Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Was A Weird Kid

Near Christmas, in 1966, when I was four, I threw a fit that became a family legend. Now I don't actually remember this event, I was only four, but hey, would my family lie to me?

Around Christmas we usually visited both sets of grandparents to exchange gifts and such.

This time we had gone to visit my maternal grandparents in Jena, Louisiana.

Legend states that my grandparents had bought me a flashlight. They had bought my Dad a nice, work-worthy flashlight, and me a regular one. I still love flashlights.

Anyway, they had wrapped my flashlight in a Nabisco Crackers Box.

When I ripped the Christmas paper off, and saw the cracker box, I "allegedly" started crying like a crack baby and yelled out "I DON'T WANT NO BOX OF CRACKERS! WHAAAA!"

Of course, they had to calm the crybaby down enough to get him to open the cracker box and see that there was a flashlight in there instead of crackers.

Naturally, every Christmas, someone has to dust of the "Box of Crackers" story along with the Christmas decorations and it is retold.

And. Every couple of years, some family wisenheimer sends me a Christmas gift in a saltines box.

Another (possibly spurious) story that gets told about me was when I was around three, maybe four.

We were living in Olla, Louisiana at the time.

My parents had some friends over for a cookout and I (according to legend) was hanging out outside with the men-folk. We were by Dad's grill as he readied things for the charring of some animal flesh.

My Dad always, as I do now myself, cut a small slit in each hot dog, lengthwise. As they would cook and plump up, the hot dogs would open up and he would spoon or brush in barbecue sauce. The grilled hot dogs with the barbecue sauce cooked right in there? Mmmmmm.

Anyway, apparently I was watching the cutting of the hot dogs with a very serious facial expression.
My Dad asked, "Ready for a hot dog?"
I shook my head to say "No."
Dad, "Why not?"
Me, "'Cause I don't like 'em cutted down the front."

Which everyone seemed to find quite funny. Consequently, every cookout while growing up, required the retelling of this story.

Strange, but I don't remember this either.

When I was a kid and we would by school supplies, I just loved it!

All of those perfect no. 2 pencils.

Unopened packs of looseleaf paper.

Three ring binders where the circle thingies weren't yet bent and their two ends still lined up perfectly.

Ahhh! The good old days.

But the best part was the brand new box of Crayola Crayons. Unblemished tips.

Their smell!

The first few years of school I got the basic box of 8.

Then later 16, and look! 24.

But there were always some kids in class whose parents bought them the much coveted box of 64 Crayolas.

That box had a built-in crayon sharpener! Wow!

I had finally learned the bitter taste of outright jealousy!

But. Alas. I never got one.

And I wondered. Does my Sainted Mother really love me?

Then a number of years ago I shared this gaping hole in my fragile psyche with my family.

And, that year, I opened a Christmas present from Big Sis, and what did my eyes behold?!

Yes! A box of 64 Crayolas, WITH the built in sharpener! (Way cooler and more meaningful than, say, a Keith Urban DVD :)

And I was finally able to check that one off my "Before I Die..." list.

Of course, I had two young daughters at the time, so I never actually used the crayons myself, but just having owned a box was enough for me.

This is a pic of me and Dad with our new flashlights on "Box Of Crackers" day. I seem to have calmed down a tad.

1 comment:

Marsha (Big Sis) said...

Yes, the old "cracker box" story! I was there and it is true! Also, until I got married, I never had a hot dog that wasn't "cutted down the front". On the subject of the crayons, I too always longed for the ellusive box of 64 w/ the built in sharpener. To this day, I still have never received one. It's still on my "things before I die" list. Hey, but I've touched & rubbed Keith Urban scruff, so I guess it is a trade off. Oh and also, at what point are you going to quit putting pictures on here that make me cry? I'm blubbering right now as I type this seeing that picture of you and Daddy!