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"He Couldn’t Get That Cushion to Start on Fire": or, It’s Amazing These Kids Lived to Grow Up

I haven’t been able to get to the computer much. This is not just because I’ve been too busy doing Absolutely Nothing to squeeze in much time for doing A Little Something, but it’s also because my little brother has taken up about 20 hours of every day playing his WWII game online. But I just got to the computer before he could after brunch, so he’s now sitting around waiting for me to get off. Bwah-ha-ha. Now’s my chance to write The Great American Novel while he twiddles his thumbs.

While he waits, I think it’s important that you know that it’s a miracle I’m here today. My dad’s cousin, cousin’s wife, and cousin’s daughter came over for dinner last night (the daughter goes to the school where my dad teaches and today’s move-in day). They started telling stories from their childhood, and now I live in wonder and awe that either one made it to age 18. Mark (my dad’s cousin) was at one point explaining that most of the things that happened to him weren’t his fault. I’ll let you be the judge.

“Things weren’t really my fault ever,” says Mark, a big Harley-riding son of a South Dakota farmer, in his soft, slow voice, dimples digging deep into each cheek. “They really weren’t. I just always got in trouble for them. Take the time we were sittin’ on the porch. One of the porch chairs had some stuffin’ that was fallin’ out. I don’t remember why that stuffin’ was so interesting. It must’ve been callin’ out to us. Anyway, my friend couldn’t get that cushion to start on fire, but as soon as I tried it went poof. We ended up havin’ to throw it off into the yard to keep the house from catchin’.”

No, that wasn’t his fault at all. And there seems to be a sentence missing from his story: the one that tells us why they thought there was nothing for it but to set that stuffing on fire.

Ok, I can’t take the “music” Jesse’s making (voice, piano, and guitar by this point), so I’m going to let him back at his computer.