||[Jun. 26th, 2010|03:19 pm]
The Question Club
There was a yard in my childhood neighborhood with a real live train engine reposing in the back. The old fashioned kind, black and cartoonish looking and irresistible. Amazing that; an actual train in some very lucky someone's back yard. After great (5 minutes of) consideration and no forethought whatsoever, we three neighbor kids decided that we were going to climb over the fence and investigate this wondrous machine, up close and personal. Why we didn't wait till nightfall I do not know but at 7 years of age, thinking things out to their conclusion is not a priority. SEIZE THE DAY! said we. And seize the day, we did.|
In quick order, we scoured the alleyway and managed to find a chunk of wood to prop against the fence and up and over we went. Giggling like a bunch of school girls (and we were) we crept up to the train and marveled at its intricacy. The black metal gleaming dully in the noonday sun, the controls beckoning us to venture up into the cab. Not one to give in to impulses, I pushed the others aside and was the first to leap up onto the deck to survey the nerve center of this most wondrous of conveyances and commenced to *toot toot tooting* and calling out in a high-pitched girlie voice ‘All aboard!’ forgetting for the nonce that I was ILLEGALLY in some stranger's yard merrily waving an invisible conductor's hat and causing my friends to convulse in fits of laughter.
Suddenly, in the direction of the house behind, there came a loud crash of a screen door hitting clapboard and a booming raspy voice screeching out ‘What's going on out there?’ We froze like deer in the headlights at the sight of a corpulent hirsute woman on the back porch waving an egg flipper. Even though it was noonish, we could see the alcohol waves emanating off of her like a cartoon hobo and took note that she looked somewhat less than happy. Her stockings were bunched around her fat knees and her armpit-stained house dress was as wrinkled as her time-worn face, bloated with drink and sleep. Large curlers were askew on the sides of her head and great tufts of grey hair stuck out at all angles. She was a scary sight for seven year old eyes and we knew that our very lives depended on flight because this woman was pissed, in more ways than one.
Affixing us with her rheumy bloodshot eyes and waving her spatula, the shrieking monster started down the back steps toward us. Jumping down from the train as one, we made a mad dash for the fence. The fence with no handy piece of wood to stand on. Scraping the rough boards with our nails trying to find purchase on the fence, we were doomed. The slap slap slapping of her carpet slippers were heard on the walkway and she was rounding the corner of the hedge and came barreling down the home stretch. With imminent death looking us in the eye, there seemed no other recourse but for me to morph into The Bionic Girl and sacrificing my own life so that my friends could live another day, I cupped my hands, took their feet and CATAPULTED the two remaining girls into the mystic. They landed in a crumpled heap on the other side and were screaming ‘hurry hurry!’ but to no avail because the ogre had reached the fence and grabbed me up by my skinny arm in a death grip and a snarl. My friends listened wide-eyed on the other side as the cacophony of yelling and smacking commenced.
Don’t. (thwhack) EVER (thwhack) Come in my (thwackity-thwack) Yard. Again.
Whimpering and calling fruitlessly to their wailing friend, they were at a loss on how to help me until one got the bright idea to pick up chunks of dirt and LOB them over the fence hoping to blind the beast long enough so that I could make my escape. As I was frantically windmilling my arms trying to get the monster off of me and leaping up, my fingers found purchase at the top of the fence. To their relief, over the edge of the fence two little hands appeared and then a dirty tear-stained face. Grabbing the piece of wood to stand on, they got hold of my arms and pulled with all their might and I tumbled to the ground in a heap. We ran down the alley with the monster’s shrill voice ringing in our ears and regrouped behind the safe enclaves of a large hedge. It was then that I noticed the cold clammy sensation on my legs. It seems that in the ensuing getaway, the intrepid hero had managed to pee herself. But then, nobody could have really faulted me for that as I had after all, taken on the ogre and come out victorious and for that I was held on a pedestal and went down in the annals of history for all time.
So...was I a hero or just a sobbing urine-stained 7 year old?