Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Grew Up in Mayberry

Charlotte, MI., believe it or not, it still basically looks just like this. 

And that is not a knock in the slightest. I loved growing up there, and would not trade it for the world. Hell, I met the love of my life, and my best friend there. Most of my fondest memories take place in Charlotte too. But growing up in a small town can make a kid pretty restless. One would assume that's why I went to school with a bunch of drug addicts, pregnant teenagers, or in some instances both. 

To save time, and to avoid legal trouble we will skip ahead to the point in the story where an old man, sitting with his old hound dogs asks Gabe and I "Why you boys gotta be doin' that?" 

To set the scene it is roughly 2 or 3 in the morning, and Gabe and I are shit faced (this seems to be a recurring theme), on a back country road in Charlotte.

 We both do what any drunk person would do...lay down in the road. Gabe and I make eye contact and give a tiny laugh and then realize "what the fuck are we doing?". Why one of us would think laying down in the middle of the road would be our best defense is beyond me, let alone both of us at the same time. Oh well. 

We finally came to our senses as a truck in the driveway of the old mans house turned on. We got to our feet and ran like Flash Gordon on coke. I honestly think we had a shot at outrunning a pack of Kenyans we ran so fast. As the truck hit the road we dove off the road into some thick weeds. This is where we turned into the love child of Rambo, and Chuck Norris. We were low crawling through the weeds, combat rolling over ditches, and we might have even set up a few claymores or some shit, I don't know, my memory is fuzzy. As the truck crept by a spotlight was stuck out the window and searching the weeds for us. But we were too sneaky...or he was blind. I remember feeling like Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape". 

As my Nazi prison guard in a beat up early 90s Ford F150 drove by we skipped across the road and hid behind a shed. And then made our way down the road dodging behind bushes, and trees until we made it back to the bonfire we were attending. We were almost there and could see the light from the fire when we came up to a fence. It was quite rusted out, and barely stood waist high. I don't know if it was the adrenaline, or to keep tactical but Gabe took off hauling ass. He tried to grab the fence and throw his legs over to the side. But a combination of the fence being put up during the civil war, and Gabe being drunker than Ted Kennedy it just wasn't happening. The fence crumbled, and Gabe crumbled with it. It was one of the loudest thuds I have ever heard. It sounded as if someone dropped a Mexican shaped boulder from 20 feet up into a mound of clay. Half laughing and still worried of the old man with the truck we gathered ourselves up and ran the rest of the way to our friends house. We doused the fire and ran inside. Once we got inside we calmly informed our sleeping friend "OH SHIT, WE FUCKED UP!", and to "TURN THE FUCKING LIGHTS OFF!". We ran around the house at mach-3 and turned off the lights and laid down on the floor of the living room for the rest of the know...just in case. 

This is where I am thankful of how much I contracted poison ivy as a child. Growing up running through the woods I would constantly wake up itchy, with a rash. It was just a part of childhood. I had poison ivy more than an Ohio State frat house has gonorrhea. But unlike sigma epsilon, I became immune to poison ivy. Gabe was not so lucky. His ass was swollen, and had a rash on it, and apparently itching like crazy. He went to the doctor, and had to get steroid shots in his ass, or some shit like that...probably an ointment or something too.  I wasn't to worried about another dudes butt to take notes. 

Oddly enough, that wasn't be the first or last time I was running for my life through backyards with my best friend.

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