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?

 

 

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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: The “Inventions”.

When I was a kid, as I may have mentioned, I went to my grandparents’ house every Tuesday and stayed overnight until Wednesday night. They lived only ten miles away from us, so my Granddaddy actually took me to school on Wednesday morning and picked me up that afternoon. It was some of the best times of my life, being at their house.
Their neighborhood was a friendly, safe place, and I had many friends there, from the other senior citizens and empty-nesters who had lived there for probably forty years, to the kids who lived in the few houses with young-to-middle-aged parents, to the dogs and cats I met along my many walks and explorations of the many streets and cul-de-sacs.
One kid friend I made was my age and I met her when I was in the first grade. Her name was Hope, and looking back on some of the decor I saw in the house, her family was Jewish because I remember asking about where they had their Christmas tree one holiday season and her mom very nicely explained that their religion didn’t have a Christmas tree but had a menorah. Simple as that. That may have been my first exposure to Judaism..anyway, I’m getting off track. So Hope and I would play some afternoons when I was at Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house, and one of our favorite things to do was make “inventions”!
Our “inventions” were just random  collectives of junk culled from her parents’ copious basement  that was LOADED with stuff! We would stack, connect, and string up all sorts of completely unrelated objects into these magnificent Rube Goldberg-esque assemblages that didn’t do a thing, yet Hope and I could come up with explanations for what the inventions did and what part each item of junk played—-we of course had to make her mom and dad come down and look at the new inventions we were unveiling and we would do a big sideshow-style presentation. Good times!
One of the simpler ones I can remember looked a lot like this:
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My Weird Life: Floor Smiley.

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This innocent-looking knothole once got me in a heap big mess of trouble, if just for a minute.

My mom and stepdad recently moved to a new and smaller home, so I am glad I have a pic of this. This knothole resided beneath the kitchen table in their previous home, pretty close to where my mother’s seat was. When Mother first noticed it in the hardwood floor, all hell broke loose.

She was younger and fitter then, and she came tearing into my room and told me to get into the kitchen NOW. Having a healthy respect for parental authority, I obliged, albeit a bit hurriedly. Once we reached the kitchen table, she grabbed my arm and pointed to the floor.

“WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” I heard in my ear, which made it ring.
“What? What? What did I do?” I asked, racking my brain to try to think of any befoulment of the floor I might have committed. I came up with nothing.
“You drew on the floor!!”
Scanning the floor below, I could only shake my head and say,”I don’t know what you’re talking about! I didn’t draw on the floor!” (did she really think I, a college student, was capable of such idiocy?)
She thought I had drawn a smiley face on the floor. When she got down on her knees and inspected it, she realized that it was a knothole and she did apologize.

It became one for the books, an often-told bit of hilarity we remember to this day. The Floor Smiley isn’t the most pleasant smile in the world. It’s almost evil, a little mocking. But still, once you knew it was there, you couldn’t ever not notice it. To really see it you have to see it from far away.

I wonder if the home’s new occupants will ever notice it.