Saturday, March 10, 2007

In Which I Cure the Common Cold...With Pepper!

Kids check out 50-year-old toy cars at the toy show

Weekend Assignment #155: Recount a distinctively childish thing you did (or your children did) when you or they were children. Because things like painting your hands pink, or trying to make chocolate milk with mud, or arranging a marriage between your stuffed animals? Not something you're likely to do when you're older.

Extra Credit: The name of your favorite stuffed animal growing up.

D'oh! I forgot to do the Weekend Assignment last night! I think that's the first time that's happened in over two years.

My cubicle was colorful today in honor of my birthday.

It's interesting to look back on this, though, now that I'm officially 50 years and 50 minutes old. On the other hand, I'm sure I've told most of these stories before, and I need to get to bed so we can drive to the Civil War reenactment in the morning. But briefly:

Trophy and Diet Pepsi (although not cherry in 1965)

  • When I was in first or second grade, I was sent to the nurse's office for having no underwear on. Why this was in the school nurse's purview I have no idea, but that's what happened. I had worked out, quite logically I thought, that if no one is ever supposed to see your underwear, then it doesn't matter whether you actually wear any, because no one will see it. The catch, of course, is that in those days, little girls wore dresses and skirts exclusively while at school, and it was by no means certain that they would never accidentally expose something. In short: I got caught.
  • Perhaps a year or two after that, about the time I invented the peanut butter and bologna sandwich with mayo, mustard and lettuce, I was told that a nail would dissolve in a glass of Coke if left there long enough. (It wasn't true, but that was the urban legend.) Somehow from there I made my way to a theory that Diet Pepsi with black pepper in it might cure the common cold. So I conducted my scientific experiment, prepared the concoction and drank it, repeatedly. I'm pleased to say that I no longer have that cold today.
  • The answer to the Extra Credit is Trophy, of course, and I still have him. He's about 44 years old now. Someone's puppy got hold of him early on and chewed off one end of the right rear leg, but my Aunt Grace, or possibly Aunt Marie, sewed it shut. I did some repairs myself at various times, restuffing him with tissues, sealing the surgical site with glue and white thread, and embroidering on a new nose made of black thread.
  • My mom had polio encephalitis and other health problems in the early 1960s, and was hospitalized a few times in that period. Once I happened to mention to a friend's mother than my mom was ill. She took me and the friend to the store, where I picked out a get well gift: an embroidered handkerchief.
  • Cindy R., Meredith P. and other friends used to trade with me all the time, swapping toys and dolls and china animals. Sometimes we would make several trades, only to end up where we started. One trade that did stick was when I traded a baby doll or china animal or gum cards or possibly a dollar for an outdated, naked Barbie doll. This was after the Twist-N-Turns came out in 1967, and Cindy didn't want her straight leg bubble cut Barbie any more. Although I was glad to get the doll - the only Barbie I owned during that period - I argued for months that it was a Midge doll. To me, the older Barbies were the ones with the pony tails, as depicted on a nurse kit my preschool classmate Nancy had in 1961.

And then there was the time I finally bought a 1962 Barbie with a ponytail. No, wait: that was last weekend!

I'll check in over the weekend, but I won't be online much. It's time for our central Arizona birthday jaunt! (And remember, the Museum of the Weird will be guarded while we're away, as always, by a large man and a small dog.)



Georganna Hancock said...

Happy, happy, happy Birthday!

Chris said...

Happy belated birthday! Don't forget to wear your undie's when you go out:)

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Bea said...

Happy 50th, friend! Is it me, or do you not sound half a century old? No, you don't, barring the description of your older Barbie doll. Well, congrats on still being the youngster you once were. My husband's 55th was yesterday. He doesn't look any older than the day I married him... I wonder if he thinks the same about me? Even with our gray hair, I think we still see the person we married those many years ago. Happy, Happy Birthday! bea