Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guest Blogger: He's back ... Papa G

A Close Brush with death

My poor daughter with Juvenile Alzheimer's (ME), mis-shared a legendary tale of great trepidation I once shared with her so here it is in its less abridged and corrected form....

To realign and refine....

It was sister Jenny and I, 11 and 15 at the time, on one side of a 50's looking gold-glitter flecked, beige tiled bar - on the den side of it.  On the other was my very serious, oft-angry and very-brilliant father tidying up the kitchen.  His cigarettes sat perched on the counter quite near to her and I (as luck would have it, que lastima!).

I had in my possession a cute little red-and-white round tin of what were lovingly called "cigarette loads".  These were very cool little wooden spikes about a fifth or so of the diameter of said cigarettes.  I slowly opened my hand and uncapped them as I motioned from Jenny towards the cigs with my chin.  Her eyes truly widened as she nodded: "No."  

I really felt somewhat possessed, as to proceed. May well have meant certain death but it was out of my hands and in the hands of a greater (much) power.  It seemed to take hold of her, as well, wondrously enough, as SHE reached for the pack and handed me a cig.  

I inserted the load.  

Evidently, she, and I confess, I, did not want to miss the 'fun' so....when he reached for another, she said, "Here, Dad, let me," passing him the possible fuse of our demise.  I think MY eyes widened in shock of her incredible bravery and audacity as this would seal her fate as a known co-conspirator.

The nails of my fingers dug into the bottom of the swivel chair's naugahide as he lit up the cigarette, turned ordinance....  

What amazingly LOUD crack there was!  Who, mind you, WHO would have thought that little bitty piece of wood (coated with some white shiny powder) would have the power to make 4, perfect, evenly spaced and sized, strips of cigarette paper dangle half way back to his super-surprised lips!!  

But, voila, there his two small eyes sat gazing at the end where once there stood a cigarette as we were collapsing in admission to our grave and perhaps last, sin.

Not to besmirch, belittle or diminish...but the scene was VERY reminiscent of some I had seen on MANY a cartoon...the RoadRunner comes to mind - he the wily coyote and me having a growing desire to be saying "beep beep" and disappear into a cloud of smoke.  Just on the other side of our guffaws (raucous, I'm sure) lay, in terror.

His response?....THAT WILL BE 10 CENTS! - such novel MUSIC to mine ears.  

With a different set of characters his directive would have had me digging into my pockets for 20 cents - maybe even a dollar so as to engage a reenactment or two...or 10...however, far closer to my thoughts was the feeling of great fortune to have escaped with our lives.

Next, Walt and my purple chicken.....

-- I take a meaningful bow to My Papa G for this contribution. 

I've always loved that story. And love you, sir.

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