Tomorrow, Shear Nonsense
“Did you ever think we would end up here?” Roger asked, stopping his wheelchair in the shade beside Carl’s chair.
“Never did” Carl said. “Harmony Haven Retirement Center wasn’t on my list. Ellie says I live in the past and your daughter thinks the same about you. We really pulled some stunts when we were kids, didn’t we?”
“That’s for sure. Do you remember putting fresh cow manure in a paper bag and putting it on old man Simpson’s front porch? You set it on fire and rang the door bell? He stomped the fire out all right. If he had learned we did it, we wouldn’t have seen another sunrise.”
Carl wiped laughter-tears from his eyes. “You know, God sure looks after dumb kids. It would have been terrible if that porch had caught fire. But things like that didn’t come to mind when we were ten years old?”
“Do you remember the stupidest thing we did?”
“Sure, don’t you?”
“Way I remember it, Carl, we only did it a few times.”
“It wasn’t easy working up the courage.”
“Whose idea was it? I remember riding bikes to the other side of town thinking no one would know us there. The first time it was a small white-frame house with yellow shutters. Through the front window I saw the family sitting at the supper table. I yanked the front door open and ran yelling past them into the kitchen. I went out the back door before they blinked twice. That scared the fool out of me. If there hadn’t been a back-door in the kitchen, I would have been in serious trouble.”
“Well, that’s what made it fun, and scary, Roger -- you had to find the way out before you were caught. I was heading into a back yard, I thought, when I yanked a door open. But it was a bathroom door. A woman in a turquoise shower cap was taking a bubble-bath. She screamed bloody-murder and I screamed louder. I don’t know who was frightened the worse? A man in a front bedroom yelled and I heard his feet hit the floor. I tried a side door and it opened into the yard. I retired after that escapade.”
“Well, it was different then. Nobody locked their doors or needed to. If I had gotten caught, I planned to say some big boys were chasing me and I was trying to get away. That might have worked.”
“Roger, do you remember what you did at the Homecoming football game?”
“You mean when I was snagging iced-down sodas from the concession-stand coolers, helping my Pep-Squad sister? She promised me a hot dog for helping, but I never got it. I almost froze my hands off?”
“I thought half-time would never end. Sprinkling ice-cream-salt on ice made the bottles buried in the icy-water freezing cold. My hands were red and stinging and hurt so bad I almost cried.”
“You know you stopped the game, don’t you?”
“I didn’t at the time. I was strolling under the bleachers blowing on my hands to warm them when I saw a sight I’ll never forget– two slender ankles covered in shear-black-hose above stiletto high-heel shoes. They were in the adult section. Looking towards the field they stood out among the regular shoes and pant legs, almost like a spot-light was on them. I couldn’t resist the urge--- I grabbed her ankles with my icy hands.”
“That lady kept jumping higher than a kite, screaming and flailing her arms” Carl said, laughing, slapping his thigh. “No one knew what was happening. Her antics stopped the game. She wet her pants, I think.”
“She scared the thunder out of me, that’s for sure. I turned her loose on the second jump. I ran like a banshee was after me. I could hear the commotion in the stands. That popcorn-eating deputy-sheriff spent the rest of the game keeping people from going under the bleachers.”
Carl rubbed tears from his eyes, laughing. “Roger, we better get our pills. The supper crowd is gathering.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon, then. I want to hear about Mrs. Wesley’s poodle getting a fancy haircut. She was our third grade teacher, wasn’t she? I don’t remember the details except you used pinking shears.”
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