Happy, Happy, Fun Times….

…how fun is seeing a rainbow after a nice rainfall…I’d say really fun…
….Oh, how I love balloons, don’t you…who wouldn’t…so fun…
…remember these things…Yes, Big Wheels baby…I can’t count how many of these me and my friends went through…just so much fun busting through and over the earth on them…
…didn’t Scooby Doo make you happy…especially when the new ones came on…(the old ones pretty much blew..)…those ‘meddling kids’ always got their man…the Tar Monster was my favorite villain…
…and who didn’t love dinosaurs…those big, lovable plant and meat-eating creatures…so much fun these big guys were…
…and last but not least…teddy bears…so much fun…so much happiness they brought…so cute as well…adorable…

Oh man, it’s hard to write after posting all these childhood favorites of mine…I’m sure yours as well…Didn’t they bring us so much joy…I can’t even describe it…What I can describe though is the collection of stuffed animals I had when I was a kid…Teddy bears made up the highest percentage of them…I had my favorite, a brown bear named Skuffy (nicknamed ‘Sko’)…there was a light-colored bear named Stuffy (not nicknamed ‘Sto’…why would you think that..)…there was Brandy…just a normal colored teddy bear…each of these bears went through multiple eye surgeries over the years as they went endured a lot…the super-glue only held the eyes in place for so long…I never wanted them to look strange only having one, or even no eyes…I also had a small white polar bear (I had won at a boardwalk game) whom I decided needed some fresh air on our ride home from the beach one year…so I stuck him out the window to look back into the car at me (so much fun..)…he enjoyed it for about 3 seconds and then my 7-year old grip strength gave out and he tumbled to the pavement probably to be obliterated by the car directly behind us…I begged my Dad to stop the car for me to retrieve him, but since he decided against it, I thought I would get back at him and my Mom and cry for the next hour and a half…not really, really much fun…I also had a huge pink raccoon, a green snake, some sort of dinosaur, the Phillie Fanatic, LeHarve (at least I called him that…it was actually the Lacoste logo alligator who had the French name Le Havre…I wasn’t schooled in native French tongue at that age…LeHarve was the tiniest of the bunch…he wore a yellow Lacoste polo…so cute..) and many others that my 43-year old mind isn’t recalling right now…They basically filled my entire bed when my Mom put them in place after I went to school…how I loved coming home to them…they never left the bed…we trained them well…

I know I worried my parents as I didn’t seem to be ‘out-growing’ these stuffed creatures…I spent an in-ordinate amount of alone time with them…I went as far as wrestling them against each other with me providing the play-by-play of the action…I even used a handy-dandy stopwatch my parents got me for Christmas one year to time the periods…and then to top it off, I put together tournament brackets for the animals to go through…I kept it simple at first wrestling them with their own names against each other…but that got boring really quick, so then I decided to give them real names, including kids I was actually wrestling at the time in youth tournaments…it was a real sickness, I must say…I’m sure my parents had the phone in hand a number of times dialing the local youth therapist…I never was put in a straight-jacket and taken away though…The tournament brackets at first were just hand drawn with the straightest lines a 10-year old could draw…they ended with me pulling out the ruler and measuring the dimensions of the paper to be able to fit in a 32-animal bracket…with full wrestle-backs on the next page…(totally over your head, I know…)…it’s spelled s-i-c-k-n-e-s-s for those of you scoring at home…I had more of these brackets than you could imagine…each one better than the last…District, Regional, State, National tournaments…amazing…At some point though, while away at college, my Mom decided that the most artistic pieces I ever produced were bothering her laying idly in my dresser drawer…so she threw them away…I’ve never forgiven her for that…If I had these brackets today though, I wouldn’t have to look to see who stood at the top of the podium most times…it was the smallest of my bunch, LeHarve…not sure why I chose him and not my favorite ‘Sko’ to win most times (I would get so upset when ‘Sko’ lost…even though I was the one actually making him lose…huh…it killed me…he was just too gangly and soft to be a champion..), but I did…I honestly don’t know how the fuck LeHarve pulled it off…

I can’t be sure the exact day it happened, but it eventually happened…I remember coming home during my junior year of high school after a brutal wrestling practice…Coach Keen hammered us during our ‘mat drill’ making us do double the ‘up-downs’ and other stuff we usually do…I don’t know why, maybe because Hazleton scored 15 points against us in the dual meet the night before…It flat-out sucked…So my miserable self made my way home craving that half a piece of plain chicken, 11 broccoli florets, and 1.5oz of mashed potatoes…that glass of water with a slight iced tea flavor was going to taste delicious as well…It better be ready was all I was thinking…So I made my through the front door, up the stairs, mumbled something to my parents and made my way down the hall to my room…flipped the light on as I threw down my sweaty wrestling gear bag and…….OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD…what…..??  My bed was bare…with only the sheets, comforter, pillows and whatever else…no Sko, no Stuffy, no Brandy…no nobody…OH MY GOD, where are they………where are they…..

After my Mom calmly tried to explain to me for the next 37 hours why it was time to get rid of my stuffed animals, I couldn’t accept it…I couldn’t believe she did it the week before my biggest match of the year (against our arch-rival Meyers High School..)…how could I concentrate when Sko and the boys were in some landfill somewhere up in Duryea…I proceeded to lose my next 6 matches, failed a Math test, was eliminated in the 1st round of a spelling bee, and had my long-time girlfriend break up with me because I was so distraught and distant…It was certainly a rough time, but by my 2nd year of college at Penn State, I finally was able to go to sleep without tearing up and crying…Thanks Mom for doing what you did so soon…who knows how I would’ve turned out if you waited until my college years to terminate my buddies…I’ll always thank you for that…

Only the very clever will piece together why this was written…it could’ve been so much better, that’s all I’m saying…

FEDERER…….

 

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