Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Causing a Commotion

A few weeks ago, while listening to XM radio at work, they were playing all the charted songs from the last quarter of 1989. It's amazing how songs can take you back to a specific time and place. Some of the songs I heard included:

"We Didn't Start the Fire" - Billy Joel
"Another Day in Paradise" - Phil Collins
"Rock and a Hard Place" - Stones
"Blame it on the Rain" - Manilli

"Oh Father" - Madonna
"Rhythm Nation" - Janet Jackson
"I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" - DJ Jazzy Jeff

At this time in my life, I was almost 19 and living on my own for the first time in an efficiency apartment on East Sarnia Street in Winona. I had just started college and was definitely enjoying it more than high school (less class time, longer holiday breaks). I worked part-time at the Winona Daily News putting inserts into the papers during the overnight hours.

One of my favorite things to do at this time was going to my brothers' house and hanging out with them. It was especially fun when our father and his wife were out of town and we had the house to ourselves. You wouldn't believe the commotion that those kids could start up. For one, they would make crank calls to various people. There was an ad in the paper for someone who was selling their Volkswagen Golf car. My younger brother, Matt, asked the lady who placed the ad if the car could be driven on a golf course. A lot of times when he would prank call, he would start the conversation by saying one of two things, "Could I talk to Clint?" (the name of one of my stepdad's business associates) or, in a really high voice, "Is Clyde there?". Sometimes he used the speaker phone so we could listen in.

On many evenings, they would call pizza places and have them deliver to a house up the street. It would always be amusing watching (from their house in the dark) the pizza man going up to the house and telling the occupant that he had the pizza they had (supposedly) ordered. On one occasion, the guy actually bought the pizza (he must've really been in the mood for it that night).

They would also call cabs to the same house and watch as the driver would sit in his cab and wait for his "customer" to come out. After a couple minutes, he would honk his horn. The boys always loved watching what would transpire. One time, two cabs from different companies were both in front of the house at the same time.

There was a guy that lived about 2 blocks up the road who had a big picture window. He left the curtains open even late at night so he could be seen by anyone passing by. The boys nicknamed him, "Beat-off man".

During the wintertime (late in the evening), they and a friend would go snowman hunting. Every snowman in a 4-block radius would be knocked over.



Their friend tried to kick one over, but the snow had hardened, so he had to use his hand to punch it in the face and then, with the snowman now vulnerable, finished him off just like in the video game "Mortal Kombat".

On many a night, we would go to Giovanni's Pizza downtown and have a large pie. If there were leftovers, they would take them and throw them at the front windshields of parked cars. Sometimes they shed a tear knowing that the owner of the vehicle would have to clean his windshield off the next morning before having any hope of getting to work.

Our cousin, Andy, would've killed to be one of the "boys". He was an only child, but a mischief maker as well. One evening, the boys let him accompany them on one of their "adventures". On this "special" occasion, eggs were used as ammunition on cars. Drew loved every minute of the adrenaline rush.

Another day, they had a bowling ball they wanted to get rid of. So they drove about 2 miles and one of the boys rolled the ball down the street. Some kid picked it up and took it home with him.

Of course, there was also the time that one of my brothers got a new slingshot and had a bit of "fun" with it.

I never did such things, but fact is, I liked to watch.

The boys did get caught one evening. They had trashed some guy's garden and it got back to my dad. He chided the three and called them, "ball-less". I'm still not sure what that means, but the boys cooled it for a while after that.

6 comments:

the108 said...

Naughty, naughty boys!!

As I was reading your blog, I was having a hard time because Matthew is reading a pregnancy book and has been firing questions at me including, "Do you get spontaneous orgasms?"

I almost spit coffee out of my nose when he asked me that.

Proxima said...

Considering all the work I just put into my meager little balcony garden, if them boys had ruined my garden heads would be rolling.

I always make sure to get to know the neighborhood kids, then they think I'm too cool to harass and we say "Hello" when we see eachother, they also usually give me the skinny on what's goin' down in the neighborhood, because kids see a lot more of what's going on then the adults.

-P

Thomas said...

Kyra, at this rate, Matthew is gonna be a 21st century Casanova a decade from now.

Proxima, yeah, trashing a garden is wrong on so many levels. All the work one puts into it, the satisfaction of growing your own food. Sounds like you have a good strategy in place, however, to help prevent such a thing from happening. And yes, kids are quite good to go to for the 411.

Mags said...

Once on Halloween my friends and I were driving by a house when they threw something like a softball at the car and hit us. We turned and chased them as far as we could go, but didn't find out who they were.

Turned out it was a ball of tunafish. Weird.

We did find out who it was years later when one of my friends started dating the guy and he was joking about how this one time on Halloween he threw tuna at a car and was chased.

LOL.

Brian in Mpls said...

lol...You know you are from Minnesota if you have gone snow man hunting. Although one night we crushed a neighbors a few doors down and the next day I came out a little hung over to see the neighbor girl crying and I never did it again after that....

Thomas said...

Mags, that's a great story.

Brian, you learned compassion that day. Pretty good for a playa.