The other day I was at my mom's house and AMC was running the Wizard of Oz. It must have been a Wizard of Oz anniversary because Judy Garland was born in June, and usually they don't run The Wizard of Oz unless it's a holiday.
As I was watching it I remembered a little anecdote I had formed in my head.
Some of you may know I like anecdotal humor and short stories. I originally entered this as a comment in Night Owls. I had only one response from rbird. Rbird said, "Why not make a diary out of it?"
First I thought it was too short and silly then I thought well, there must be certain things people do or say that could spark creativity. Such as the way people pass joints around in a circle, or the way everybody hangs out in the kitchen at a party, or how did walking around in the rain become a dating myth?
I'm hoping that:
A) people read this, and
B) people put their own spin on how certain things came to be in the comments section.
This is the truth about how it all started...
It was a snow day in upstate New York. It started out just like any other snow day but you never know when fate picks you out of obscurity to do something that will affect the behavior of many people. Yet in a bittersweet way leave you, the doer, or discoverer completely unsung.
This story unfolds at the residence of the Abbey's.
Spencer Abbey was an air traffic controller, but he was at work, stuck there because of all the snow. This kind of thing happens often so no big deal. Anyway he doesn't really enter into the story much except he named their eldest son.
They lived in a nice, quiet, bucolic, suburban neighborhood. With nice, quiet, bucolic, suburban people. Spencer promised his wife one day he would show her the world.
Cherry Blossom was his wife. She was not Japanese, or Chinese nor did she come from Washington D.C. Her parents were hippies, so she was a librarian. She went by the name of Cherry. But isn't that cool, her name was Cherry Blossom Abbey. They had an Irish Setter named Goldie, after Goldilocks because it took her forever to get comfortable anywhere when she was a puppy. She was four then.
Their oldest son was named Richard after Keith Richards. His friends called him Keef or Abbey Road depending on how loud it was in the room. Keef sort of gets lost in the shuffle at a loud party but not Abbey Road. He was 16 and a good kid, he got good grades but liked to see how much trouble he could get into without getting caught. He was the outdoors guy. He had the heart of a surfer stuck in up state New York, but he well made up for it by improvising.
He had a girlfriend named Cindy and they did everything but that. Cindy played the drums and Richard thought that was cool. Cindy called Richard Ricky and so did his mom.
Next comes Allen age 10, named after Edgar Allen Poe, Cherry Blossom's favorite author.
He was also a good kid and curious about everything, especially how things work. He shared Cherry Blossom's sense of fun and love of all things Halloween.
Both kids seemed to possess a higher than average I.Q. Richard preferred Risk over D&D.
Allen liked Pictionary.
After breakfast Cherry Blossom decided to take advantage of a day at home and take care of some overdue laundry.
She went to collect the cloths then stopped in at the kitchen to announce things before she headed down to the basement.
“Ricky I want you to stop over at Miss Robbie's to see if she's O.K. Ask her if she needs anything, and offer to shovel her walk. Then shovel ours. See if your friend can come over with the thing to do the drive way, I'll pay him. Allen, go outside for a while and get cold, build a snowman, or get your friends together to build a fort. Or have a snowball war, or something. When you come in I'll make cocoa, we're going to have homemade soup tonight.”
RING, RING, RINGY, RING...
“That's your father now go, get.”
Miss Robbie was a 75 year old neighbor that always brought over cookies and watched the dog when they went away.
Richard understood a long time ago that if just did certain things without a grievance, or without too much of one he got special privileges, and this was a Friday. So he bundled up and went outside. Anyway he knew his friends would be around with some good smoke.
A few hours later...
Allen came home, he was all done in.
Cherry Blossom looked at him and smiled, “Come here honey, let me help you.”
Then she proceeded to help him off with his boots, and gloves, and coat.
She kissed him on the top of his head and said, “Go get these wet cloths off you and I'll make you some cocoa. Afterwards you can watch some movies.”
“Did you see your brother around?”
“Yes.” Said Allen. “His friends came by and they went towards the woods.”
“Did he do Miss Robbies walk?”
“Yes. But I was at Mark's house.
“Well he better get home soon, it's getting dark outside.”
“Come on lets get you warmed up.”
Well sometime after Richard cleared Miss Robbie's walk and before he was done with his, his friends came over with some really good smoke.
“Hey.” He said as they came up to him.
“Keef!” One of them responded.
“What's up Doc?” Said the other.
“Well I got to finish this. Do you have anything green on you?”
He stopped shoveling and really looked at his buddies then shook his head and said. “Stupid question.”
“Come on, one of his friends said, I've got some Heinekens in here take a break and lets go somewhere else.”,
“No I want to finish this, I'm almost done. If I do this maybe my mom will let Cindy stay over.”
“Well no beer for you until you finish.”
