be on time for dinner

I got to thinking about playing in the street when I was a kid , not to mention running around in the canyons that at that time were still unroaded and undeveloped wilderness. There was one rule : BE ON TIME FOR DINNER , and beyond that we kids seem to have been pretty much totally unsupervised from the time we got home from school until dinner time . Them was the old days .

Not that we didn’t get in some scrapes from time to time . For example , the younger brother of a friend of mine ( my “best friend” ) stuck pebbles up his nose and then couldn’t get them out . Don’t ask me why he stuck rocks up his nose . I don’t remember . I probably didn’t know why  way back then when it happened , either . Why did we kids do certain things like that ? It probably seemed like fun at the moment . As a friend of mine recently said : To be old and wise you had to have been young and stupid .

So we took this kid over to Dr. Martini’s office . Dr. Martini was the local pediatrician and the local neighborhood stupid- kid emergency room .

One day my best friend was hit just above the eye with the brass end of a garden hose . That incident , in the end , took a few stitches . We all walked the guy over to Dr. Martini’s office . Dr. Martini had us all line up for a bird’s eye view when he poked the needle into the boy’s flesh and sewed up the kid’s face . He didn’t ask us why we had been recklessly  swinging a garden hose around . He simply required us all to witness the awful consequence of our foolhardy behavior .

My friend Bobby D. got mad at me one day and threw a hammer at me from the opposite side of the street . We were , maybe , ten or eleven years old at the time . It hit me on my shin and hurt like crazy . My mother got mad enough about that one to have a word with Bobby’s mother .  My shin survived , but it could have been worse . Bobby D. was known for being a bit harebrained . I didn’t talk to him for at least a  couple of days over that hammer incident  .

And then , of course , there is the getting our eyes poked out theme . Watch out , you’ll poke your eye out with that !  I never got my eye poked out , but the warning was entirely appropriate , I think now . Most of us were just plain lucky not to have gotten our eyes poked out at one time or another  .

Once , a kid named Armstrong jumped out of a tree  and broke both of his arms . No , not Neil Armstrong . The kid wanted to fly like a bird , I heard , so he set out to do that and he jumped .  But it didn’t work out quite as he might have wished .alligator and snake

There was another neighborhood  kid , a friend of my younger brother’s , who picked up a rattle snake in one of the canyons and held it by the rattle end and swung the creature around at high speed a couple of times . The rattler didn’t appreciate the humiliation , or so it seems , and it twisted it’s body around and sank its fangs into  the poor snake swinger , injecting its poisoned  venom. Both rattler and boy managed to survive , just barely , but the boy nearly died .

Let that be a lesson to you ! We all , I think , let that be a lesson to us . Poland kids and vikings 050

I never did anything stupid , though , of course .  I was always consistently rational , careful , and reasonable . Ask anyone .  Better not ask my former best friend , though . We had a falling -out at some point and we went our separate ways . He might not want to admit that it was always the other kids who did the stupid stuff . It was his magnetic tape , for example , that we some kids strung across the street on two trees about windshield level and then waited behind bushes for a car to come by .

Okay , I’ll admit that I was behind those bushes with the other neighborhood kids when that old man slammed on his brakes and jumped out of his car to yell at us . There were a dozen or so of us and we split off running in several directions .

My mother would ask us at dinner what we had been up to that afternoon . I suppose that we’d give the usual pre-adolescent- phenomena answer : ” Nothing .”  My father would want to know what was new at school that day . Same answer .100_4793


Filed under humor

10 responses to “be on time for dinner

  1. I know we’ve all done some dumb things as kids – BUT – Just HOW many stupid kids did you grow up with, Dan? 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    Ah yes, the main rule, and the only one not to be ignored, be home on time for dinner. If Lima beans were on the menu delay the inevitable by parking your bike very slowly after claiming the neighbor stole and hid it in their garage. The only other non-ignorable rule being don’t bring the poly-wogs in the house.

  3. I hope my inner child will never stop doing stupid things every once in awhile. For example, it has decided to give up blogging. That’s the only example where I wish my inner adult had intervened. Though I wonder if the latter even exists.

  4. Many stupid things were done by kids in our group. Sometimes, it might have been me. I broke things, cut things and had a knife stuck in my foot, but never lost an eye and rarely was late for dinner. Great post, Dan.

  5. Pingback: I Could Have Been Newsworthy | No Facilities

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