Monday, February 28, 2005

Deprived already

My children are already disadvantaged. I feel sorry for them and they haven’t even been born yet. I’m contemplating making some major changes in our lives to make up for how far off course things have gotten.

For one, they’ll each have their own room. Not right away, but that’s for our convenience while they’re toddlers. Eventually they’ll each have a bedroom. My sister and I shared a room through elementary school and then a storage room was converted to a bedroom for me. The house didn’t have central air or heat and that storage room wasn’t insulated like the rest of the house was. Not to mention the house was on blocks so the cold hair practically enveloped that room. Fucker was 40 degrees in the winter and sweltering in the summer. Didn’t help either that the washer and dryer were in that room and there was no adequate ventilation so the place was always filled with lint when Mom did the laundry. My old man shit a brick every time he got his hands on the gas bill and for a few weeks afterwards each time he’d do the laundry himself when he got home. 11pm at night and his ass was outside hanging wet jeans on the clothes line. When it got so cold outside they wouldn’t line dry he built a clothesline inside the house above the gas heater. That’s where the clothes were hung during winter and rains.

I can remember being whipped for forgetting to turn the light off when I left the room. Electricity ain’t free, boy. Also remember getting lectured when I walked from bedroom to bathroom to bedroom to bathroom, turning each light on and off every time I entered and exited. Apparently I was supposed to apply common sense in that case and know NOT to turn the light off. That’s the kind of fucked up mentality my kids need to be exposed to.

Money is also a problem for my kids. They’ll have it. I was pretty damn old by the time I realized everybody else did NOT stand in line Saturday mornings to get their allotment of cheese, butter and powdered milk. God, that powdered milk was awful. Mom ended up buying real milk at the store and just getting the cheese and huge bricks of government butter. For all you taxpaying folks out there, thanks for the meals. We appreciated them. That’s the kind of shit my kids need to experience.

Free lunches in the school system. Boy was that shit great. Momma would give me my form and I’d stand in the ticket line in the mornings. She was always so nice to me, the cafeteria lady. She had brown hair and wore a hair net and I never knew her name. She was probably younger than I am now. She’d smile real big and count out my free lunch tickets faster than I knew any human being could count and she’d hand me my pile of yellow tickets, not green like everyone else’s. But I was too young to know the difference. Hell, Jasmine will probably pack our little shits lunches every day in designer lunch boxes. I hated those kids in school. Fucking Star Wars and Scooby –Doo lunch kits with twinkies and ho-ho’s and shit inside and not one slice of government cheese to be found.

Because we owned so much land we had a riding tractor to cut the grass. For our riding pleasure, my old man replaced the standard seat with the front bucket seat from an old Dodge van he got for $300. The van, not the seat. It was white and huge and folks laughed, but damn it was a nice ride for the 4 hours it took to do the lawn. The dog used to sit on the hood because he liked the vibration under his ass. I used to put it in “Rabbit” gear and chase Julie with the dog on top because she thought it was disgusting when the dog’s one-eyed weasel would jut out from the enjoyable ride. Yeah, it was nasty, but it was funnier watching Julie run in fear as I chased her down with the dog’s hard-on. Ain’t no tractors needed to mow this 1/8 acre I got going on now. Guess that means no wet dog willies for the kiddos either. Pity.

Vehicles are another perk for the twins. I can remember many a journey on the back of my mom’s bike pedaling down the interstate. Later, we had the one car, a red Volkswagen Beetle. We parked it on blocks when it rained because the housing edition we lived in at the time for the sailors families flooded in the slightest rain. The seatbelt was my Mom’s right arm. Every time she hit the brake, she simultaneously slapped that arm across my chest and kept me from being thrown into the windshield. Ah, the good ole days. Fuck child safety seats, we were living on the edge.

My kids won’t be responsible for feeding the chickens, collecting the eggs, picking pecans, cleaning trailer homes for sale, riding a horny dog around on a vibrating tractor, swimming in the bayou, or struggling to take a shit in an outhouse when the government cheese has stopped everything up. Poor kids. I hope they still manage to turn out all right.