Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good ole childhood memories!

I started thinking a little bit about when I was in grade school today and I started to remember the good parts of it, most of which took place outside of school and all of which involved my Dad, my younger brother Earl, and me.
Earl is 2 years younger than me. I spent the majority of my childhood playing with him, usually games involving his set of Hot Wheels cars and this huge rug we had designed to look like a race track. He used to build all sorts of playsets with his Legos and because we really liked this one show called Theodore Tugboat, he built an entire set of every single character on the show (which there were many of) and because he had blue carpeting in his room, it made for a believable sea.
My favorite game when I was younger (and still today) involved my Dad and me teasing and poking fun at Earl. Back then, he didn't take insults well and usually cried while my Dad and me laughed at him and continued to joke around.
One of our favorite games to play involved the three of us going to an open house on Sunday. It was called Earl's New Bedroom. Basically, we would wander around the house until we found the smallest, most cramped room and declare it Earl's bedroom. This room was usually found in the basement and in most cases, had to be wet, dingy, and smelly. If this closet had a door, my Dad would push Earl in and slam the door shut, the two of us propped up against the door laughing away as Earl pounded and shrieked at the top of his lungs to be let out. Dad let him out a minute or so later and Earl would stomp up the stairs in fury. And all of the other potential home buyers there would be absolutely horrified.
Another variation of this game was played when we went walking through the alleys at night. We would pick the smellest, most trash collected dumpster and declare it Earl's new home.

Among many other things we did during my childhood included pushing Earl down a snow covered hill pretty much every winter when we went sledding, taking bites out of his food when he wasn't looking, and stepping on his back when he was lying on the floor watching TV to crush his bones.
A personal favorite was when we went on 10pm walks in the neighborhood. Usually we came to a stoplight of some sort and at this point, Earl's shoelace was always undone. While he bent to tie it, the light would turn green and my Dad and me would sprint across the street without waiting for Earl. He would be stuck waiting at the red light and we, far on the other end of the steet, would be in someone's front lawn hiding in their bushes while Earl would come running up in tears. We would then sneak out of the bushes and jump him and after screaming at us, would give everybody the silent treatment the whole way home.
But a mainstay was always when we went to the bookstore. Earl did not like these trips because my Dad and I could easily spend 4+ hours in a bookstore and emerge totally refreshed while Earl consistently counted down the minutes until we could go.
So anytime we would leave on our journeys Dad would ask Earl, "Are you sure you don't want to come?"
"Are you going to another bookstore?" Earl would ask, his voice slightly hopeful that we would be heading for a toy store instead.
"Yes." Dad replied.
"No, I'm sick of bookstores. They're boring." Earl would say back, his 8 year old voice full of repulsion.
"Alright." Dad would sneak a wink at me, "You never know what might happen if you don't come along."
That was the key line. Usually when my Dad and I did things together, just the 2 of us, we would go out to eat. We went to a variety of places but none of them enraged Earl more than getting McDonald's breakfast. We would come home with leftover orange juice cups and Earl would burst into tears upon seeing us, causing my Mom to lecture both of us on not including him.
"But I gave him the choice! I told him he'd miss something if he didn't come along!" Dad insisted.
This got even worse during Monopoly season.

Love to you all,

No comments: