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Childish Things by Ray Printer Friendly

Sometimes I wonder if I was ever normal. I think back to my childhood, and it seems pretty normal, but then it occurs to me that kids are pretty stupid, so whatever situation they find themselves in is what they’ll equate to normalcy. I’ll think about my childhood for a while, and then I’ll either get bored or depressed and think about something cool like if one day I was walking down the street and all the sudden this squirrel jumped out from behind a trashcan, and it was using nun chucks, spinning them around so fast that I couldn’t hardly even see them. And then it started beating the hell out of this big fat mime who was pretending to be trapped in a box. And then the squirrel strapped on a rocket pack and flew away, dropping Skittles from his magic pouch of awesome.

Anyway, I don’t know if I was ever normal. Once, I found this gigantic stuffed animal cow at a garage sale for 75 cents. I don’t know why I bought it, really, but it probably had something to do with the fact that it was a giant freaking cow for 75 cents.

I took it home and got my brother and one of my friends, and we went out and took turns jumping on the trampoline with the giant cow and taking pictures of each other. This seemed perfectly normal at the time. Logical, even.

I mean, you have this camera, right? And a trampoline. And this giant cow. What’s not to understand?

This was back when you still had to use film, and before my little country town had even heard of one-hour developing. So we took our pictures, rode our bikes down to the pharmacy, sealed up the roll of film, and then waited 2 ½ weeks for the developed film to return. Back on our bikes, down to the store, use our allowance to buy the pictures and drop off another roll (which we had bought when we dropped off the film to be developed).

I’ve been looking through old photos lately, and those pictures we took are the best. No adults around, no rules—we were too naïve to realize that someone somewhere was seeing our pictures and was probably calling Child Welfare Services already. There are pictures of us jumping from the roof of the house:

There are pictures of us jumping from the roof of the house, landing on the trampoline wrong and being catapulted out into a yard filled with German Shepherd feces:

And there are pictures of us faking shots to make it look like my brother just jumped out of the unfinished deck door, even though he was too scared to do it...even after my friend and I did it (notice the closed screen door—we weren’t allowed into that room, so we’d open the doors, step out onto the three-and-a-half-inch ledge, close the doors behind us, and then jump to the trampoline).

Before you judge him too harshly, you should take into account that he was like, eight years old, and there was about six feet in between the house and the trampoline, so if you missed, you missed like a motherfucker.

Oh, and the little thought/speech bubble stickers were pretty much the coolest thing ever when I first saw them. Decades before I’d even hear of Photoshop, back when you had to ruin the physical photo itself if you wanted to make a childish joke.

And speaking of Photoshop, here’s what I did that actually started this entire little rant:

Me as a child on a big-ass stuffed cow, Photoshopped in “grunge” style. Did you ever think you’d live to see something so outstanding? I thought not.

posted 3/21/08

Entered By Karen From Indiana
2008-03-21 20:48:01

Those are awesome pictures from your childhood. And yeah, I can't believe we had to wait days, weeks for our photos (and every single one of them, too). Your Photoshopped image link is broken, and I have a feeling that's a really good thing. If I'm smart I won't come back to see if it's been fixed.

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-22 01:59:02

That's weird--I've checked it on several different computers, and it shows up fine. Maybe you just need to adjust your awesome level on your computer. Probably the picture is just too great for your current settings.

Entered By Karen From Indiana
2008-03-22 03:33:32

I'd respond, but then I'd have to admit that I came back to see if the picture was showing up.

Entered By Karen From Indiana
2008-03-22 03:47:46


Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-22 04:14:08

I have been watching pre-recorded Graphic Art History Lectures for nine hours straight. You have no idea how bad I needed to see that picture. Genius.

Entered By Leslie From Texas
2008-03-22 21:24:02

Since your (step?)grandmother worked at the local pharmacy, I'm betting those pictures had been shuffled through a few times before they ended up in your grubby little kid hands. In fact, since she always said, "There are some cute ones in there," while she rang up the packet of photos on the cash register, it's pretty much a sure thing. Aah, small-town life... And speaking of old photo stories, when do we get to read the one about Mom finding the ones of your naked girlfriend that time she emptied your trash?

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-23 01:38:59

I can't believe you brought that up. You're a bad, bad sister.

Entered By d From home
2008-03-23 02:12:05

really?? we get to read about your jalapeno penis, but not about nekkid pictures of some chick??

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-23 02:41:27

It's not nearly as funny as it sounds. I sold my house to my mother because I was moving out of town (to San Marcos, actually, which is about thirty miles from Austin). While packing my things, I came across some pictures of a really ex girlfriend, and because I didn't know what else to do with them, I stuffed them down into the bottom of the trashcan. What I didn't realize is that my mom's thrifty as shit, so instead of throwing away the trash bag like a normal person, she carried it out to the dumpster and EMPTIED it out. Which meant said pictures were directly on top of everything. Ashamed of her dirty, dirty son, she went and told my sister about it. My sister delighted in telling me about it, so that I could deal daily with the assurance that my mom knows I'm a sexual freak. Actually, that IS pretty funny. Good one, Les. Want to hear a better one? Most of the pictures featured the girl sprawled on my writing desk. And where did that desk end up? That's right, dear sister, IN YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS! Morals of the story: 1) Burn pictures of ex-girlfriends, and 2) Never accept any sort of furniture from Ray.

Entered By Leslie From Texas
2008-03-23 17:35:48

Wow, I wonder where that desk is now? I think we sold it when we sold our previous building. Thank goodness, because as I recall, it was your poor NEPHEWS playing Winnie The Pooh computer games on that desk!! Bad Uncle! Oh, and you forgot the part about Mom working as a utility billing clerk for the City and knowing the trash guys (sanitation workers?!) Your poor mother crawled into the dumpster and tore the pictures to shreds so her co-workers wouldn't see them in her trash. So, I guess Mom knows you're a sexual freak, but at least the city garbage men don't.

Entered By Diane From NH
2008-03-23 20:53:32

Les, Ray -- I see that I truly missed out. Not getting to share our childhoods is sad. The trampoline, the tramps, the photo department lady, your MOM and the garbage men. The stories are PRICELESS.

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-24 15:42:21

Once you start comparing war wounds, you'll quickly discover it wasn't worth it. It's all fun and games until a horse steps on you or you almost hang yourself on a home-made bunk bed. In retrospect, my stories were always much more humorous than Leslie's, I think. She cornered the "that's so dangerous and sad," side of things while I got the "deadly but hilarious" stuff. Meaning, she was the adorable little girl that got tromped on by a horse, while I was the goofy little boy who got a 4X4 dropped on his head and ran away squeaking.

Entered By Leslie From Texas
2008-03-24 18:36:42

That is weird, but true. Of course, you're much more of a risk-taker and my days of horse-induced injuries ended once we moved into town. And while my old scars from being bucked off and run over by a horse impress the boys, it's your great stories that keep them occupied on long car rides. A tradition that will obviously continue -- can't wait till they're old enough for "Boys, remember that time Uncle Ray got jalapeno juice on his..."

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-25 02:56:09

That's me--a living legend.

Entered By Anonymous From Unknown
2008-03-27 03:53:30

les, don't tell me that the computer desk featured in the famous photoshoot that even I know about is the desk you gave me??!!! eeeeeeeeeekk note to self...don't lean onto desk while typing until you hear back from les...

Entered By lacy From louisiana
2008-03-27 03:55:41

oh its me ray, did'nt discover the Name: spot till after i posted...

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-03-28 01:20:14

Lacy, if you ended up with my sex desk, that would be one of the coolest things in the universe.

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