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Saturday night was Hot Dog Night.

July 26, 2012

I’ve started asking my parents questions about their lives preceding Timber and me. Young children don’t seem to fathom that their parents’ purpose expands beyond providing breast milk, money, emotional support and shelter. And often they don’t develop a curiosity about their parents’ complete identities until it’s too late. I want to gain a deeper understanding of who Mother and Daddy really are while I still have the chance.

The other night I learned about how Mother and Daddy entertained themselves as children. In a world without computers and constant television programming, they stayed outside year-round. Mother “played pretend” with her younger brother Stanley and cousin Leigh. Mother typically assumed the role of the male protagonist; Leigh, the sidekick or wife; and Stanley, the horse or dog.

Similarly, Timber and I spent the majority of our free time outdoors through elementary and middle schools, dragging our friends into muddy foursomes inventing scenes from MacGyver, Matlock and Murphy Brown. Sometimes we got into trouble, particularly when we dramatized “Vietnam” with two softball teammates. Wisteria vines served as our whips; logs from the fire pile, bombs; rocks from the then unpaved driveway, bullets. When we returned indoors bleeding, Mother placed limits on our imaginative interludes: don’t cause injury to yourselves or guests.

At one point I discovered a rusty old shed in the far back corner of the pasture. One afternoon my friend B and I mentally transformed it into our apartment and even pooped in a corroded canister that served as the restroom. We froze, fascinated, while my dog Daisy ate it.

An only child, Daddy practically lived outside as well, accompanied by neighbors instead of siblings. Co-ed games of sockball regularly took place in an open field, the pitched object clearly a wadded pair of socks instead of a baseball.

“Saturday night was Hot Dog Night,” Daddy recounted. “And I got to stay up late and watch Bonanza.”

“What?!” I shrieked. “You ate hot dogs every Saturday night?”

“Yeah. And I got to stay up late and watch Bonanza.”

“This explains a lot, Daddy. A LOT.”

Maybe if I continue grilling Daddy about his past, I also will uncover the source of his passion for female beehonkuses. Or perhaps Mother’s beehonkus is where that ardor began.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    September 26, 2012 5:19 pm

    I can’t believe you defecated in a can out there.

  2. September 26, 2012 8:01 pm

    Mother raised us in an atmosphere that encouraged imagination and artistic expression. I fully embraced playing “house” in the shed.

  3. January 30, 2013 3:04 pm

    I had to read that twice – omg did she really poop in a rusty can? I’m sitting at my desk, avoiding work, nibbling delivered Chinese but fervently gobbling up as much HDB as I can get away with before someone notices…

    • January 30, 2013 3:11 pm

      Yes, really – we country folk had to get creative growing up. Cable didn’t come to my area until I was well through elementary school.

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