Halloween Countdown 2017: My Vintage Toy Horn!

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Meet a delightful old 1970s  toy of mine (which I actually might have stolen from one of my older brothers, now I think about it), a jolly little pumpkin horn! It’s pretty much a bicycle horn, and even after all these years, the rubber that makes up the bulb is still like new and it works great!! Beep Beep!

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What Day is it? Pet Rock Day!

 

With Sunday being Pet Rock Day,I have something really special to show y’all.😃

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I may have shown a pic of this earlier, when I got some boxes of stuff from my Mother’s house.

This is Scooter, one of a bunch of pet rocks I painted one summer at my grandparents’ house, probably in the late 70s or early 80s. He is the only one remaining; I have no idea what happened to the others,but I had a matched couple named Harold and Maude, an orange one called Orang Julius, and a violet-colored one named Rumplestilkin, among many others. All of them followed this general design of having a cute face at one end, and a body covered with flowers, leaves or a geometric design.

Scooter became a constant companion and traveled in my purse to school in a miniature aqua-colored  backpack a friend  gave me that fit him perfectly. I even took him out at night and put him in a doll bed on my bookshelf❤. When my parents got divorced, he got hastily packed up in my stuff.

Today, Scooter sits in a place of honor on my desk, holding down important small notes. He is very much worn from years of love, but I know he will outlive me, and whomever takes custody of him next. Who knows how old the rock is from which he is made?

 

 

My Weird Life: Operations on Lunchroom Food.

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So whaddaya do when you’re a fifth grader, the lunchroom food is pretty manky, and you have twenty more minutes of lunch period? You entertain yourself. And others.

Somewhere around the middle of my grade school years it was accepted all around our grade that I was pretty strange, and while some people relentlessly tormented me for it, some kids (whose friendship I still treasure to this day) embraced it.
One such method of displaying my bizarreness was how, when we were stuck in the lunchroom with a tray of congealing food, I initiated a way to pass the time: “Operations” on the food we didn’t really want to finish. Or start. Don’t get me wrong, we had some good stuff some days. Other days it was..well..not too inedible. I guess all school lunchroom meals can be hit-or-miss.
We began by choosing a couple of nurses. I was the chief surgeon but I did let others take over if the patient needed it. The “patient” was usually a chicken breast or Salisbury steak that I had quickly dug a hole into and hidden a pea or piece of corn or something. After I had my nurses, they covered the patient with a clean napkin and cut a hole for me to operate through. We also put napkins over our faces for “masks” if we could get them around our mouths and noses. Then someone had to play the life support machines; usually one or two kids in on the joke would lean over and make consistent beeping noises. I think we also had someone being the breathing machine. Then the surgery would commence. I would cut into the patient again with my (dull cafeteria-grade) knife,after asking for the instrument in official surgical fashion:
“Scalpel!”.
Then it was put into my hand by a nurse.”Scalpel.”
Forks were also stand-ins for scalpels, and eventually I removed the “growth” that was the hidden pea or corn kernel. Many congratulations went around and the “patient” made a swift recovery. (We did let the patient die once, just to change things up).
Needless to say, it was typical dark-humored fun for me and my colleagues, but one day a teacher saw what we were doing and of course made us stop.
Alas, what might I have been had I allowed to continue honing my surgical skills?

 

My Weird Life: E.T. Dolly!

When I was in sixth grade, our classes had to participate in an “assembly”…or rather, the school play. The theme was America from its birth to the current time,which would have been 1983. The time is important because E.T. : The Extra Terrestrial came into theatres the past year. I was rather afraid the first time I saw the movie and E.T.; later, I saw the movie again and truly embraced him. I asked for anything E.T. that my parents could find for Christmas. I received shoelaces, a windup figure, the E.T. Light-Up Finger, trading card packs,and the best present of all, an E.T. doll.

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This is not my actual toy–mine is packed away, because he is disintegrating. The fake leather material these toys are made from is a fabric covered in a leathery coating that cracks and falls away after a couple of decades in certain cases. My dolly was very much loved and cherished, so he got worn out much faster.

When my elementary peers and I were in this “America” school play, we all had to participate in the opening number, which was pretty spectacular for a bunch of grade school kids, if I do say so myself. To the tune of Neil Diamond’s “America”, we marched into the lunchroom(where our stage was) in an orderly procession to take our places on the risers beside the stage. We were all dressed as immigrants from countries all over the world, carrying packs and suitcases, and in some cases, babies. The teachers instructed some of us girls to carry baby dolls, wrapped up in shawls and blankets.

I didn’t own a baby doll; I couldn’t stand them. I had dozens of beloved stuffed toys, but no baby doll. Still, I wanted to participate in this for some reason. So I took the most babylike-proportioned toy I had, and swaddled him thusly:

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I proudly carried my “baby” in the school play and only one or two teachers knew his true identity.😄