Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Inside the Thoughts of Zygotes

I'm in Phoenix for a couple of days. Job interview.

My friend Lori and her almost-4-year-old son Nat take care of my cat, Hankie, while I'm out of town. We like to call it Hankie-Nannying. Lori wrote me this email last night after I got to Phoenix.

"Nat and I were walking over to your house and Nat ran ahead of me and wouldn't stop at first when I called him. So I was lecturing him about the dangers of running too far on a busy road, not minding me, etc, but he didn't seem to care at all until we got to your house and I was unlocking the door. Then he started crying and said 'Please, please stop talking now. I don't want Hankie to hear about this.' His only concern was that Hankie would know he got in trouble! Hankie's new toy took his mind off things, though, and he was very careful walking back."

I love this kid. I love hearing how his brain works.

Today, I spent way too much time out baking by the pool, and when I got hungry I found some fig newtons in Scott's cupboard. I didn't even know he liked fig newtons. The combo of swimming and eating those cookies flashed me back to when I was 9 or 10 and my mom would take me to this old couples' farm to swim in their lake with some other bored-to-death farm kids. I would swim my brains out, as kids do, and when we got home I would eat 2 fig newtons and fall asleep. It was wonderful, exhausted, gone-to-another-planet-don't-bother-leaving-a-note sleep. The kind where you're almost certain that every organ in your body has been put on "pause" like an old Betamax. The kind of sleep you get to have before you're old enough for job interviews and 401-K's and colonoscopies. Occasionally I still get that kind of sleep, mostly after yoga class or immediately after ragingly good sex.

Fig newtons brought back all kinds of memories. Here are some things I used to believe when I was a kid:

1. Those TV ads for furniture stores that said "90 Days Same As Cash!" I thought they were saying "famous cash." I didn't know how you got your hands on famous cash, or how the store would be able to tell it was famous when you got there.

2. There had to be only 365 people on the earth, because there could only be one person for each birthday.

3. All dogs were boys. All cats were girls.

4. When I was about 15 and starting to look up colleges, I would read this:

Undergraduates: 1500
Graduates: 16

and I would think that not very many people were able to graduate, and so why would I want to go there?

What did you believe when you were little?


  • At 4:16 AM, Blogger Steve B said…

    I remember my dad opening the hood to the car and me looking into the engine. I couldn't figure out how you could get 15 miles per gallon of gas when you had to fill up all those hoses with gasoline!

    It wasn't until high school that I figured out where the bubbles come from when you are boiling water. A big day for me.

  • At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believed the Beverly Hillbillies could really see me wave back at them at the end of the show, and if I stopped waving they would be disappointed.

    I thought the only reason cars had rear-view mirrors was so your dad could see if you were picking your nose in the back seat.

    I was convinced that no matter how loud I sang "If I Had a Hammer" along with my Peter, Paul & Mary album that the rest of the household could not hear me as long as the door was shut.

  • At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Similar to chubbyknuckles'
    "Beverly Hillbillies" experience, I thought Mr. Rogers could see and hear me, so naturally I answered his questions.

    I also thought in "Winter Wonderland" that "Parson Brown" was a color and I wondered why anyone would want to pretend that a snowman was brown. I also thought it was weird that they wanted a Brown Snowman to marry them. I hated that song.

    When I was very little, I wondered where the music from the car radio came from. We had records and 8-tracks at home. I remember imagining something like a very small version of the Bee Gees or some other tiny 70's band--jumpsuits and all--on a little stage inside the dashboard of our green Ford Torino station wagon.

    My grandpa told me that gumdrops were "fritzacratas" (I'm just spelling it like he said it) and so I really thought that was what they were called and I wondered why Gumdrop Mountain on my Candyland game was named that. That seemed like a weird name to me. It should have been Fritzacrata Mountain.

    My grandparents went to Niagra Falls and got one of those pictures taken where they look like they are going over the falls in a barrel. I thought they were so brave and I was amazed that they survived.

    The first time I noticed a "Do Not Pass" sign on the road, I got very upset with my parents for driving past it. I thought they were breaking the law.

    I really thought that Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" was about aerobics. I actually didn't catch on to that until just a few years ago. I also thought that the song "Afternoon Delight" was about setting off fireworks in the afternoon (skyrockets in flight), which I thought was pointless because you couldn't see them very well.

  • At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry....I thought of one more that was a biggie for me when I was a kid. I have three brothers. I really, really wanted a sister. When I saw those commercials to sponsor a child, I thought that was the perfect solution. I thought that you actually got the child, and I could not figure out why my parents would not buy me a sister. She would only cost as much as a cup of coffee a day.

