‘little silhouetto of a man’

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 17, 1976

leave your kid with me for 45 minutes? Are you crazy? The combined total of what I know about taking care of kids is something like ZERO.

Just because I’m working in my dad’s boring office this summer doesn’t mean that if you have an appointment with him, I’m your free babysitter. And you’d think he would have a box of toys or something for these situations, but, as Steve Martin would say, “but NOOOOOO.”

This poor kid today only had one toy with him some little wobbly plastic doll guy, so I put it on the floor and shined a light on the back of him to make it all dramatic. The fun of that only lasted about 49 seconds, and then the kid looked at me like he was thinking “Yeah. What now?”

So I started singing “I see a little silhouetto of a man, skaramoosh, skaramoosh, will you do the fandango,” and he laughed his head off Man. I don’t think he was laughing because he knows that’s a pretty funny song by Queen. I think he was laughing because I gave him my high voice that I’ve only ever used in the shower. Then when I went on he just stared at me. He didn’t laugh again till I sang more high parts — “will not let you go.”

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Published in: on May 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ivy League harmonica

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 19, 1995

asked me what I want to do for a living and I said — play the harmonica. Duh.

She said that’s a nice hobby, but really, you’ll be leaving for college soon and you need to start thinking about what will actually land you an income.

I said Big Mama Thornton didn’t think about what she wanted to do for a living. She just had the blues deep down in her soul. Like me.

She said Big Mama Thornton didn’t get the chance to go to Brown University like you do.

I don’t get why she doesn’t think I could have the blues just because my family can afford to send me to a really good school. The blues isn’t about money.

And besides, she was the one who gave me the harmonica when I was barely old enough to walk. I can’t help it if I got really really good at it.

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Published in: on May 13, 2011 at 10:06 am  Comments (3)  

Nurse’s office

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 24, 1963

always wondered this, but now I can say for sure that it is really really strange to hear your own name called out on the little speaker. Of course I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong to see the principal for, so it did cross my mind that Mom had been in a grisly car accident or something. But no. It was only my sister who needed to be taken home because she had a “belly ache” and they couldn’t reach Mom so they called me in.
I must admit it was fun to take a few hours off school and of course I did milk this thing for all it was worth. One of the things was, at bedtime I said I wasn’t sure I’d be able to sleep due to thinking about how after all the hours and hours of dullness I sat through at this school maybe this woulda been the one afternoon when I was finally about ready to learn something really important that mighta changed my whole life. So she let me stay up late and watch Johnny Carson.

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Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 10:22 am  Comments (1)  

Female criminal

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 1, 1968

new show called the MOD SQUAD and it’s pretty good. It almost makes me want to be an undercover cop. I say almost because my real goal is to become a glamorous criminal, which I hadn’t thought of doing until my uncle gave me a box of comic books from his attic. They’re titled CRIMES BY WOMEN. He said he liked them when he was about my age and I said why did you like them if they’re about girls? and he said he liked girls so why wouldn’t he want to read about everything they did, even crimes?
I have to admit some of the stories are pretty corny but they also gave me ideas about how I could pull off some capers. When I was little I watched Dragnet and learned that you can only get caught if you have eyewitnesses OR you leave some blood at the scene and it’s not the victim’s blood type which doesn’t really matter to me since I’m not intending to hurt anyone anyway. I just want to get a lot of money for fast cars and a cool pad where I can throw parties and if it has a sunken living room and a swimming pool then that’s all the better. And I’d like to wear a diamond tiara to the parties and hold a long cigarette holder. The truth is that smoke makes my eyes hurt so I won’t light the cigarettes. I just like the way Audrey Hepburn looked when she carried one around.
Also if someone needs revenge, like in the movie CAT BALLOU the way Jane Fonda was all mad about someone killing her father. Jane Fonda got her own gun but I know some girls who wouldn’t do that — I could help them with those kinds of problems.

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Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Give us a smile

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 29, 1965

 ‘Those kids in your class are not so friendly looking.’
She said ‘They weren’t really so bad. We just had to sit there a long, long time that day in our good clothes and it took the place of our playtime (I think she meant recess), so they were quite fed up.’
Leave it to my grandma to say something nice about people who didn’t look like they deserved the benefit of the doubt.
I told her she was the only one smiling, and she picked up her little glasses on a stick and looked at it again and said, ‘No, look, that lass in the middle is trying to smile.’
I said, ‘Don’t you remember her name?’ but she said it was almost 50 years ago and she’s met a lot of people since then and you can’t remember everybody’s name.
She grew up in the country of England so I asked her if she knew Benjamin Disraeli, which is a guy we studied in school, but she said he was a little before her time. So I told her he was a prime minister AND he wrote romance books. In History, I asked Mrs. Belman and she said none of our U.S. presidents have done that. I told grandma that our president, Mr. Lyndon Johnson, doesn’t look like he ever had a romantic thought in his life, but she said, ‘Oh, I don’t know. You might be surprised.’

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Published in: on May 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Sibling rivalry

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 18, 1980

been two weeks since he got mad at me at the dinner table. I was minding my own business eating, and he said “when you take a bite you always drag your fork along the top of your teeth and the sound is getting on my nerves.”

