Posts Tagged ‘Childhood Memories’

Dad Man Balking

April 16, 2018

My old man absolutely hated birthdays and refused to celebrate his under any circumstances. Once I made the mistake of baking him a birthday cake and presenting it to him after dinner. He wasn’t the least bit thankful or happy. In fact, he threw the cake against the wall and locked me in an old freezer we had out in the garage for two days.

To this day, I can’t eat angel food without balling up into the fetal position and crying.

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Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #17

February 16, 2018

I remember a trip to Yosemite back in ’89 when my sister and I were at that angry sibling/annoying sibling stage. We were in the back seat and, about every 30 seconds, she’d slam her fist into my tender arm and shout, “Punch bug!”

“Punch bug!” Bam!

“Punch bug!” Smack!

“Punch bug!” Thwack!

“Punch bug!” Wham!

All the way from Louisville to Peoria. Finally, when I couldn’t take another slug, I screamed, “It doesn’t count when you’re INSIDE a Volkswagen!”

She just giggled like a maniac while Dad pretended not to hear and Mom knocked back another Jack & Coke. Worst road trip of my life.

Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #12

January 13, 2018

When I was a kid, I had a dog named Ringo. He was an older dog and I was really young – about three or four – when Ringo became ill and had to be put to sleep. Of course, my idiot parents didn’t want to tell me that, so they made up a story. No, not the “he went to live on a farm” one. I was told that Ringo had been taken to the vet but he had escaped from his cage and run out into the road and then been hit by a car. I have no idea how any adult could think that was the better white lie for a preschooler, but that’s the family in which I was raised.

Begins to explain a lot about me, eh?

Rattle & Roll

November 25, 2017

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When I was a kid and I was asked where I wanted to eat, I would always reply the same thing: Shakey’s Pizza. Problem was: there was no Shakey’s nearby – or even in my city. I’d apparently seen a commercial during Thundercats or Dangermouse or something and I thought it was the end-all be-all of pizzeria experiences. All that piano playing and delicious pizza pie … aw, man; that’s my idea of heaven!

So one day, my dad – always one to think outside the box and save a few bucks – brought home some Totino’s Pizza Rolls and banged out chopsticks on my sister’s Fisher-Price Step and Play Piano and said that I should stop my whining and never mention those bastards at Shakey’s ever again.

Yeah, we weren’t close much after that, the old man and I.

Crying Uncle

November 4, 2017

My 13th birthday fete at Pizza Inn and my Uncle Aidan, one of the few adult chaperones, decides it’s a good idea to entertain the Tweeners with a rousing chorus of Danny Boy. My first boy/girl party and the drunken lout’s ridiculous actions forevermore labeled me as an outcast at West Millbrook Junior High. Although, to be fair, the headgear, rock tumbler obsession, Thundercats bookbag and chess club membership pretty much had that covered already.

Fool Me Once …

October 27, 2017

Back in fifth grade, my best friend and I went in halfsies on what we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt was going to be the coolest thing ever in our young lives – a monster! But not just any monster, no – a life-size monster that obeys your every whim and comes when you command!

We ordered it out of the back of a comic book. I think it was $1.50, so we each put seventy-five cents in an envelope and mailed it off. It said wait six to eight weeks but of course we’d come home every day after school and immediately look in the mailbox. We did this for two months. Finally, it arrived. (more…)

Shapes of Things

September 22, 2017

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On my first day of kindergarten, I walked into class and they gave me a shape cut out of construction paper. All the kids got one and we had to match it up with the same shape and same color on the back of a chair – that would then be our chair for the year. Well, most of the kids got simple shapes like circles, triangles, squares, maybe an octagon or star. But me? Me, they gave a Volkswagen. Yeah, a construction paper cutout of a VW Beetle. I had started kindergarten a year early because I was precocious so here I was – this 4-year-old kid walking around, trying to match up a complicated shape like a Volkswagen. I looked all over but couldn’t find it and went back to the teacher, crying, “I don’t have a chair!” Seriously, I thought I was gonna have to stand up for the entire year. You’d think that would have scarred me for learning for life but I then went on to be the best student in that damn kindergarten class. Unfortunately, when I graduated, I was too young to start first grade and had to go back to that same kindergarten again the next year. They gave me a circle.

Party All The Time

August 28, 2017

Hypothetical question here but say you’re invited to a middle school classmate’s birthday party. You don’t particularly care for the guy but you feel compelled to attend because he’s a friend of a friend. When is it polite to leave said gathering? After you drop off the gift? After cake and ice cream? is served After the pinata and pin the tail on the donkey? After his mom, Mrs. Misenheimer, having a few Sea Breezes inside of her, takes you upstairs and makes you a man?

I’m curious because now that I look back on the whole bizarre incident I’m beginning to feel a little guilty for skipping out early and I’m thinking I should’ve at least stayed for the opening of the gifts.

If Wishes Were Hippies

August 4, 2017

There was a time when everything was groovy and people thought it was a nifty idea to encourage kids to grow up to be redwood trees. Many people were high and most of them were full of themselves and lava lamps and love beads and waterbeds were used without irony in this magical time. This was the 1970s, an era that gave us the SuperFriends and H. R. Pufnstuf and Hong Kong Phooey and stream of consciousness fare like this – Make A Wish. Seriously, this was a show. For children. And it was wonderful!

Din Mother

July 10, 2017

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One time, in fifth grade, I was having a cub scout meeting at my place and this neighbor came over – I think his name was Mr. Hopnagle – and he complained about all the noise we kids were making. (We lived in a crappy apartment with paper-thin walls, a far cry from the crappy apartment with cardboard-thin walls I live in today.) My mom, whom I suspect had been putting up with a pack of screaming Webelos only by way of a bottle of Jim Beam she kept hidden in the toilet tank, tried to dissuade the neighbor from contacting the landlord and having us evicted. Eventually, they both went into the bedroom and put on the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy real loud. After about ten minutes, Mr. Hopnagle came out to the living room and got a couple of Pasbt out of the fridge and some nylon cords we were using to practice knot tying and he went back inside the bedroom. About five minutes later I heard my mom scream Tom Selleck’s name. Then Mr. Hopnagle left and my mom came out and told all the kids to go home even though we hadn’t worked out all the plans for the upcoming pinewood derby. We got evicted two weeks later, however, not because Hopnagle complained but because my dad was found passed out drunk and naked in the laundry room.