Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 reasons it's amazing my brother and i survived our childhood

  1. In our early years, rusty old farm equipment doubled as playground equipment. Our grandmother lived on a farm in Odin, Kansas, which isn't even a blip on the map but is considered a part of Claflin, pop. 705. The farmhouse was built in the mid-19th century, and over the years the yard became the final resting place of combines, tractors, and other various and terrifying wheat-harvesting implements featuring man-sized blades and jagged pieces of metal. There was also a turn-of-the-century car in the process of being swallowed by the back yard with springs poking through the seats like craggy old fingers.
  2. Our games of cops and robbers involved "jewels" that were actually broken pieces of glass we found on the ground near the spot where my grandma burned the trash. As the robber, it was my job to "steal" these bits of glass and run back to my hideout before my brother or cousin caught me. In the event of a search, I would hide the shards o' glass anywhere - tucked in my hat, rolled up in my sock, taped to my big toe. Have you ever tried running with glass in your shoe? It'll fuck you up.
  3. One winter, mired in stifling post-snowstorm boredom, we decided that instead of real sledding, which didn't happen unless my dad pulled us behind his tractor, we would go "sledding" indoors by sliding down the stairs on the beanbag. This was great fun until my brother put his foot through the wooden basement door at the bottom of the stairs. I'm pretty sure the hole is still there.
  4. Sometimes we would decide to play "restaurant," which basically involved dumping random shit from the kitchen cabinets and the fridge into a giant bowl, mixing it together, and then eating it. These cooking experiments involved everything from raw eggs to shredded cheese to bread crumbs. This was also how I discovered the cruel joke that is Baker's Chocolate. It looks and feels like real candy, but it tastes like bitter arse.
  5. Cows. During the two weeks we'd typically spend on my grandma's farm each summer, we would throw dirt clods and skip rocks near the pond in the cow pasture. From a distance or while passing on the highway, cows appear docile and harmless, but that is not always the case. Up close, they're rather large and terrifying, especially when you're ten years old, and especially when they chase you.

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