I actually tried not to do it for a while but I guess I did it again because he started screaming and he got up from the table and I found out later he got a magic marker from my pencil can and scribbled it all over my Led Zeppelin poster that you can’t even find any more and I’ve been offered $100 for it by Tim, even though I would NEVER sell it.

I was waiting for my revenge. I told him he didn’t know when it was coming, but that he would pay like he’s never paid before, when he leasts expects it — and maybe more than once.

So today was my first one. He came home from fishing and he was toweling off his legs because he and Clem went wading in the muddy river bottom. So I told him that a towel wasn’t going to get off the microscopic little aquatic fleas he must have crawling around on his skin. He acted like he didn’t care, but he went up to the shower pretty fast. Meanwhile I went to the encyclopedia and bookmarked a picture of the Cladocera aquatic flea. He came down all clean and I said, “You think a shower is going to get those things off you? They can cling to your leg hairs.” He said “no way, they can’t hang on after I washed with soap.”

So I showed him all the tendrils on the Cladocera, and told him he might want to think about shaving his legs. He said no way. I said “ok, but if you look at the fine print, you’ll see that the Cladocera is a crustacean. And look, he even has tendrils coming out of his nostrils!”

And sure enough, by the end of the day, HE SHAVED HIS LEGS! Because I’m good at revenge, and the sooner everyone learns that, the better off they’ll be.

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Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm  Comments (3)  

Chick-a-boom

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 25, 1971

and he did ask for a more mod suit to wear to college dances. A darker blue would’ve been better, but at least now maybe he will get rid of the plaid one he usually wears, which makes  him look as dopey as Grandpa Johnson. (OF COURSE he will still look like a weirdo with that dumb mustache). But until he unwrapped his presents this morning I didn’t know he also asked Grandma for the stupidest 45 ever recorded, namely Chick-a-Boom. I could’ve told him about ten thousand records that would be so much less embarrassing to take to the dorm, but he heard that song on my transistor and he kept talking about it. Ick.

Now the whole family is walking around like a line of drunken chorus girls singing Chick a boom chick a boom don’t you jus love it. With Uncle Harold singing the ooh ahh part. I think I might die.

I must admit there was one thing that made me laugh. Grandma Johnson (in her polka dot dress) volunteered to sing the first verse, and it’s pretty funny to see her holding an ice cream scoop up to her mouth like a microphone and singing “Last night I had a crazy dream about a chick in a black bikini.”

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Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm  Comments (4)  

‘In Heaven There is No Beer’

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 2, 1979

then she admitted that I’d be the youngest guy there. But she hadn’t gone anywhere since grandpa died, and she didn’t want to go alone. A big dilemma if you ask me. Plus when I said yes I didn’t even know the band would have an ACCORDION player. It was practically like the polka shows you see on TV on Sunday afternoons.

For a while I was just sitting at a table with her but then some guy (younger than her!) came over and asked her to dance.

I got bored. Started wandering around seeing if I could spot some lady with white hair who might like the thrill of dancing with me, ha ha ha. Then I found one who looked like Aunty Em from the Wizard of Oz. But she said no thank you son. Son?

Then the band played this song called In Heaven There is No Beer That’s Why We Drink it Here. It wasn’t the worst song I ever heard and it made me think dancing would really beat walking around. So I asked another old lady but this one had brown hair and she said SURE. Ended up having some laughs. I hope the Aunty Em lady saw us and realized she made a big fat mistake by turning me down.

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Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm  Comments (1)  

Two redheads named Ron

Handwritten page of a diary dated November 23, 2001

get a plum spot to watch the parade and it’s a gorgeous day and everything is good until Zeke sees the tear in Ronald McDonald’s arm, and goes berserk. That’s all he talked about for weeks was seeing Ronald. And now this.

It started when he was asking why there aren’t any famous people with red hair. Prince Harry, Ben on the Waltons, Carrot Top, Oapie on Andy Griffith, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Bonaduce, Molly Ringwald, Donna on That 70s Show. Nothing impressed him. Not even Nicole Kidman. He saw a preview of Moulin Rouge and he said she’s pretty, but he’s never heard of her. I finally quieted him down by showing him a picture of Ronald McDonald.

Now, since the AMPUTATION, the only thing left I can do is to take him to see the new movie ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ because I heard the kid who plays Ron has red hair.

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Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Afraid of a Band-aid

Handwritten page of a diary dated September 1, 1990

SUPPOSEDLY dating some new girl from West High, but we hadn’t even seen her and were starting to wonder if she really existed.

The two of them go on this trip into the city and he comes back with this photo he took while they were waiting for the train.

Most of the guys were all kinda moaning over her great legs except two —

Hunter said if you take a picture of a female from the short skirt on down then you are just objectifying her. We think he said that because Melissa was there at the time and Hunter wanted to sound like a sensitive new age guy.

And Barry. Well Barry was all flipping out because the girl was wearing a Bandaid on her foot (which no one else noticed but him) (he thinks Bandaids are completely gross and ever since we found one floating in the James Park pool last June, he won’t even go swimming with us any more).

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Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm  Comments (2)