By David Harmer
Dear Santa Claus,
Earlier this year, televangelist Jesse Duplantis made news by seeking a new private jet. And not just any old jet, like the Cessna Citation 500, the IAI Westwind II, and the Dassault Falcon 50 already in his ministry’s fleet. He wanted a Dassault Falcon 7X (MSRP $54 million).
Here at the Freedoms Foundation, our wish list is more modest. All we want for Christmas is a pickup truck that will pass inspection.
In the interest of full disclosure, we have a four-vehicle fleet:
1. The pride of the fleet is our 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan. The most youthful of our vehicles, it’s easy to get into and out of and easy to drive. We trust it has many years of airport runs ahead of it.
2. The full-size van, a 2010 Chevrolet Express, squeaks, rattles, clunks, and groans, but it works. (Although the air conditioning doesn’t. We’ll fix that next summer.) When we have too many passengers for the minivan but not enough to justify renting a bus, it’s the solution. Glad to have it.
3. The utility infielder of the fleet is a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer. It has a few idiosyncrasies—most notably, the driver’s window always lowers but doesn’t always rise. Other than that, it does the job.
4. Our trusty old pickup truck, a 1999 Ford F-250 (a/k/a The Beast) is disintegrating. It barely passed inspection last year, and the shop won’t even look at it this year. The maintenance crew has held it together with duct tape and bailing wire, but it’s reached the end of the road.
One of The Beast’s many roles is to serve as the campus snowplow and salt spreader. Sometimes the salt melts the ice, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always melts the steel. The truck’s undercarriage looks like Picasso experimented with painting Swiss cheese.
It’s been suggested that we keep The Beast on campus, not allowing it on public roads—but given its need for gasoline and repairs, that’s not practical. And with winter nigh and the program season looming, the maintenance crew needs a reliable truck PDQ, as they say.
So if you (or a generous donor) could provide a replacement for the truck … we’d be merry indeed.
Thanks, Saint Nick!
David Harmer is president and CEO of Freedoms Foundation. firstname.lastname@example.org
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