By: Glynn Harris
(Thirty years ago, I was hired to write humor columns for the now defunct Louisiana Conservationist. Recently, a friend was using the down time created by Covid 19 to clean out his files. He found some of those old magazines, called me and offered them to me. Here’s one of my favorites from three decades ago…)
Contrary to nasty rumors being spread about me, I’m not all that old. It’s just that I seem to possess the uncanny ability to dredge up and bring into focus vivid details of things that happened to me long ago. It thus seems a paradox that I can’t ever seem to remember where I laid my glasses. It takes very little to set me off on a stroll down memory lane taking with me, kicking and protesting, whoever happens to be in earshot.
My most recent, if reluctant, companion for a trip down the lane was Melissa, our resident teenager. She had no choice because a brief but savage storm had zapped us, rendering inoperative everything electrical. That included TV, stereo and jam box. With no juice, there were no Night Courts reruns; no screeching disc jockey spinning ditties such as “I’m To Broke to Pay Attention, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.’
Boredom was closing in on her, so I came to the rescue. Sitting her down, I began blazing a trail down memory lane, kicking off with a phrase teens love to hear from the lips of their parents….’When I was your age…’
Not wanting to appear overly eager to hear my ‘back when’ stories, she cleverly masked her glee with a facial expression like the one you get when the dental assistant comes to the door, calls your name and says ‘Ready for that root canal?’
Back when I was your age, we didn’t have electricity, television, running water, indoor plumbing or stereo but boy, did we have fun! (I’ll bet.) You wouldn’t catch us sitting around the house getting bored. No sir-ree; we’d go down to the creek and catch us some frogs, crawfish and bugs… (I think I’m going to be sick…)
We’d take the shovel and tomato can out behind the barn and dig in the cow patties for fish bait. Then we’d go catch us a bunch of mudcats. (Well, WHOOP-de-DOO.)
Then we’d go snipe hunting down in the deep woods after dark. You talk about scary, especially when the rest of the kids went off and left you all alone there in the dark, holding the sack and waiting for a snipe. Bet you’d get a kick out of that, wouldn’t you? (I can’t believe I’m missing Three’s Company.)
And the games we played – deer and dog, red rover, pop-the-whip. Then for some real excitement, we’d sneak out after dark and turn over the neighbor’s privy. (Dear Lord, PLEASE make the electricity come back on.)
If you can find an old tire tube, I’ll make us a slingshot. When I was your age, we’d get us a pocketful of rocks, take out slingshots and shoot snakes, turtles and frogs. (Personally, I’d rather have chicken pox.)
Without warning, the electricity came back on and like a shot she was up and to the television. Wait, I didn’t get to the good part about how we used to make flying jennies and cars out of snuff bottles. By the way, have you seen my glasses?
“You’re wearing them.”