Posts Tagged: Childhood
19

28 Years with Weird Al

My Bubby and Zaydee came to visit from Florida and I couldn’t wait to share my all-time favorite musician with them: Weird Al. I sang every single song from his first two albums. I showed them the video for “Eat It,” which we had taped off of MTV. “Why do his eyes turn yellow at the end of the video?” I asked, having never seen the Michael Jackson video for “Beat It.” They were slightly confused. “Because sometimes people eat bad food and then their livers don’t work and so their eyes turn yellow,” Bubby said. “Don’t you love it?” I asked. I decided she must because she understood things [...]

13

The Joys And Derangement Of "F Troop"

Fort Courage, Kansas. Civil War hero Captain Wilton Parmenter is in command, protecting the Fort, and the neighboring town of the same name, from a tribe of Indians in the area, led by Chief Wild Eagle. With Sergeant O'Rourke and Corporal Agarn rounding out his staff, Captain Parmenter navigates Fort Courage through the dangerous waters of the expansionist latter half of the 19th Century.

Plus also: wackiness.

This is the synopsis of a situation comedy, circa 1965. Not an emphatically successful one, but "F Troop" was still a pristine specimen of what I grew up thinking was the Platonic ideal of sitcoms.

This essay is part of a [...]

21

I Was A Child Model! A Tragedy In Nine Pictures

This is me—circa age six, sporting double popped collars, rainbow suspenders, more denim than is acceptable in public, and a smile. I was seemingly happy, making more money than I will ever earn again, and—look at that pose!—brimming with confidence. I was a child model. You could look just like me for $43.99 plus tax. I was pulling $55 an hour to show you how.

3

Who Looks Out For The Bodega Rides?

If you’ve ever wondered about the inanimate creatures that stand guard outside bodegas, the company responsible is The Vending Company Inc., New York’s Official Sentry of Coin Operated Kiddie Rides.

"We’re very much dependent on nice weather, and so every time it’s a rainy day, you don’t see a smile on my face,” Mark Goldberg, the manager, said. “Obviously when it’s rainy and it’s extremely cold and snowy, we don’t do any business. We sit around and play cards."

Operating half the year isn’t the only struggle for the 30-year-old business. “People don’t even understand. It’s extremely difficult. Moving and picking up, and stores closing [...]

25

What Was The First Thing You Shoplifted?

Shoplifting is like drinking beer before you're 21, everyone's tried it once. So in the spirit of reckoning with the past, we asked our favorite young adult novelists to share the details of the first time they broke the law.

Libba Bray, The Diviners

Though I certainly had a misspent youth, alas, shoplifting was never one of my crimes. In fact, when I was nine, I was shocked—SHOCKED—to witness my friend's older sister lift some candy from our local Circle K. I confessed this to my mother, who, of course, reported it to the girl's mother. This prompted shoplifter's mother to narrow her eyes at MY mother before issuing [...]

13

Now You Should Put the Children Outside

In a couple of hours, summer unofficially begins, so should you take the kids to the mall, or the movies, or to the arcade? You are incorrect! And here's why.

You did what you could during the Virginia summer days to either sit by a pool or on a beach or avoid being outside altogether, and at night you reclined on the porch or in the yard and let whatever small breezes the night could strum up wash over you, cooling your sweat. Otherwise, you were inside all day and all night, cooled and even frozen by the artificial cold air that pumped through every building in town. [...]

9

Smell Like A Man

Brut by Faberge, age 8: Knotty pine laced with sandalwood and hints of rubber as Richie mashes my face to the floor of the school bus with his sneaker. He's searching through my book bag for the offending small green Brut sampler bottle I've stolen from my dad. He finds it, holds it up triumphantly, then runs up and down the aisle spraying it on the girls. They scream. Morgan says it smells like a Christmas tree farted. Once at school, there's a mad rush for the door. I quietly gather my books and papers that have been scattered under the seats near the back of the bus. I'm [...]

9

My Attempt To Make The Fritters I Loved As A Kid

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

In elementary school, back in the 70s in Tempe, Arizona, one of my favorite meals was something called Farmers Fritters. On Friday nights, our mother whipped up a batch of the thin, crisp, tangy-sweet cottage-cheese pancakes, which were actually more like little crepes. She used to put her huge rectangular electric skillet in the middle of the table, and my sisters and I sat around it while she made fritters in batches, sliding them around onto everyone's plates.

While we ate these fritters with homemade applesauce and huge puddles of Aunt Jemima syrup, we sometimes told stories, [...]