MUSING DOWNTOWN

Hi everyone everywhere,

It’s unusual. As I was walking yesterday, I was looking at downtown and I’m thinking that there isn’t really much of downtown in the city at all. I’m looking for tall buildings. I’m looking for planes flying over. But I don’t see that. I’m in a smaller city, and it takes some getting used to for me. Even though I’ve been here a long time, my feet never really seem to touch the ground. I’m always ready to go. My father used to call me gypsy because since I was old enough to walk I wanted to get going. I don’t know where, but I just knew I had to get going. So now I find myself aging and …I don’t know…I walk around downtown, I see the people, and I feel like a teenager still. It makes me smile. Thank god for downtown. That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts and…rest. Until we meet again at Flasher’s Ant Farm and Earring Emporium on the corner of (you know it) Blaster and Sixth.

THE CAR RIDE

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Hey everybody, remember me? Arnie. Capital A for Arnie. Flamm. Capital F for Flamm. I just turned eleven and I’m thinking, man this would be a good day to be hanging out with the gang. But no, that’s not going to happen. Because my mother (her name is Eunice by the way, Eunice Flamm, you know, “Hi Eunice”, everyone says that)…well anyway, my mother decides we’re going for a car ride. I don’t want to go for a car ride. But she says to me, “Arnie, look at yourself. You are dumpy. And we’ve got to get you exercising.” So I say, “Yeah Mom, that sounds great. I’ll go talk to Dad.” So I leave my mom and I go talk to my dumpy dad. My dad’s name is Roger. I like to think he’s a good Canadian boy because he always likes beer. And he burps a lot. But I told him, I says, “Dad I don’t want to go for a car ride. I want to hang out with the guys. I’m eleven now.” And my dad says what he always says, “Do what your mom says.”

So an hour later we’re in the car and we’re off and running. My mother has got her hair sprayed with so much stuff it’s sticking to the roof of the car. That’s Eunice. Now my dumpy dad Roger on the other hand is wearing his favourite hat. And his favourite shirt. Which never match, but seem to make my dumpy dad very happy. So there you go.

You’d think things would be quiet as we’re driving downtown, but my mother likes to make a statement about things. Everything. And my dumpy dad goes along with pretty much all of it. Like she’ll say, “Oh look, isn’t that Bob by the bowling alley?” And my dumpy dad Roger says, “That could be, Enuice, that just could be.” Personally I don’t get it. At all. So just when I think we’ve got past that disaster, unfortunately we go past the old Woolworth’s store. Well my mom Eunice believes she sees her dead cousin Gladys with her husband Bill standing in front of the store. She’s grabbing my dad’s arm on his favourite shirt and tugging at him as he’s driving. I’m in the back with my feet in the air, killing myself laughing.  My mother Eunice is yelling at my dumpy dad Roger, “That’s Gladys, I know it for sure. That’s her dress.” My dumpy dad just turns to my mother and says, “Mmm hmm, I’m sure that’s possible dear, but she’s been gone 15 years so are you sure that’s her dress?”

We finally get to where we’re going. My dad has to park the car just so. You know what I mean, kids. And my mom, the lovely Eunice Flamm, has to help him park the car.  It’s a four door Chrysler. The colour is robin’s egg blue. My mother picked it out herself. My dumpy dad wanted green. He didn’t win that one either. So he’s trying to pull into the spot and my mother is leaning out the window with him. And they’re both looking at the spot. And then my dad starts looking at my mom. But her hair starts sticking to his face because she’s got so much hair spray on. Eventually, (it seemed like a week but it was probably ten minutes), the Chrysler was in the spot. And dumpy dad was happy again.

So off we go to the five and dime. Dad wants to spend the five, Mom wants to spend the dime. I, on the other hand,  like either one of them. But they never seem to care because I never get anything anyway. We always go on the pretense that my mom’s buying me clothes for school. Number one, I’m eleven. I hate school. And number two, I don’t need any clothes. I’ve got enough clothes. But my mother, Eunice, she thinks if she keeps saying that, she can just go to the women’s section and yell to my dumpy dad Roger, “I’m looking for a shirt.”

Well, we’re  back to the car. Finally we’re going home. My mother Eunice is all shopped out. And my dumpy dad Roger…he keeps just agreeing with her. As usual, I did not get any clothes. But my mother got a lovely dress. And warned me, next time we’re going for pants. All I can say at this point is I’ll be glad when we get home because some days it’s better to hide when you hear those terrible words, “We’re going for a car ride!”

Arnie Flamm out.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

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By jamesghutcheson

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