Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feeling a Tad Deflated

I don't have a lot of notable childhood memories, the memories that make great stories for the grandkids or random people at the grocery store. I'm not repressing much anymore, at least not that I recall (two...three...four...)...

When I was young I had a few close friends, but sometimes they weren't around, and once I started getting bussed across the city for school, some of my friends just lived too far away to play with outside of school unless I wanted to take a three-transfer, two hour city bus ride. This meant that sometimes, I was relegated to playing with the scabby, smelly, dirty kid next door.

He was scaly to the point where I, being perpetually OCD about weird stuff like that, hated being around him. He needed to be scrubbed for an extended period with an SOS pad and bleach. Couple that with the fact that they were dangerous as a family, litigation-happy before it became a trend and an advertising boon for the local media, and my parents had numerous run-ins with them. However, Stosh had two older sisters, and as we discussed in a previous post, I've had crushes on girls since I was a wee child.

One day, Stosh's (or Stashew, depending on what his parents elected to call him that day) parents dragged him over to my house the day after we were climbing through weeds and running around in the alley to accuse me of burning him with cigarettes. We had, of course, found random butts in the alley, burned down to the fuzz of the filter and long-abandoned. However, nothing was lit, and I certainly wouldn't get close enough to him to touch him, so I have no idea how he got burned. I believe he got a beating for accusing me.
Cut to a few months later, when Stosh's parents had finally filled their entire yard with cars that no longer ran. Instead of trading in an old clunker for a new one, his parents just saved the old ones, big '70's Catalinas and Safaris and Country Squires, until the yard was a hazard for anyone and everyone. The one thing these cars had going for them were their tires, still in good shape and holding air.
...Until Stosh and I decided to let the air out of all of them, four or five cars worth.

Later that afternoon, we find Stosh and parents at my front porch again, this time accusing me of letting the air out of their tires, when they had just arranged for a junk yard to tow them all away (read as:)
How dare I?

Of course I, buoyed by my previous innocence in the face of my parents and his, claimed innocence again. Hey, it was true last time, and I was still, at ten years old, offended by the previous incendiary accusation, so I figured I deserved this one.

As such, Stosh spent the rest of his post-beating afternoon with our little bicycle pump, refilling all of the tires on those five-ton hulking bits of steel. I did, at one point, tell my parents that maybe, perhaps, I should go and help him, but since my parents wanted an explanation for my apparent feelings of guilt, I found it best just to drop the subject altogether.

There it is. Confession builds character, but immediate confession builds upper body strength. I feel better for having admitted that.

Good times.


Harmony said...

We had neighbors like that too. An observation I had made about them, was that they mixed peas and corn into every single meal they ate. Man that irked me beyond belief. Which is pretty sad, considering our diets was mainly made up of Oatmeal. Blah!

Elliott said...

I honestly have no idea what they mixed into their food, we were, as a general rule, forbidden from ever entering their house, for fear we be sued for breaking or stealing something.

Be nice and share!

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