Y’know, muses Screen Four, you’ve had some pretty serious columns lately.
Five asks, You haven’t gone native – Real World – on us, have you? Slipped over to the Dark Side while we slept?
“You never sleep, guys,” I scoff. “Relax. I’m fine.”
Four is dubious. Maybe a quick refresher? Basic ADHD rules?
“ADHD rules?” I laugh. “There are none. That’s the rule.”
He’s OK! cheers Six.
Still, weighs in One, you haven’t been yourself. Maybe it’s time for another thread. You know you love those great e-mail exchanges with your family. They always bust you up.
And who better than next-youngest brother, says Three, to lead the levity?
Ted Thread! shout six screens, almost beside themselves.
Queries Three, Can screens be beside themselves?
We sure can’t be by ourselves! laughs Four, wildly. Tedtime story, please!
Once upon a time, a very recent time, in a galaxy far, far away –
Like, say, Kansas? asks Two.
Yes, that far away. Anyway, the father of Luke –
Darth Vader? Darth’s really his father, y’know.
Not that Luke. Luke Blackwell. His real father is Thor –
You mean Ted.
Look, guys, who’s telling the tale, anyway? ThorTed sends an e-mail …
Cue the dreamy music! barks Five. Roll thread on three … two … one!
Barry: So that I can be sure it is really you, I ask the following:
1. What did you do with all the donuts after you took one bite out of each when you were a child?
2. What did you used to steal from Dianne when she was “playing”? Mom took a picture of it.
3. Did you ever let a car roll down our driveway because you forgot to put the emergency brake on? Yes or no, please.
4. What did we name the raccoon that Mike found on the paper route and brought home to Mom?
5. Did you or did you not shake the platform that I fell off while you and I were painting?
Dianne: I personally only know the answer to the donut question. I don’t know what he took from me when I was playing. That’s me. The girl. Getting left out of ALL the adventures. Can’t wait to see if Ted knows the answers.
Thor: OK, kid, answers below….
1. I hid behind Dad’s La-Z-Boy chair, wondering how I could sneak two bites per donut.
2. Di’s hair dryer.
3. No. The car rolled down by itself. On four different occasions.
4. Everyone called the raccoon “Bandit.” Barry called it a “football.”
5. Never shook the platform. You walked backwards off the scaffolding and fell 10 feet, rolling athletically to your feet like you meant to do that.
Blackie: More questions to ascertain Ted’s REAL identity:
1) How many times did you smash up Den’s cars/motorcycles/bicycles?
c) only God can count that high
2) In the Crestview/Clearwater woods, what were YOU doing that caused great pain to Dennis?
a) Showing off your baby pictures.
b) Reminding Den that you are younger, taller and better looking.
c) Smacking a tree with a storm-fallen branch that snapped off, flew 30 feet, and dropped Den cold.
3) Swinging out over Raccoon Creek with Dennis on your back, did you:
a) intentionally let go of the rope?
b) intentionally let go of the rope and flip backwards to smash poor Den on the rocks below?
c) intentionally let go of the rope, flip backwards to smash poor Den on the rocks below, and hope to collect insurance?
Now we’ll find out with whom we’re REALLY dealing, buddies.
Thor: OMGosh!!! Pile on, Den. Hit me when I’m already rolling on the floor! Answers below.
1 d) Not even man’s most powerful PC’s can provide an estimate.
2 c) That branch was old. I was afraid it would sever, crushing some poor rabbit hopping through Crestview woods. So I pushed on it gently, not knowing it would fall “toward” your direction as you ran back and forth on the path trying to avoid it, and timing the branch to fall exactly on top of you in the middle of your jukes…
3 d) I swear I saw a turtle and went to grab it. The problem? We were still swinging over land at that point.
Postscript – If you haven’t already lost your lunch over Thor’s lame responses – he didn’t even answer Barry’s first question correctly – read on as he allegedly explains to his sister (“The Girl”) how she’s “left out of ALL the adventures” back when she and I were 10 and Thor was a mere waif at 8.
Thor: This is actual [transcribed] audio from a taped conversation at the Blackwell house, summer 1967, 10:00am among [siblings] Dianne, Dennis and Ted.
Blackie: Ted, wanna go play down at creek by Clearwater pool?
Blackie: OK. Hey, Dianne, you wanna join us? Going down to Clearwater to throw rocks rocks in the creek.
Dianne: YES !!!
Blackie: OK, then, get ready.
Dianne: Gonna put my sneakers on …
Thor [yelling]: Ready and leaving …
Blackie [yelling]: Let’s roll !!
The adventure begins, kids running 200 yards between the neighborhood houses, stopping only at the start of the trail to the woods. There, we eat FAT blackberries – as big as your thumb – sweet and juicy.
We run through the woods as if we’re in a war. Dodging enemy bullets, we jump over fallen trees and avoid poison ivy. Reaching the creek, we throw branches into the water and watch those “paddle boats from the 1800s” float downstream with Paul Bunyan and his river rats.
(Pssst! whispers Three. Think he’s got his characters confused. I sure am!)
Spotting a bee nest in the side of the creek bank, we carefully take rocks in hand. In grenade-throwing form, we assault the nest as angry bees flood the area, seeking revenge.
Run! We quickly vacate, leaving the cloud of bees as we race downstream and startle several rabbits. Den chases and nearly catches one with his bare hands, but it eludes him under a huge fallen oak tree.
Above, the sky is perfect, the summer sun baking our heads. Instinctively, we start for home, thinking it is “time to go swimming at Copper Springs.” Sweaty, dirty clothes race back after a long morning of play, entering through the garage just long enough to remove muddied socks and sneakers.
We zip upstairs to get bathing suits on and pass Dianne outside her bedroom door. She excitedly looks up, says, “Almost ready! Just have to tie my other sneaker and we can go!”
Blackie [dumbfounded]: Um, Di, we’re not … we’re not going to the woods today. It’s, uh, too late – need to get ready for Copper.
Thor [nodding]: Yes … Copper.
Dianne [huffing]: Why did I hurry then? You two just change your minds. All the time.
Two boys look at one another, giggle madly, and race upstairs.