Saturday, March 18, 2006
How funky is your chicken? How loose is your goose?
In the early elementary years, right before my family moved to the small town, the local school system had a class clown by the name of Bobby Iannetta whose family moved when we were in the third grade. (You could say I had to step up and take his place!) I heard plenty of tales about the man, but didn't actually meet him until his family had moved away – he and I attended the same church so I'd see him at summer camp, and his grandmother lived near the park so sometimes when he'd come to town I'd visit. His cousin Trevor was also a camper, so I befriended him as well. (After high school, I've crossed his path twice but not seen him: he'd signed a guestbook at a landmark an hour or two before I got there, and a magazine subscription renewal letter mistakenly showed up in the mailroom of the college I attended so I was able to scribble a note on the back before it was sent back out.) Two separate friends I had years later heard (from me) Bobby's story about how his younger brother Rodney [supposedly] cut the breasts off a Barbie doll and stuck them under the suit of a Superman action figure, called it "Buttman" and would play with it in the bathtub; the two of them drew up cartoons of Buttman. Bobby's mother seemed a fairly strict woman, but even though I was his friend I understood where she was coming from: she knew he was always up to something, usually not anything harmful to others but certainly it wasn't right or allowed. He'd tell me his latest shennanigans that he didn't think she knew about, then later on she'd confront him about them... it was almost as though she bugged his coat. His grandmother, a second grade teacher who had a reputation (or among the kids) as being no-nonsense, was not only strict, she was brinking on paranoid. Again, giving credit where it was due, since she was a teacher and lived across the street from that park for years, she had some concept of what trouble youth could get into and what sort of unsavory people could be found in her neighborhood. Bobby and I would go forth into the world when he'd be in town, and his grandmother would go into a tizz about what sort of mischief we would be into – and his mother would be more or less a spy. Like I said, she was no dope. There was this time he came to town, and he showed me this copy of Penthouse Letters he had in his suitcase. There was a photo of a car on the back, so he referred to it as "my car magazine". I don't recall whether he bought it or swiped it, but my Magic 8-Ball indicates the latter. He hid it in his stuff (we didn't sit and read it, too risky) and we went out to play. When we got back, we were going to read it and it was missing. He had the stones to ask his mother where 'his car magazine' went, and she responded that she had it and they'd discuss it later. He then accused her of snooping and snatching, which of course was true, but it's hard to take the high moral ground when you're bringing (stolen?) porn into your uptight granny's house at age 14. The most amusing time I ever had in grandmother's regard though was with Trevor. He wasn't a problem child at all, he was sort of a quiet wallflower like me, and I've always believed that if your family knows you're a good kid you should be extended a little credit. We decided to get out of the house, and his grandmother demanded that we go to the park and nowhere else, and to stay within sight. Okay, reasonable enough, we didn't have any hopes or plans other than to sit around talking anyway. But then she demands to know, in all seriousness which showed in her eyes and tone, whether we were going to be drinking or drugging. Um, we're like 15 and we're going to be visible from her front porch, and she knows neither of us have any interest in such things; why'd she have to ask? I said we weren't, without any shade of nervousness, and Trevor did the same and added "c'mon, you know me better than that, Grandma!" Being paranoid about one's kids/grandkids might be in fashion today — it's as though parents forgot how much fun their own childhoods were, or possibly remember how much fun they had behind their folks' backs and can't stomach the thought of their kids enjoying themselves in similar fashion — but this was in the early 1980's, before it was all the rage to worry ourselves to death about pædophiles, pushers, and terrorists.
It may be 7 p.m. now but I have some seeds to plant and nursery sprouts to transplant. We've had hailstorms recently but they melted quickly, so I'm presuming we're now past the last frost. The Bender Fanclub sent me this, the 'Pop' Pen Head, which is a magnet! a writing utensil! all this and so much more! He's laying down on my front door so the housepets (kitty Fuzz Bender and puppy Fender Bender) can inspect him.
(And Bobby, if you ever see this blog: Gliim! Teqilla!)
The title of your post reminds me of my niece who was a cheerleader when she was a little girl.
She used to do that cheer with her speech impediment:
"How funky is yo chicken? How loose is yo goose. So come on, evewybody, and shake yo caboose!"
She was so cute!
"Seahaks" on that house is doubly idiotic.
Refresh the page, Blogger finally let me upload that Bender Pen image.
It has been fun playing around with this at my blog. The truth isn't nearly as fun as the Witness Protection thing.