Saturday, September 23, 2006

Some Kid Stuff

Things I was not into as a kid (in no particular chronological order):

  • Those girly patty-cake games. Please. I was reminded of these by one of my favorite bloggers, who seems to have enjoyed them. I was bored crazy after about 10 seconds, and could never get my patty-cake partner to go faster, or change to a crazy samba beat.
  • Thrill seeking. Some things never change.
  • Nancy Drew. Come on. She was a major Nancy.
  • That girl who went down the rabbit hole. Who was she? Alice. Yeah. I didn’t buy that whole scene.
  • Swimming. My brother and sister were great swimmers. I couldn’t see crap without my glasses, and felt completely out of control in swim class. Plus one of my teachers caught me trying to sneak into class without taking a (freezing cold) shower first and made an example of me to the rest of the class. That sort of treatment just exacerbates my personality quirks, if you know what I mean.
  • Tether ball. Fabulously popular in the grade schools I attended. I would have loved playing it if I had been any good at it. Ditto for kick ball and baseball. Ball games were never my forte. Balls just never went where I thought they should have.
  • Dodge ball. Who invented that, anyway? A guy for sure. (Fo sho.) I was great at dodging balls, which meant that I was always the last one left on the floor. Unfortunately, I could barely throw a ball past the center line of the gym, let alone throw hard enough to get somebody out. That left me out on the floor by myself, dodging, dipping, ducking, diving, and dodging, while the rest of my team (who obviously had picked me last) sat on the sidelines, begging me to just take one in the gut so they could get back up and play another game. It made for some awkward standoffs.

Things I liked when I was a kid.

  • Our family’s wiener dog, Fritzy.
  • My friend Sally’s gerbil, Tilly. I always wanted to take her out and play with her, but that was not allowed. Dammit, and damn their fascist rules.
  • Dancing to the Monkees on Sally’s mom and dad’s stereo. Groovy. When we got tired of the Monkees (does one ever really get tired of the Monkees?), we would listen to her parents’ Roger Miller albums (“Trailers for sale or rent, roooooms to let, fifty cents…”).
  • Watching the Monkees on TV. How many times over the years did Sally and I reenact the opening walking-funny scene, or the running up to the waves and running away scene? TV magic, and funny every time when you are 6.
  • Playing the maracas in grade school music class when the teacher passed around the big box of sticks, tambourines and other, lamer percussion instruments. I remember once being so into my maraca music that I hadn't noticed that the rest of the class had quit playing some time ago and were all looking at me.
  • The Boy’s Adventure Series by Willard Price. Books like Elephant Adventure, South Sea Adventure, and my favorite, Amazon Adventure. I had the baby hots for Hal, one of the adventuring brothers. After reading Volcano Adventure, I decided to become a volcanologist. What happened to that dream? Probably something to do with the thrill seeking issue…
  • Going to the mom & pop store up the road for candy. Duh.
  • Finger painting. What’s not to like? Messy. Arty. You can’t make a bad finger painting.
  • Wile E. Coyote and that crazy road runner.
  • A. A. Milne. NOT the Disney version. The original books by A. A. Milne were funny, breezy, and ever so British. And I did tend to identify with a certain mild mannered and stuttery Very Small Animal, who always had one eye open for Heffalumps.
  • The comic strip Tumbleweeds. Look it up. Very funny, if not so politically correct anymore.
  • Leg warmers. They were like an advertisement that you were a serious dancer, like in Flashdance. I hear they're coming back. Awesome!
  • Spelling Bees, at which I kicked ass. In your face, dodgeball players!

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