Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mrs. M

Life leaves you with a lot of time to look back and either regret the things you did or laugh about them. Or both. A lot of what I write about happened when we were young kids through our very early teen years. So I can claim that we were young and stupid and give myself enough slack and know that there's no need to carry too much guilt about youthful indiscretions. If you grow older and do the same stupid things, shame on you. If you're a kid and do stupid things and grow out of them, you get to share a laugh with others and move on. I've moved on.

I've moved on, but you get the benefit of reading a story that should leave you laughing a bit, or maybe a lot, depending on your sense of humor. Or you'll call us all jerks and wonder how we didn't end up with a felony conviction or three. You decide.

The neighbors here on the bottom end of the block didn't have too many kids here to point a finger at when something happened. So we - my sister, brother, and myself - would usually be on the stubby end of those fingers when someone had an accusation to level. Alright, sometimes they were right, but they lacked the evidence. They were wrong too at times, but not always. One of those neighbors was an elderly lady who we'll call Mrs. M.

Mrs. M lived across the street and a few doors down, in close enough proximity to still make her a mark for our youthful mischief. I'd like to say she'd look back and laugh about it now that we're older should she still be with us, but I doubt that would be true. Some never forget. Elephants and old neighbors to name a few.

Had we realized the people could get hurt and we could get in trouble for it because of our mischief, we may not have done some of the things we did. You may say that's a load of fecal matter. You may be right. Why wonder if we'd change things, they've already happened. One of those things involved clothesline and doorknobs. You may be wondering if we had a fetish with all things lengthy, such as rope and fishing line, especially considering the post a number of months ago about Dave, who just so happened to be Mrs. M's next-door neighbor. What we did - a number of times, although not nearly as many as with the fishing line - is to take the clothes line and tie it to both of those neighbor's door knobs, with just a little bit of slack. Just enough for them to open the door almost halfway. Once the line was tied, we would pound on their doors and hide behind the cars - and laugh. What ensued was a unique version of tug-of-war in which there was no winner. And it lasted for a number of minutes, until one or both gave up. Then there was enough room for someone to cut or untie the line and the fun was over. Until the next time.

Another incident involved a ski mask, rain coat, and two older kids putting a little guy up to doing something that would get you arrested for indecent exposure today. No, I was not that little guy, nor was I either of the two who egged him on. But he'd laugh about it rather than blush if you were to mention it to him today. What that kid was put up to was that he was asked to dress in nothing but the rain coat, ski mask, socks and shoes, and knock on Mrs. M's door and flash her. Imagine if you would a maybe nine or ten year old kid flashing an eighty-year old woman. I don't think she'd ever imagine it possible had she not experienced it herself.

Anyhow, she was much sharper than anyone had expected. As soon as the flash that made neighborhood history occurred, the first thing out of her mouth was "I know that that's you, _____ ________". Of course, the name of our flasher is omitted as even under the law, youthful offenses are sealed. But there's a small handful of us here who know exactly who he is. Maybe he'll become a neighborhood legend now if enough folks read this post. The Phantom Flasher. Imagine that.

Well, you're wondering why we all did such stupid things, and the answer is the same as why you did your own stupid things. We were bored. Maybe you'll say, "We never did things like that when we were bored." I know you didn't. That's because we were much more creative than you were. Live with it. How would I feel if a kid on the block did that to me today? I don't know. Maybe be stuck between thinking him the product of parents not watching out for their kids and actually getting a huge laugh. Were our parents negligent in our rearing? Not at all. But I think if we were to tell them of some of the things we did in our youth, they too would wonder what they've raised - and then laugh!

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