Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Childhood songs that kept it real

These days, kids songs are all just pansy, self-esteem boosting crap. But back in the day they were all about cannibalism, death and getting dragged to hell by goblins.  Here are a few me and my cousins used to sing:
Mr. Johnny Verbeck
Once there was a Dutchman
His name was Johnny Verbeck
He made the finest sausages and sauerkraut and speck.
He made the finest sausages that'll evermore be seen,
Till one day he invented a sausage making machine.

Oh, Mr. Johnny Verbeck how could you be so mean,
I told you, you'd be sorry for inventing that machine
now all the neighbors cats and dogs will nevermore be seen
They'll all be ground into sausages in Johnny Verbeck's machine.

One day the meat inspector came knocking at the door,
He said "I'll start a looking or give me money more."
Well Johnny got real angry and pushed him in the meat,
he fired up the old machine and now there's more to eat.


One day the machine got busted, the darn thing wouldn't go,
So Johnny Verbeck he climbed inside to see what made it so.
His wife she had a nightmare, went walkin' in her sleep
She gave it a yank, a deuce of crank, and Johnny Verbeck was meat!

Go tell Aunt Rhody:
Go tell Aunt Rhody
Go Tell Aunt Rhody
Go Tell Aunt Rhody
The old grey goose is dead.

She died in the millpond (3 times)
From standin' on her head.

The goslins are crying (3 times)
Because their mammy's dead.

The gander is weeping (3 times)
Because his wife is dead.

 The Goblins will get you:
Once there was a little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers
And when he went to bed at night, all the way upstairs,
His Mommy heard him holler, and his daddy heard him bawl,
And when they turned the covers down, he wasn’t there at all!

And they searched for him in the attic, and the cubby-hole, and press,
And they searched up the chimney, and everywhere, I guess;
But all they ever found was his pants and round about
And the Goblins will get you, if you don’t watch out.

Once there was a little girl who liked to laugh and grin,
And make fun of everyone, her family and kin
Whenever there was company, and guests were sitting there,
She mocked them and she shocked them, and said she didn’t care!

Suddenly she kicked her heels, and turned to run and hide,
There were two great big Black Things standing by her side,
They snatched her through the ceiling before she knew they were about!
And the Goblins will get you, if you don’t watch out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Poop reprecussions 20 years later

Katie -  the mom in your fecal drama with the ginger kids in their christening dresses turned up in my water aerobics class.  There was more to that story.  Zach was shooting garage sale arrows that were reaching their back yard. She had come over to complain, and of course our doorbell didn't work. Zach wasn't exactly a powerhouse but her concern was that she was pregnant. Kinda like the "baby on board" on a car mentality. I was busy primitive firing pots in the Weber kettle with lighter fluid and hay. .. Bad scene.  Anyway I'm hopping around with as much grace as possible in the class and keeping my conversation erudite to live down the skanky impression. Love, Nana

Personally, I think this is a great opportunity for Nana to keep it real.  Next time, I recommend bringing a (waterproof) bow and arrow to class. Point it at her every once in a while...just to make sure she knows that if she ever dares to tread (aerobically or otherwise) in your section of the pool, she will pay with her life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Poop: from the archives

On a recent visit to Chicago my brother Justin and I saw our cousins Zach and Annie after almost a decade.  In typical holiday style we did a lot of ham-eating and childhood reminiscing, telling stories from those five or so years when we were all eight years old and left to run wild in the care of our grandmother, Nana.  There were several gems, but one in particular stands out...mainly because it involves poop. 
We were at Nana's, of course, taking a break from making clay pinch pots (or eating clay…or birth control pills…or glow in the dark toys) to patrol our territory in the back yard.  Our fort was under constant threat of invasion from the house behind us.  The ginger kids who lived in the yard were creepy and awkwardly clean, wearing christening gowns and chasing butterflies across their unnaturally manicured lawn.  I'd like to think they were also French. 
It was during routine booby-trap maintenance that Justin (the elder) came up with our most ambitious defense maneuver to date.
We were going to arm the holes with human poop. 
Zach nearly crapped himself on the spot from excitement, while Annie and I offered up half-hearted "ewws" to fulfill our girl roles.  But in our hearts we knew we'd be right there to witness every filthy step of the shit spectacle.  
Though never discussed, it was understood the poop was the responsibility of the eldest, so for the next few hours Justin focused steadfastly on his goal, devouring every piece of roughage he could get his grimy hands on.  The sheer volume his stomach could hold was both awe-inspiring and repulsive.  When the moment finally arrived, he darted up the stairs to the bathroom and set to his business as we clamored behind.  What seemed like hours later, and after a notably absent flush, he opened the door and let us in to view his digestive masterpiece. 
Once we had accepted its enormity, we had to figure out how to move the beast.  Transport was precarious.  Nobody wanted to touch it (would have been gross) so we had to figure out an elaborate cup/bucket transfer system.    Miraculously there was no poo-skin contact, and the fecal weaponry made it to its destination intact.
The gingers were appalled (it was probably the first time they had ever seen poop) but instead of having the desired effect of scaring them away, our plan only lured them closer so they could lecture us on the dangers of poor sanitation.  One was even bold enough to slip through a crack in the fence, effectively invading our side. 
It was on. 
We'd tolerated their polite conversation and their disturbingly freckled faces before, but this time they had crossed the line, quite literally. 
Hatred boiled in our veins.  We knew we needed to take serious action to defend ourselves from the red-headed insurgence.  It was secret-secret weapon time.  Time for arrows.  And not the sissy-kid nerf kind, but real buffalo-hunting, shoot-you-in-the-heart ARROWS.  We had found them the previous day "dumpster diving." They were in mint condition, complete with a functioning bow and razor-sharp arrowheads. It was the perfect moment to unveil their glory. 
After a brief fracas over who got the first shot, Justin took aim at the daintier ginger. Whizz.  Miss.  He passed the bow around, and we each took aim at the red bulls-eyes of the children’s heads as they ran around the yard in terror. We cackled like savages, and our eyes blazed fire as they cowered in true French fashion.  In the confusion, one of them stepped in the poo-hole, letting out a desperate shriek of fear and disgust as they limped off crying.  Either out of pity or archery inexperience we didn't end up actually hitting them with any arrows, but they certainly never bothered us again. 
Success.  Finally we were left alone with our poop, which even Justin admitted had gotten pretty gross at that point.   We ended up burying the poo–baby ceremoniously, and even marked the site like the grave of a beloved pet.
At some point the gingers tattled (of course) and sent over a frantic mother to alert our guardian. But by then we'd moved on to falling into window wells, and her knocks went unnoticed beneath the blaring Celtic music and the hissing of hamburgers on the frying pan.