Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In the beginning

     I was born in the mid 70's to a strict military father and a very understanding mother. At the time of my entrance into this world, I had three older sisters, each of whom had a unique way of treating me during my childhood. Five years later, I had two younger brothers, the first of which was only two years younger than I, and it is with my first brother that I shared countless adventures and misfortunes with. This blog will delve into my past experiences and "life-lessons," all of which are either humorous or enlightening, depending upon how you, as the reader, perceives them. There will not be any real order to my stories due to the fact that I often will begin one recollection and find myself reliving a different event entirely. Chock it up to A.D.D. I suppose. ooh, a chicken! Now, if you were anything like I was growing up, you will be able to identify with most of my memories... if you were, on the other hand, a delight to both your parents and teachers, then you will most likely just shake your head upon reading further and wonder why I was allowed to continue in my private world of mischief.
     Its hard to think back to the earliest occasion in which my mental stability was questioned, but I do remember one time when I was living in Fairbanks, AK... It was probably during the month of December, I was about six years old and remember playing outside in front of my house on the Air Force base. I had my first brother with me and two or three other friends from the other side of Base, (none of the kids in my neighborhood were allowed to play with me, according to their mothers anyway) We were "playing in traffic" as my dad had so often told us to do. The snow removal guys had made this huge berm down the middle of the road so that the snow-thrower truck could shoot it into the back of waiting dump-trucks or, if there were woods on the one side of the street, he could just shoot all the snow into them.
     The workers were either on lunch or a union break, either way, they weren't around. So we decided to utilize the berm and proceeded to hollow out spots in it to hide in, kinda like snow-forts. We played for a while until one of the dump-truck drivers came back and told us to clear out because the snow-thrower was coming and that we might get sucked in, chewed up, and shot out into the woods in a spray of pink mess. He grinned at our shocked silence and drove away.
     Instead of heeding the mans warning, I decided that it would be funny to let the snow-thrower driver think that he had indeed sucked one of us into his machine. I took off my hat and threw it into one of the holes we had dug and persuaded my friends to contribute other items of clothing, my brother donated one of his "moon-boots" to our cause. We also buried one of our 'cheepo' plastic sleds, but we needed something more, something that would make a "spray of pink mess" I went into my house to ask my mom if she had any red food coloring, she answered, never turning her attention away from the dirty dishes in the sink, that she only had a small bottle and that I couldn't have it. She did, however, direct my attention to the garage which might contain some paint.
     Now, some of you might be wondering why my mom never thought to inquire as to the reason for my strange request, and I would have to venture the guess that, it wasn't that she didn't care what I was up too, it was that she knew that I was always careful and had a good reason for asking about such things.
     Back to the garage. I searched all sorts and manner of containers and finally came upon a few plastic jugs with the letters ATF on the label. ATF, in this case did not stand for Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, but automatic transmission fluid. In any case, it was red and there was enough for me to complete my joke. I brought it out of the garage and buried it with the sled and clothing. We all sat down on the curb ten feet away and waited. The familiar sound of the big commercial diesel truck caught our attention as we all turned our heads in unison to see the approaching snow-thrower. The driver noticed us all watching intently and smiled as he gave a short blast of his air-horn. We smiled and waved back at the driver just as he overtook our little sled and it was sucked into the blades, along with the ATF and clothing. The sound the sled made as it was churned up and spat out of the shoot made was distinct enough that it directed the drivers attention to the snow coming out of the shoot just as the ATF turned most of the snow pink. He quickly shut down his truck and jumped out, thinking that he had just run over some unlucky kid. At first, we laughed so hard that we had tears in our eyes that quickly froze to our eye lashes. The driver, obviously still in shock, had no idea what to make of the situation. He had just stood there looking into the woods across the street. Upon seeing this, my friends took off to their prospective houses, leaving me and my brother there to explain our "joke" to the driver. We didn't get the chance to explain anything due to the fact that my dad had just turned the corner and was driving home from work. I immediately ran off into the woods across the street with my brother close behind and one boot short.
     I can only imagine what my dad told the driver of the snow-thrower, or if the man ever recovered from the incident, I do remember coming home later, sending my brother in before me, to my dad and his belt... everything gets a little blurry after that. That is what I fondly recall, The snow plow incident.