Once upon a time, some months ago, the spud and Fred were watching a movie wherein some characters were smoking pot, and she asked Fred what they were doing, and he told her "Smoking weed." Which she misunderstood as "Smoking wheat." Since then, Fred and I, predictably, have referred to smoking pot – when seen in movies – as "Smoking the wheat." Here’s a picture of Tubby, after he spent some time sniffing the kitty wheat contained in that sock he’s laying on. Sniffin' da wheat

He looks pretty wasted, doesn’t he? That’s our Tubby, the drug kingpin of BitchyLand.

So it’s Spring Break for the spud, and since she threw such a huge temper tantrum about not wanting to go to camp this summer (I don’t recall if I ever told y’all about that), I also didn’t sign her up for the Spring Break session they have, and as a result, she’s bored, bored, bored. When you were a kid and you were bored, did you expect your parents to entertain you? No, I didn’t think so. I avoided telling my Mom I was bored, because she’d either find something for me to do (never anything fun, trust me), or she’d make the ever-popular suggestion "Why don’t you go out and run around the block?"

One summer, Debbie and I were home alone most of the day for at least part of the week, and lordy, didn’t we manage to have fun. We had a decrepit old riding lawnmower we enjoyed riding around the lawn, and I somehow lost control of the lawnmower one day and went into my Mom’s garden (the one by the steps, Deb, remember?) and since the blade was going, a handful of plants got chopped to bits. Debbie helped me pick up the bricks around the outside of the garden, and helped me pick up the chopped bits of flowers, and if Mom ever noticed, she never said anything.

Speaking of the riding lawnmower, we sometimes used it to haul wood from one side of the yard to the other (no, we’re not talking any great distance, but it kept us entertained, so hush up), and one brisk Fall day we were hauling wood – or maybe something else, I don’t really recall – and the end of the scarf I was wearing got caught in the engine and instead of the engine stopping, it continued to pull the scarf in, and naturally I had the scarf knotted tightly around my neck, and instead of doing the normal thing, like turning off the lawnmower I just sat there and let the engine yank my head closer and closer, and just as my nose touched the engine casing, the engine ground to a halt. Have I mentioned that I’m useless in an emergency?

So my Dad came and helped me escape from the evil lawnmower engine, and Debbie expressed her concern (even then she was a nice gal), and I went inside to recover from the shakes which had overcome me, and I showed my Mom the mangled scarf which my Dad had pulled from the engine, and her exact words were "Oh, JESUS CHRIST, Robyn!"

Oh, and then of course there was the time I was hauling wood by myself, and as I went down the hill I was afraid the little trailer would come forward and, well, I’m not sure why I didn’t want the little trailer to come forward, but I didn’t, so I put my right hand back to hold it back, and it came forward as I reached back and smooshed my right index finger between the trailer and the back of the lawnmower, and it was smooshed so badly I could see bone (well, almost), so I sat on the front steps waiting for my mother to get home from work, and when she did, I held up my bloody, nasty-looking, extremely painful finger, and through tears told her I’d hurt my finger, and what was her loving motherly response?


What else sort of trouble did we get into, Deb? Oh, there’s the time when I was 15 and had my permit, and we wanted to take Tracy’s car – which Mom and Dad were storing for him – joyriding, and I started it up, but couldn’t figure out how to get it in gear (I found out later that Dad took the top of the gearshift, the part with the little map on it, off and hid it somewhere, isn’t that mean?), and I had the clutch in, and the car went forward about five feet, and then we couldn’t get it back where it was, so you called Dennis and Ricky, and they ran up the street and pushed it back into place for us, thankyajesus.

And of course, let’s not forget the time Mom and Dad went out to eat, and (I still only had my permit) we took the car out joyriding, and we were cruising by some guy (was it Tony whatshisface, Kerry’s boyfriend?) and I wasn’t paying attention, didn’t stop at the stop sign where 196 veers off to the right from School Street, and someone almost hit us, and I kept driving, and they came right up on our ass, and I kept saying "I think it’s a cop! I think it’s a cop!" and you peered out the back window and said "It’s not! It’s not a cop!" and we gave up and went home, where Randy and Sandy were watching TV and eating miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups from the freezer. Then y’all were downstairs watching TV or something, and I was upstairs alone, and the cops came and I met them at the door, and they pointed at the car and said someone had reported it as running a stop sign, and I smiled calmly at them and LIED to them, I LIED to the cops, I flat-out LIED TO THEM and said "No, it’s been in the driveway all night" and they shrugged and left.

Then when Mom and Dad got home, I told them the cops had stopped by and said someone reported the car as having run a stop sign, and Mom immediately thought it was a someone trying to set Randy up, and Dad shook his head, but after that he always locked the keys to the car in their room when they went out. And Mom told Randy what had happened, and he came in my room and said "The cops were really here?" And I nodded, and he said "Did you run a stop sign?" And I smiled and nodded, and he said "What did you tell the cops?" and I said "I told them it was in the driveway the whole evening" and he looked kind of impressed, even as he pointed out that "They could have just touched the car, and felt that it was still warm." But they didn’t, because – let’s be honest – I’m sure they didn’t much give a flying fuck.

Oh, and the time you asked me to forge an excuse for you for a day when you’d skipped school, and I did only after you swore you’d never give me up if you got caught, and you DID get caught, and you never said a word, because you were so much more honorable than I, and I would probably have rolled over on you in half a second if the situations were reversed.

What other interesting childhood experiences am I forgetting, Deb?

Today’s ride down Memory Lane is now concluded. Please put your tray tables up and make sure your seat backs are in an upright position. Remain seated until the Captain has turned off the seatbelt light. Thank you for flying Bitchypoo Airlines, and please take a complimentary Coke on your way out. Buh-bye, now!