Octopus' Garden

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


My parents explained the facts of life to me early on, but for the longest time, I thought that when two people wanted to have a baby, they made an appointment at the doctor's office. And then they had sex while the doctor supervised to make sure they performed the procedure correctly.

I thought it was okay to volunteer my accurate, albeit clinical, knowledge about where babies came from when I was invited to Sunday school by the girl across the street, whose mother was undoubtedly concerned about my heathenish ways. It was springtime. Easter. We were being invited to talk about baby lambs and chicks and ducklings. It seemed like a natural segueway. I wasn't invited back.

I thought astronauts really did eat Pilsbury Space Food sticks while they were on the moon. I thought Pilsbury Space Food sticks were the Best. Food. Ever.

I thought nachos were really called machos (what my mother called them) because you had to be macho to eat all those jalapeno peppers.

I thought a party line was called a party line because you had a party after school with rice crackers and hot tea and listened to the neighbors talking on the phone with your hand clamped over the receiver so they couldn't hear you and your mother laughing at them.

I thought everyone else was also required to call their parents "ma'am" and "sir" at home.

I thought it was perfectly normal for families never to answer the telephone or the doorbell unless a Top Secret Code was involved.

I thought that: American people don't know how to tie nice bow on back of dress, and that if I rubbed my nose: Polico going to think you making the Drug Abuser Salute and you get arrest and have to go to jail.

I thought that if I hitchhiked, kidnappers would kidnap me and chop off both my hands with an axe.

I thought that if I left a door unlocked, burglars would break into the house and shoot everyone in the head.

I thought there was such a thing as perfect. I thought that if something wasn't perfect, it was a dee-aster, and shame would rain down upon the entire family.

I thought that if I rubbed the gnarled South Seas carving with bony ribs and pendulous breasts that my mother named Aunt Aku Aku and rubbed for good juju, I could avoid mistakes (memory slip at the piano competition, wrong letter at the spelling bee, an A without the plus) and forestall dee-aster.

I thought I was supposed to be allergic to cats.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 3:27 AM


I always enjoyed reading - I thought it was fun. So when the "RIF - Reading Is Fundamental" program was launched, I agreed that reading was indeed fun, but I had no idea how to be damental about it.
Blogger Steve, at 10:09 AM  
I'm so glad you are posting again! This post reminds me what I love about your writing.
Blogger Erica, at 11:05 AM  
In my early twenties I picked up a few hitchhikers. I liked the potential for danger, I suppose. Now I pick up hitchbloggers instead.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 PM  
I thought that when I was 20 I would know what I wanted to be when I grew up. When that didn't happen, I thought it would at thirty. Maybe at forty?
Blogger P. Block, at 11:25 AM  
What could be more dangerous than hitchbloggers?
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 9:40 PM  

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