Ol' School


Today, Milo and Olivia went ol’ school and I let them ride double-dangerously - seatbeltless AND in the back of the truck…

Of course, it was only 500 feet to The Shed and I was driving all but 5 miles an hour. Crazy how many of us who are 40+ and over now probably remember riding in the back of the pickup on the highway when we were teenagers, or barely children even. As the song goes:

We were born to mothers who smoked and drank

Our cribs were covered in lead based paint

No child proof lids, no seat belts in cars

Rode bikes with no helmets, and, still, here we are, still, here we are

We got daddy's belt when we misbehaved

Had three TV channels you got up to change

No video games and no satellite

All we had were friends, and they were outside, playin' outside.

(A Different World, Bucky Covington)

Ah, but that was yesterday. We know better now…or do we? I’d say most certainly we do, which is why their joy ride today amounted to little more than riding the caterpillar down the rabbit hole at Disneyland. Most of the thrill is merely an illusion.

What was quite real was the fact that we unloaded our 400+ lb statues yesterday with the help of a good neighbor, Mike, and without a hitch.

I had promised Barbara that I would document, hence all the tractor video. Enzo won’t be arriving until after midnight tonight after all, so with one less ranch hand we decided to take advantage of our neighbor’s generosity and offloaded the first (actually, second) of many statues to put down our mutually shared fork (in the road), at least that’s what his wife is now inspired to create.

Fortunately, I had Olivia Luz to help me clean them after they were set. We scrubbed and rinsed and rinsed and scrubbed, and magically here-to-now unnoticed details crucial to the identity of these relics suddenly appeared: wings fit for a king; a baby monkey servant; an eternal flame; nipples; half a ring in the hand; and perhaps most significantly, four arms.

I’m surmising Sumerian or Babylonian; a benevolent Hindu goddess - but then, why the odd couple? This isn’t the story of Cleopatra and the Romans after all. If I’m honest with myself, this ain’t no smuggled Lost Ark; maybe, more likely just plain old artistic license.

Well you had me going for a while, thought for half-a-mere-moment that perhaps I should call customs…but nahhhh, who wouldn’t want the real deal - internationally sought stolen goods with an APB from INTERPOL (whoop, whoop: it’s the sound of the international police).

So, now we’ve got ‘em. Perhaps, my tactic of hiding out-in-the-open will elude the authorities just long enough that we can come out of hiding and sell our secret stash on the black market for just enough to start a little trust fund?

Perhaps, quizás, quien sabe, Kimosabe.

What I do know is that I continue to be impressed by my littlest ones. Tonight, Milo kicked ass in poker, against me, Grandpa Roland, Sid and Mike; raking in $70 in the end. Considering we all started with only $20 each, it means that he essentially robbed the Shanghai Express and then bought Pottersville.

And as for Olivia Luz, she took the initiative to bury our recently deceased animals and create a Pet Cemetery (Better Call Stephen). To honor and adorn, she later made fancy crosses out of popsicle sticks and placed them six inches under.

Overall, I was quite impressed and happy to be their Papa.