  • At 12:24 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    WOW! These are great! You guys had me laughing out loud. It really is like watching little beings from another planet try to figure stuff out. Hilarious.

    I gotta go boil some water.

  • At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't think of anything right now from my childhood but something will come to me later and I'll be back.

    This is the writing of yours that I love, Candy! More more more! I like the other rants too but this is the excellent stuff.

  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was much more sophisticated than Futuresis.

    I knew that they were real bands, they just drove back and forth across town all day so they could play their song on all the radio stations.

  • At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Niagra Falls and the "Do Not Pass" sign--I am still laughing about those! Look out: I remember another one:

    Having grown up on a farm, I understood even at 4 or 5 years old that when something dies (like a cow), it DIES. It doesn't fall off of a cliff and get back up. So I used to HATE the Roadrunner cartoons because I could never figure this out: Where in the WORLD were they getting all of those coyotes? And how was it that they ALL knew about this ACME place?

    And the day I "ruined" my mother's life was the day (in the spring I turned 5) that I figured out "the big lie." The conversation with my mother went like this:
    So Fairy Tales aren't true, is that right? "That's right."
    Then fairies aren't really real, right? "That's right."
    [silent thought]...Then that means the Tooth Fairy isn't real! ", that's right"
    [more silent thought]...and the Easter Bunny? He's not real either! Right? [mom is beginning to see this conversation is not going well at all] "Yes, that's right, dear."
    [immediately] Then SANTA CLAUS ISN'T REAL, EITHER! [my mother looked for all the world like she was ready for a nervous breakdown] "No, he's not."
    My mother was crushed because she wanted me to believe in Santa Claus until I was 14 years old, like she did.

    I still cannot believe that the same year I figued out the Santa Claus myth, I thought that someone was constantly bringing in more coyotes to torment the Roadrunner.

    And I felt genuinely sorry for the Trix rabbit.

  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    CK, it's like you were able to do advanced physics in your head but couldn't figure out how to use a Silly Straw.

    Poor Scott just last year figured out that thing about the bands on the radio.

  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Hi Belle!
    Thanks for the boost!

  • At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These are so funny! I just read Dave the one about Scott and the bands.

    We both got a really good laugh, Scott. But I have to say that I love hearing your mom tell about how Dave used to think that the lady on Romper Room could really see him when she looked through that magic mirror and he would run and hide behind the chair. And if she said, "....and I see David...." he would get very upset.

    And chubbyknuckles, I too felt very sorry for the Trix rabbit. Would it have killed those kids to give him ONE bowl of cereal?! He is on the box, after all.

  • At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I remember being puzzled by checkbooks. It was as though my mom was magically creating money every time she wrote a check. I had to wonder why people would ever be stupid enough to pay cash when they could just conjure up money by filling in the blanks and signing their name.

    When I was six or so, my late father took us to a performance of Handel's "Messiah." When the choir got to "He is exalted," I thought they were singing, "He is exhausted." Then I went to sleep.

    ...Oh, I thought of one more! I never understood what people meant when they said someone had been "taken for granite."

  • At 1:56 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Jackie O.,
    I still have the same belief about my checkbook to this day. I am never stupid enough to pay cash.

    I'll never hear "The Messiah" again without thinking of you, at 6, falling asleep.

  • At 6:39 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    I'll never forget the first time I felt an earthquake: 2nd grade in a Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico school. To calm us down after it was over the teacher asked us what we thought had just happened. My reply was that I thought it had been one of those huge vehicles with an enormous drill on the hood going by underneath us. The teacher just told me that I watched too many cartoons... = ]

  • At 10:55 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    HA! That WAS cartoonish! What a great image.

  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Jinserai said…

    Hmm, this should tell you something about who I was as a kid. I'm not like this any more, I swear. Citlali's story reminded me of the earthquake that hit Lafayette, IN in the early 80s.

    I can't remember how old I was, but it was somewhere in the range of 5-8ish, I think. We were living in a trailer, not exactly the sturdiest of housing. I was standing in the shower when the trailer started rocking a bit. My first thought was that the washer was unbalanced, and continued wasting all the available hot water.
    That's when I heard my father start yelling at me. And then he stopped in mid-sentence. Apparently his thought process went something along the lines of "What the HELL is that kid doing now? The whole trailer's rocking. Hey wait, the truck outside is rocking too. How in the HELL is he doing... Wait a minute..."

    Nice to know that when there's a natural disaster, you are the first thing that pops to mind.


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