Invite the neighbors, the cousins, and your maladjusted uncle! It's summer in the mid 1970's and the grill is lit!
Pull up a lawn chair, grab a beer, and soak up some scintillating conversation.
But what to do with those pesky kids?
Sears, my friend. Sears.
Forget about how they violated physics to get the whole thing in the box. Grab a socket wrench, a screwdriver, and some bandaids, and you too could have a knee-slapping swing set.
Just look at the pandemonium!
Monkey bar, teeter totter, sliding board buffed to a rusty sheen. The works!
They look like a happy bunch.
But the truth was darkner, my friends. This little group of friends/family/neighbors trailed some seriously bad karma over the years. There was the time my neighbor got his thumb nailed to a tree. And the time our experiments in gravitation shed light (albeit red) on the stone-skull effect. Sooner or later, my turn came. Karma sets aside a summer day for all of us, I suppose.
But it wasn't my fault! It was my cousin. He was bad, bad, bad.
It's okay. We can say it.
There I was chilling on the teeter totter. I could ask you whose business I was minding, but you already know the answer.
I did not consent to a ballistics test on my head. I'm quite sure of that.
My cousin took the empty swing. He took aim. I turned around and caught cold steel on the forehead. If you weren't aware of this before, let me impress upon you that those cuts on the head BLEED.
So, with the thumb-to-tree crisis and gravity experiments fresh in my mind, I sought an audience with the adults to discuss the situation. Politely, of course. Calmly. I didn't want to make a scene. However, my neighbor's mom, suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome from the nailed thumb, screamed. At least, I did my part to maintain the peace.
Here I am blissfully unaware of what fate was cooking. But my pose is strangely prophetic, don't you think?
P.S. After getting stitches at the hospital, I never did regrow hair on that little patch of my scalp. It was a quirky little bald spot. A battle wound.
Until my forehead overtook it several years ago.
(The "Little Windows" Series: A while back, I transferred our old Super 8 home movies onto VHS. Now I'm moving those to DVD. They're an odd record of the past. More vibrant than photos, but still distant and imperfect. I thought it might be fun now and again to share some of these "little windows" into my past.)