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Little boy’s hopes tank out

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

The little hurricane 6-year-old boy is fast developing into a Class 5 major calamity. He has spent most of his short days on this earth obsessed with monsters, bombs, machine guns and other such destructive forces.

He’s particularly attuned to zombies and considers AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” a cinematic work of art. I can’t imagine what parent in their right mind would allow a 6-year-old boy to watch such a thing. But, then again, I never claimed to be in my right mind.

His newest infatuation, however, involves Army tanks. He asks me several times a day what Army tank is the most powerful, how many shells it fires, how big are they, could they blow up a battleship, blow up the Empire State Building, blow up the world, etc.

Because of this infatuation, on a lark, I went online to see what possibility exists for actually buying a tank. I know I occasionally see in front of an American Legion a couple of tanks, and thought, well, maybe you could get a surplus tank, not running, relatively cheap.

I could put it out in front of my barn where I have my horses and change the name of the horse farm to something like “Fort Gamble” or maybe “Fort Hurricane Boy.”

I didn’t really expect I would find any tanks for sale. Boy, was I wrong.

I soon found out I could buy a T70 Tank from Britain, which is a small tank used in WWII, for approximately 27,000 British pounds. I have no idea what that means in U.S. dollars. I also found I could purchase a completely restored WWII American Sherman tank, in full working order and fully armed, for the discount price of $325,000.

I don’t know why I completely lost my senses, but I told the Hurricane that I had gone online and found out you could actually buy a tank. He wanted to know how much they cost. I told him a fully operational tank was only $325,000. He began to plead and beg that I purchase the tank.

This conversation occurred three weeks ago and not a day has passed without further reference to the need to purchase a Sherman tank.

Man, oh, man. I knew as my children got older, I would struggle with whether or not to buy them a new car verses a used car. A fast car or a practical truck. I even envisioned struggles with paying for college and fancy prom dresses. But no one warned me that I needed to save up to purchase a tank.

It’s not only the original purchase price that causes me concern. Think of the gasoline cost. I doubt a Sherman tank gets more than 2 miles to the gallon. I suspect it is also kind of rough on the driveway. I shutter to think what the cost of shipping the tank might be.

On the plus side, I guess if the Hurricane had a tank, the chances of injury from a vehicle crash would be relatively small. Well, small for the Hurricane. I suspect the odds of someone else being hurt might be a little extreme. I also figure if he ever got a date down in the tank with him, it would be pretty cozy.

All in all, I think the tank will have to wait. My wife won’t agree to sell the house. But I am a little concerned about Santa Claus. I am sure the tank will end up on Santa’s list and I’ll be trying to explain why Santa Claus cannot ship tanks.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.