Sunday, April 11, 2010
YOU NEVER COULD KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT
My brothers and I never told on each other; if something happened at school, none of us would tell on each other. Besides, my mother had no respect for "tattle-tales"!
My brother Les was born when I was nine years old; my brother Duke was five, Norman was 11, and Neil was 12. My father had bought a box of "It's A Boy!" cigars and they were in his car (a 1937 Chevy we nicknamed "The Doodle Bug") and he planned to hand them out at work. Also in the car was a bottle of his drink of choice, Seagram's Seven. The boys had built a "fort" back in the woods, and as a girl I was not allowed to participate (just like Darla in "Our Gang" and Margaret in "Dennis The Menace"!) in the goings-on at the fort. The boys swiped the cigars and whiskey from the car and took them back to the fort!
The boys were supposed to be carrying water. Mother told me to find the boys and tell them that supper was ready. It was late August and the heat was sweltering. I took off for the woods and when I got there all three of the boys were lying on the ground, "green around the gills" and the smell of vomit was overwhelming. They had smoked the cigars and the whiskey bottle was empty! Poor little Duke was passed out. The boys started saying NOT to tell Mom! I told them I WAS going to tell her because they wouldn't let me be a part of the fort! They told me that I could join the fort IF I didn't tell.
When I returned to the house, I told my mother I could not find them. They didn't come home until after dark and they shied away from Mother and went to bed very early.
Mother never knew about it, although of course "The Old Man" knew that the cigars and whiskey were missing, but he must not have mentioned it to Mother because he would have had to explain the whiskey.
Now, flash forward 30+ years later on Thanksgiving. We were all sitting around after dinner reminiscing and I started my usual whining of how I never got to do all the things the boys did ("skinny dipping", the "fort", smoking corncob pipes, etc.). One of my brothers let out a whiny "WAAAANNNNHH" and I said, "Just like when Les was born and you boys stole the cigars and whiskey and went back to the fort and got drunk." My mother let out a shriek, "WHAT--I never knew about THAT!" My brother Norman said, "AH, YOU NEVER COULD KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!" [after 30+ years!]