmaking. That it meant that much to her.

After a few seconds of Kim’s parents processing what they just heard, Kim’s father said to her,

     “ That is not at all what happened. The child did not even say a word ”.

Kim said while still crying and sniffing,

“ They did not have too. They said it all without words ”.

The father still trying to calm his daughter down said,

“ Your mother and I never thought that filmmaking meant this much to you ”.

Kim’s mother nodded her head in agreement.

“ What do you think I have been doing at the library for the past few weeks? ” Kim said half-asking a question, the other half, straight anger.

“ I don’t know Kim. Just being you I guess. Getting out of the house, reading some books. You were and still are not much of a talker ”.

Kim’s mother jumped into the conversation,

“ Both your father and I thought this was just another phase you were going through. Like the time when you were obsessed with Jackie Chan movies. We could not get you to stop watching them. You almost forced us to go buy you some movies on DVD. You kept yelling and screaming. ‘I WANT MORE JACKIE CHAN MOVIES!’ ”.

“ Yeah, ” said Kim as she giggled.

As her crying stopped, Kim told her parents what she had been reading in the public library, her passion for filmmaking, and how she wanted to do it as a career for the rest of her life.

     She then told them how essential a tripod is to make sure that the camera, does not move and that the shot is stable.

     Kim’s parents were shocked as to how much their daughter knew about filmmaking. They were still kneeling down on the cold, tile floor in front of their daughter. After about five or so minutes of Kim talking, her parents looked at each other, glancing as if they were communicating.

Then, Kim’s father said,

“ Kimmy, now that we know how much filmmaking means to you. We will all be on the look-out for an inexpensive tripod for you and your passion for filmmaking ”.

“ Really ”. Kim said as a joyous looked started to appear in her eyes.

“ Yes really. Now come on we got to finish getting these paper towels. You know that we use them often ”.

“ And we recycle them after we are done with them, too, ” Kim said with excitement!

“ Yes… yes, we do ”. Her father said with a chuckle.

So as the family got the rest of their paper towels and put them in the bright orange cart with navy blue writing on the side. They started to go to the front of the store where the cashiers were. As they were making their way back to the front of the store. They passed the stack of tripods in the green, purple and yellow boxes with the transparent front.

The whole family noticed them this time. They saw that a few had been taken in during their time in the bargain store. However, the sign that was draped on the stack of by chain-links said, “ Tripods $10 ”. The entire family frowned as if by some miracle that the price of the tripods would be lowered since they entered the store.

As the father was about to push the cart away from the stack that was now taunting all of them, Kim remembered the tripod that had eight concave corners and with the manufacturing defect. She screamed, “ WAIT ”!

Her parents came to a sudden stop. “ What’s the matter, Kim? Are you alright ? ” both parents said almost in stereo.

Kim said, “ I’m fine, don’t worry. I just remember that there is a tripod in this stack with a manufacturing defect. ”

Her parents asked, “ How do you know that there is a defect ”?

“ Come here! I will show you ” !

Kim grabbed her parents by their arms and dragged them to to the other side of the stack. When she finished dragging both of her parents to the other side Kim said,

“ See how this one has a circle on the top part? See how it has a liquid green slime in it? Do you see the bubble inside of the circle full of green slimy liquid ”?

Her parents both cautiously replied,

“ … yes ”.

“ Do you see the ring engraved on the top of the circle ” ?

“ Yeah, ” they said.

“ I have read that that the bubble, the ring, and the liquid green slime is what helps the person using the tripod, figure out if it is completely level. If it is not completely level then the shot the camera would record would be off center ”.

“ Is that so? ” Kim’s mother asked as a rhetorical question.

“ Yeah, ” Kim said.

Then she moved over to the one without the indicator.

“ You see how this tripod does not have that feature ”?

“ Yeah ”.

“ I wonder if this tripod is cheaper because if you look around at all the other tripods, it is the only one missing that part ”.

As the father went around the stack of tripods to see if that was indeed the case. He came back and said,

“ Yeah, it appears that this specific tripod is the only one that is missing that little circle thing at the top of it ”.

Kim then asked her parents if she could take it down from the stack to get a closer look. Her parents said of course.

As Kim took the tripod box with its concave corners down from the stack, she began to inspect it. When she flipped the box upside down, she saw a bright yellow sticker on that read, “ $5.00 ” on it.

Her eyes bugged out of her head. She then, showed her parents with blissful excitement, “ Look! It is only five dollars ”!

“ I don’t believe it! ” Kim’s mother said.

“ Can I please see it? ” she asked her daughter.

Kim happily gave it to her. Her mother looked at the bottom of the box and said,

“ It really does say ‘$5.00’ on this sticker ”.

Kim’s mother paused.

“ Let me go check with someone who works here and make sure this is the right price, ” she said bewildered.

She came back four minutes later. “ I can not believe it. The kind lady who works he said that due to the manufacturing defect, this specific tripod was indeed 50% off the price of the other tripods ”.

Kim was almost jumping with pure happiness.

“ Can I get it? Can I get it? ” She asked her parents.

Her mother and father glanced at each other smiling. Then the two looked back at their daughter, eagerly waiting for an answer.

Kim’s mother with the tripod in hand asked her daughter,

“ Is the missing indicator going to be a problem fo… ”

Before she could even finish the question Kim said, “ Nope, I will figure something out ”.

Then moments later, Kim’s mother handed her daughter, her first tripod. The words “ young lady you are going to get a tripod of your very own ”.

Kim was ecstatic!! The words: yea and thank you kept pouring out of her mouth so fast, they almost blended together.

Kim’s parents had never seen their child this happy before. A warm feeling came across both of their hearts. They were so happy for their little girl.

Then, they paid for all the individually wrapped paper towels and the tripod with the missing indicator.

As soon as Kim got home she ripped into the packaging and took out her new and first tripod in all of its glory. She brought it upstairs to her room and set up her silver camera on top of it.

     The first thing she filmed, besides herself, in front of the camera talking about nothing of importance, was a tea party with all of her friends. Her father let her borrow his big, clunky, cell phone to call all of her friends to come over. She said to that she had a big surprise they could all enjoy.

     Now 10 years later, 19-year-old Kim is going off to college to study filmmaking. She is planning to be at the top of her class. However, her family needs to have a yard sale to help pay for college. They had spent the last week and a half, cleaning out the items that they now, no longer used.

Among those items was a small plastic tripod with a manufacturing defect.

When the day of the yard sale came, Kim and her parents started putting out tables and items for their “ Help our daughter pay for college… please, Yard Sale ”. The yard sale would run from 10am – 2pm. One of the items that the 19 years old, college-bound, Kim put on the first table at the yard sale was, her very first tripod.

She resisted the urge to cry as the moment she put that tripod down on the table. Lots of memories started flowing back to her all at once. From the time, she first got the tripod at the bargain store, to the times she and her friends made stable videos with it, the times she experimented with video and the tripod on her own, and every other time in between.

It was a sudden surge of emotion for Kim. After about a minute or two, she composed herself. Took a deep breath and placed a very special, bright yellow sticker on a piece of paper under the tripod. She put it on gingerly making sure that it had no wrinkles in it. The sticker reads, “ $5.00 ”.

Kim smiled and walked away looking at the tripod, one last time before the yard sale started. She now had to get ready to sell it. That plastic tripod had seen a lot of use over the years. Now, it waited, in what was going to be a hot summer day. Waiting for someone to buy it. Waiting for someone to give it a new life.

 

 

Published by Random Writer on July 30th, 2016, at 11:05 pm

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