Shag carpet, bad wallpaper, pumas, pole lamps, giant black ashtrays in a stand with a lighter attached, bean bag chairs, lava lamps, bell bottoms, black dial phone, transistor radio on the fridge, homemade popsicles, Kool-Aid, matchbooks jammed in behind the channel changer, Salisbury steak, console stereos, mustang bikes, matador statues, doctors making house calls, smoking everywhere, leaving your kids in the car in the bar parking lot, riding in the back of a pickup truck, tree forts, wallpaper, ball hockey, spankings..
I was relating a story to a friend the other day of a time when I was around five years old. I've never been a bully except for this brief period in my life (well maybe a couple other times--but usually I got bullied)-- for some reason even though I would call this kid my friend, I felt strangely compelled to pick on him. His mother was Japanese and she used to have these delicious tea candies that were wrapped in clear, sweet rice paper that actually melted in your mouth. Even though he wasn't allowed to have them, I used to force him to sneak into his house to steal a handful...if he said, "No", I would pick on him until he did.
After one such occasion, I came through the back door of my house and Mom immediately said to me, "You were picking on Jackie, weren't you?" To which I replied (fearing for my life), "No I wasn't." Mom instantly retorted with the classic, "Don't lie to me, mister!" For the life of me I couldn't figure out how she knew (Jackie's Mom had called). I couldn't swallow because of the lump in my throat, my eyes welled up with tears and I felt sick inside... it was the first time I got busted lying.
That really wasn't the story I wanted to tell though but it sort of sets up the next horror, I'm shocked and appalled that I could even come up with something so diabolical. Jackie and I were playing in the ditch one day--way back when there were ditches. I had an Export "A" tobacco can and the grass, water and mud mixed together made this completely putrid smelling concoction. Mixing it together in the can, I forced him to eat some by telling him I wouldn't be his friend anymore if he didn't. With friends like that...who needs 'em? Anyway, grimacing he forced some down (because of course you'd want to hang on to a friend like me) and after he did, I told him he was going to die in two weeks...what the?? I still wonder to this day where I came up with that and how I could be so cruel.
I don't know if he remembers the event at all but he who laughs last, laughs best. Jackie grew up to be world famous Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker...and me? Painting company...not that there's anything wrong with that..
Jimmy "Neil Young" Fallon has turned his attention to another lyrical masterpiece: Pants On The Ground, the bizarre song American Idol contestant Larry Platt energetically busted out on the show last week. (With the gold in your mouth/hat turned sideways/pants hit the ground/call yourself a cool cat/lookin like a fool/walkin downtown with your pants on the ground..