I drove the band carpool this morning. Four ten-year-old boys, mostly awake. All of us packed into my car heading up the hill. A sleek black corvette drove by. They all “oohed” and “aahed”. Then they started discussing what happens if you crash a car, like a corvette.

“It’s fine,” one said. “That’s why you have insurance. You can crash a car a bunch of times and insurance just pays you to get a new one. Every time.”

They all agreed with this and proceeded to talk about which cars they wanted to crash the most.

Eventually, I mentioned to them that depending on the circumstances of the car crash or the number of times you had crashed a car, your insurance rates might increase or you might not be able to get insurance.

“So if I crash my car, the insurance company makes me pay more money?” asked one of the boys.

“Sometimes,” I replied.

“Oh… so do people work for the insurance company and crash cars so the insurance company gets more money? Like, could I steal a car and crash it and then the insurance company would pay me for getting them more money?”

The boys erupted, all agreeing that would be the coolest job ever.

“What do you do for work?” said one.

“I hijack cars and crash them so peoples’ rates go up,” said another.

“Best job ever!” they all yelled.

Then it was time to drop them off. They spilled out of the car with their backpacks and instruments, talking excitedly about this great new career option they had learned about.

I watched them walk away, partially smiling and partially shocked.

If I were my own best friend I would tell myself that even though it’s really early and a bit painful to drive the band carpool one morning a week, it’s also illuminating, get up and do it.

Hijacking cars and crashing them, to earn money. My brain is still trying to process that. It’s something I never would have thought of. That’s the smile.

Hijacking cars and crashing them, to earn money. My brain is scared that this next generation thinks this is a great idea. That’s the shock.

Either way, I commend the outside-the-box thinking. And I’ll make sure I lock my car at night, just in case the local 10-year-olds get ideas about ways to earn a little extra money.

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