“It would go a lot faster if you help, there's more shovels in the garage.” Richard said as he motioned toward the garage.
“No, I'm fine just watching you.” said Billy, one of his friends.
Tom, the other friend said, "Come on, lets help so we can get out of here."
Billy and Tom went into the garage to get some shovels.
Billy said, "You're just offering to help because you have a crush on his mom."
Tom said, "You're just offering to help because you have a crush on his money."
They jabbed at themselves as they went over to where Richard was.
With the three of them on the job they finished in short order then trudged through the snow, about a football field away to their favorite wooded spot to drink and get toasty.
...“Well it's getting late and I'm beat said Richard, I'm going to go home. Wanna come over later, after dinner? We'll play.”
“Cool, I'll call you.” Said Tom
“Hey, give me a little bud for the walk home.”
“You're lucky I'm so cool.” Said Billy.
As Richard walked back home he decided to save that bud and enjoy it in the garage.
Inside the house Cherry Blossom put on The Wizard of Oz for Allen as she was making the soup. Every 15 minutes she would stop and look out the windows and doors for Richard.
Finally she saw him walk up to the house and was relieved.
Richard grabbed the shovels and work gloves and proceeded to take them into the garage. Great, this is the perfect opportunity to hit the pipe one last time for a while, just to top everything off.
Richard came in the back door and immediately sat down at the dinner table.
“I was getting worried a bit.” Said Cherry Blossom.
“Mom, I was O.K. But now I'm tired.”
“Well go change cloths, I'll make you some cocoa and a sandwich.”
“Great.” Said Richard.
From the kitchen Richard could hear the TV.
“Ah, The Wizard of Oz. “Richard said.
“Yeah I put it on for your brother, he worked hard today.” Cherry Blossom said.
Richard looked her right in the eye, Cherry Blossom smiled and said, "And so did you, I'm proud of you." As she kissed Richard on top of his head too.
Richard peeked in and saw Allen curled up on the couch fast asleep. He smiled and left to go into the kitchen and said, “The guys want to come over later after dinner and play.”
“Risk?” Asked Cherry Blossom.
“Oh, can't you play a peaceful game for once?”
“What game is that? I'll be right back, I'm going to go change.”
Then Richard left to go in his room.
Now it's a curious thing the way the house is situated. If you're in the back of the hallway you can look down it and see the TV.
As soon as Richard went into his room he turned on his music. Maybe because he was so tired from shoveling snow, as well as the grade of pot, he was in a certain mood, so he put on Dark Side of the Moon.
Then he laid down on his bed for a time to let the pot really hit him.
Eventually he got up, changed, and went into the kitchen, but kept his music on.
As he was walking down the hall he thought he noticed something.
“Hum.” He thought.
He went into the kitchen to get a root beer.
“I'll be right back I want to listen to the side of the album.”
He went over to the TV and turned down the volume, Allen was so out of it there was no chance for a protest.
He walked backwards down the hall, looking at the TV bit and listening to the music.
“This is freaky.” He said to himself. He went into his bedroom and turned up the music and stood in the hallway just looking.
He was so engrossed, and stoned, he forgot he was holding a glass of root beer.
He just stood there as The Great Gig in the Sky ended.
Then suddenly he sort of woke up, anyway Cherry Blossom was on her way to get him, his cocoa was getting cold.
As he walked into the kitchen he thought the guys are going to trip all over this.
We are so going to do this when they get here.
If dad gets home we'll just go down in the basement.
And that's how it all started.
It's true, it takes a little bit of charm, a little bit of something up your sleeve, a little bit of intelligence, and a little bit of innocence to start something like that. You can't be all good, and you can't be all bad. Just a kid from upstate New York.
In an unrelated story...
Today I was on the bus and sitting next to me was a young lady and on her lap she had a book titled London. It was a traveling book.
“Are you going to London?” I asked.
“Yes.” She replied.
“Have you ever been there before?”
“Well.” I said. “Blah, blah, blah...Tate Gallery, Blah, blah, blah, Covent Gardens.”
She said that she was 24 and was going to be there for a month and a half, but didn't seem to know much about it.”
I said, “And don't miss Windsor Castle.”
“Oh, I love castles.” She said.
See what I mean.
“If you can get out of London take a trip up to Liverpool.” I said.
“What's that?” She asked, and I'm not kidding.
“Liverpool, where the Beatles were from. You can take a Beatles tour.”
“I don't know much about London or England.” She said.
I let it roll off my back until I said, “And you can't leave London without going to Herrods to go shopping.”
“What's that, where is it?”
I smiled and asked, “How did you decide to go to London, close your eyes and stick a pin on a map?” But in a nice way.
As I got off the bus I wished her well and have a great trip, but honestly, my son at age 10 knew more about England.
So, what do you guys think about some things?