Saturday, September 5, 2009
What Has Become of Me?
I turn 50 next week, and In my bathroom I have watermelon and green tea foaming soap in a green pastel dispenser. No one who knew me at the tender age of 16 would have ever predicted the evolution of events. Back in those days (which seem just like the other day), my dad kept a bar of Lava soap by the downstairs stink. The bar was usually smeared with dirt and grime from those times that mom required my brother and I to wash up after a hard day of catching bees in mom's canning jars or playing football. We went through the cleaning process prior to sitting down to a bowl of Chef Boyardee ravioli. Several summers I went on extended canoe trips. It was usually a full day on the river of catching turtles and exploring some new found land. For those trips I brought out the big gun, a bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap. There is nothing in nature that can withstand the onslaught of Fels-Naptha. Dirt, bugs, poison ivy, all gone. It is truly the tsunami of soap, wiping away everything in it's path. There was nothing better at the end of the day then jumping into the gravel pit and scrubbing down with a bar of Fels-Naptha prior to opening up cans of Spam and baked beans around the campfire. Today, if I could find a bar of Lava soap in my house, the label would state "...with moisturizers".
I've had a pretty good life so far, and I've been able to spoil my kids with bikes, paintball, ATVs, and every game console known to mankind. But somewhere deep inside I feel that I've taken the wrong path. They have never had a paper route to earn money, and they have never taken a bath in the river with a bar of Fels-Naptha, topped off of a night of telling lies around the campfire.
I used to go to concerts. My friend Dan and I used to brag that we got spit on by Ted Nugget. We had pushed our way to the front row during the opening act of some no name band that no one had heard of (AC/DC) so we could get close to the mad man in the loin cloth. I saw Ted Nugget in concert twice, AC/DC three times, Black Sabbath, Journey, ZZ Top, Blue Oyster Cult, The Rolling Stones twice. Now I suffer from hearing loss and a constant ringing in my ears.
Dan believed the best way to start out a night on the town was to coat the stomach with greasy food and cheap whiskey. His theory was this combination would line the stomach and provide an even digestion of alcohol throughout the evening's activities. Once a couple of "kids" challenged that they could keep up with us. At 9:00 PM they laughed at us and said our reputations were exaggerated as they were a drink ahead of us. By 11:00 PM they were puking their guts out in the parking lot. That's where we found them when the club closed at 2:30. From what I remember, they asked to be dropped off at their car prior to Dan and I having a couple of beers at Johnson's house for breakfast.
It would not surprise me to learn that the great Hunter S. Thompson, suffering from arthritis, a new metal hip, and general aging and hard living issues, went into his bathroom and found watermelon and green tea foaming soap, which was the final insult that caused him to take his life.
What has become of me?