Tag Archives: childhood

Cheers to Birthdays-the Evil Eye-and Fart Humour

For all my fellow bloggers out there, who can relate to the struggle of finding inspiration… I’m sitting on the Washington State Ferry, a love/hate commute for Bainbridge Island locals and I think of all those “funny” things I forgot to write down. So now, shifting on the hideous red vinyl seats while the night crew vacuums and closes off sections for cleaning, the only word than runs through my head is “Blog, blog blog, blog, blog blog blog”. And I am hoping and praying that the juices start flowing. All writing becomes a daily routine, like working out; we gotta continue the pattern, even if it’s moot just to keep our fingers clicking along.

I guess a story worth telling that I honestly was too little to remember accurately but have seen on home videos repeatedly is the relationship I had with my dad. My god, I worshiped the man, I guess I still do but I no longer smell his feet when he asks, just to see his response of laughing so hard he cries while I poke my nose near his big toe and crinkle my face in disgust.

We were living in Australia, and I was enjoying my 6th birthday. We had cake, balloons, obnoxious cone hats – it was glorious. My parents had built me my very own playhouse outside, with a sand floor and a play kitchen. Little did my parents know that building a tin shed playhouse during the beginning of Australia’s summer would result in the ultimate hot lava game of “don’t fucking touch the sides kids”. So it became a communal kitty litter box.

We got by, we had what we needed, and what we didn’t have we would either figure out how to get it at a cheaper cost or say screw it. My dad was suffering from some severe chapped lips, and with Carmex being 5 bucks a stick, he opted for the cheaper version. The result? My dad staring at the camera, flaunting fluorescent pink lips, and begging his parents to send some manly Chapstick. I sat next to my dad and hand him a book my grandparents had given me as a gift, “Good Families Don’t Fart”. I urged him to read it aloud while I tapped off another large piece of cake. My mother, who was the filming guru tried to discretely ask questions about my birthday while capturing my father reading to me about a Canadian family who gets eaten by a fart monster.

“Jane, what are you reading?” I looked up from my cake and fart jokes and stare at my mother with the ultimate double stink eye and ignore her. My dad continues to read about the fart monster eating all the cans of beans in the house. My mother attempts again, “Jane, are you having a good birthday?” I look up at her again, crinkle my nose and make a face only imaginable as an ugly dog’s. Five times I did this to the camera and my mom, and the clincher was right when I finished my six-year-old “fuck off” face, I would look back at my dad and laugh about farts and keep eating cake. What can I say? Don’t come between a daughter and her father while sharing a good laugh about Canadian families being devoured by a fart.

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Hold your breath and dive in

I want to share a piece of a piece I wrote about when I lived in Aussie land way back when- when I say way back when, I mean I was about five and in a bath with my sister- while my mum video taped this moment:

“It’s my mother’s late twenty something voice commentating for the night as she films us in our half filled murky tub water. Her voice reminds me of mine today. “Jane?” my mother says, “Do you want to tell us why I came in here with the video camera?” Her accent isn’t as strong as ours, but each word ends slightly higher pitched. I stare at her with my legs hanging over the edge, using a large plastic cup to dump large amounts of bath water over my hair, but choose the silent treatment.

“Well,” my mom decides to add in, “I came in here because I heard my oldest daughter yell, ‘Oh my god–Help!’ Isn’t that right Jane?” I still sit in the tub shifting my miniature ass from left to right. “Poop!” I yell, exhausted from my mom’s version of the story, “Sally pooped in the tub!” Sally lays on her baby belly and slides up and down the tub, her legs kicking up behind her, able to understand everything but unable to comment on her bathroom accident.

I hop out of the tub to check the window leading to the back stairs porch for any possums, showing the camera my entire backside. The excitement of the “oh my god. help- poop” moment subsides and my mom begins to wrap things up. “Okay, well I think I’ll leave you two to finish,” she chuckles and begins to back up from the bathroom. Sally stares desperately into the lens for my mom as she backs out, “Baaaa, Baaaa! Pbbaaa!” She yells while pointing a chunky index finger to the water, and there it is.

The small perfect circle of poop, forgotten during cleanup; floating freely in the water. Sally kicks furiously at it, and my mom makes those “Oh, oh no, oh, ok” motherly sounds. The camera focus goes in and out, “I’ll get it”, my mom says, but she isn’t fast enough. “Don’t worry Sal! I’ll get it,” I slip back into the tub, stiff-arm Sally’s head and step over her body, nearly slipping during my mid Heisman. I sit there, eyeing the nugget with defiance, and take my plastic cup for the capturing. I splash half the water out and scream, “Sally move!” as I dive for the perfect catch. I hold the entire cup of bath water full to the brim with my sister’s tiny poop floating at the top; I was so proud.”

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