Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Alcohol, Drugs and Girls



I’ve mentioned before that the memories of my early years are sporadic at best. I wish that I was more like my daughter Maegan who seems to have pretty good memories of her early years. It is possible I suppose that nothing of any great interest happened to me during those years and therefore why would I waste time, brain cells and effort to recall them. What does a five year old have that is worth remembering anyways?

That reminds me of a story. There was this couple who had a child that never made a sound, uttered a word or even cried. Of course they were quite concerned and had their son tested by the best medical minds that money could buy. They couldn’t find anything that seemed to be wrong and in all other respects, their son was completely normal. One day at breakfast when the son was five years old, he looked at his mom and dad and said “The toast is burnt!”

Of course there was a stunned silence and the boy’s mom cried tears of joy. Eventually, she asked him why he had never uttered a word before, to which he replied, “Well, up until now, everything has been all right.”
 
I guess things were fine and as they should be until I started to remember things. I can’t remember my first Halloween, but I suspect that mom and dad took me and my brother around getting free candy from all of the neighbours which they kept and ate without sharing. Not their finest moment, but having been a parent I realize that you have to grab the goodies while you can. I imagine I was eight or nine before I was trusted to go out with my buddies, a pillow case for the candy and more than likely a burnt cork beard.
 
The hobo was my preferred costume; it allowed freedom of movement and gave the impression that I had put some thought into the costume. We were always cautioned about psycho whack jobs that would put razor blades in apples, pins in candy and God forbid that some evil bastard might steal all of your candy. It happened in the neighbourhood, but not to myself or anyone that was close to me. My kids called that “Trick or Beating”, but it never happened to them. I hope that we as a family continue to be protected by the “ All Saints” referred to in “All Saints Day”.

We would plan our route weeks in advance, trying to maximize the amount of candy we could bring back. I think the best year was two and a half full pillow cases of candy. Not all of the candy was good. Some (too much) was that hard toffee that I am sure was invented by dentists that lacked any specific taste. It was the last to be eaten and the first to be shared. In those days, people still gave out home made treats. There were caramel apples (yummy), bags of peanuts, apples and oranges (ho-hum) and one lady always gave out rice crispy squares. We always made a point of going there early just in case she would run out later in the evening. The funny thing about that house is that all of the kids hated the people that lived there. It was right beside the creek and it seemed that no matter what time of day or year you would go by, they would yell at you. You see, that particular part of the bank was pretty steep and you would need to hold on to the fence or you would fall in the creek. It never occurred to us that we could just step over to the other side just a little ways up stream. That’s why the house was always covered with eggs the next morning. Bless their hearts though; they gave out the crispy squares year after year.
 
When we got older, we realized that apartment buildings were the best return on our effort. It saved a lot of walking. Just around the same time, my friends and I discovered alcohol, drugs and girls. It wasn’t the same of course, we still carried a bag (of weed) and our costume was a tie-dyed t-shirt and patched jeans.

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