Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bird Brains

There was an odd occurrence at the Mansion today. There I was, minding my own business, walking around my porch at 12:30, when I spied a plethora of robins. There were 13 robins, to be exact. I'm not talking 13 Robins, like in the old Kids in the Hall segment "30 Helens agree...". No. These were not Robins. They were robins. The birds. I've never seen that many robins in one place. Usually, robins are harbingers of Spring. Today, November 10, they were just creepy. They were standing on the ground, facing the Mansion. They watched me. They were about 15 feet from the porch. They started at the corner by the path to the barn, and finished out back by Poolio. They were evenly spaced, watching, always watching me. An array of robins. Gawking. It was a bit unnerving. I saw The Birds as a youngster, and have not watched it again. I waited for them to make a move to peck my eyes out. There was an episode of screeching from a treetop, and a whole flock of robins took to the sky. The sentry joined them. Even the dogs looked up from their sun-snoozing in the front yard. I don't know what to make of it.

My Little Pony is in the poorhouse. He has lost his wallet. It's green nylon, with a velcro fastener. Won't you please help us look for it? It was last seen on Sunday, when HH took the Pony on an antique store/flea market jaunt. They were gone for hours. That's the day the Pony returned and proudly showed me two Christmas presents he had purchased for me. Yeah. He's not so good with secrets, that Pony. He also bought himself a coconut monkey. I think I already told you about it. It's a squatting monkey, carved out of an actual coconut shell. It's the size of...well...a coconut.

On Wednesday morning, I asked the Pony where he left his wallet. He wanted money for the book fair at school, and he's getting a bit old to be sending his money in an envelope for the teacher to deal with. He said his dad had it, and never gave it back. This is a bone of contention. I let the boys carry their money to The Devil's Playground. Of course, I ask them every five minutes if they still have it, but I let them be responsible. HH takes the money. "Here. I'll carry that. You'll have it lost." HH is anal like that about water on the bathroom wall, too. Those are his pet peeves. Losing money, and splashing water. Go figure.

I asked HH yesterday where he put the wallet. HH said he put it in the (secret hiding place where we keep the Christmas money that I'm not going to tell you. Not ALL the Christmas money--some of it is in the safe. Just the saving up until we get enough to put in the safe Christmas money). I looked. It wasn't there. HH checked his pimp car. Not there. He checked his jeans that he wore that day. He checked the Pony's pants and jacket. The wallet was way better at hiding than Waldo. HH decided that either the wallet had fallen out of his pocket while he and #1 were cutting wood down by the creek last Sunday, or the Pony had left it on the counter at the antique store. He ordered me not to let #1 look for it (because it's deer season, don't you know, and some city fool visiting people up in here might blow his head off and make Oberle sausage out of him). HH said he would put on his hunter orange after work and bowling, and go search for it. He also said that he would run by the antique store, because if it was left, the girls would save it for him, because they know him. I asked him why he didn't just call and ask if they found it, and he said, "I can't do that. They don't know me." Which started an argument of logic, since he had just said that they knew him. "They know me as the guy who asks for Falstaff stuff. They won't know me on the phone." I told him to say he's the guy who asks for Falstaff stuff, and did they find a wallet after his little boy bought a monkey. HH was having none of that.

The girls at the antique store oohed and ahhed at the sob story. "Aww...and he was telling us how much money he had, too. But we didn't find it. Poor little guy." The wallet was not in the woods. Then I got to quizzing HH even more. "Did you have it? He says you did. Maybe you put it somewhere else. Did he have it in the car? Did he put it in his bag with the monkey?" HH looked thoughtful. That doesn't happen often. "Now that you mention it, I think he did. I bet he left it in the bag, and he threw it away. We'll never find it." I had to chuckle. "THREW IT AWAY? We're talking about your son. That bag will be right there under his pile of books and yesterday's clothes and the box to his cast-off castle. He doesn't throw anything away without being told, and he took that monkey out of the bag right there and showed me last Sunday." HH summoned the Pony to the living room. I was in the kitchen by then, stirring up a cauldron of noodles and butter, the preferred food of Pony. I heard chortling. "DAAAAD! I thought YOU had it." Pony came to the kitchen, all smiles. He found his green wallet. He immediately took the money to pay off #1, the Payday Loan King, who had bought the Pony a Nintendo game on the promise of making a $10 profit when next allowance day rolled around. But Pony was satisfied.

$43 is a terrible thing to lose. And a joyous thing to find.


DPA said...


My weekly allowance was $7.

Hillbilly Mom said...

He doesn't get that much per week. My kids get their age plus $10. Out of that, they have to buy their own fast food if they clamor for it. Which is all the time. And their beggings at The Devil's Playground come out of it. It really cut down on the 'buy me this' mentality.

I, myself, used to get 50 cents every two weeks. Whether I needed it or not.

DPA said...

Did your dad tell you "Don't spend it all in one place" when he gave it to you?

Hillbilly Mom said...

No. Because he knew I WOULD spend it all in one place: the mom & pop grocery store one street over and two blocks down. They ran it out of their front room in their house. They had a glass candy counter, and my sister and I would take our whopping 50 cents down there every two weeks to buy a bag of candy.

Let's take a trip down memory lane. I know I couldn't afford this all with one allowance, but I remember getting wax lips and mustaches, red licorice rope, Nik L Nips (those wax soda bottles full of colored syrup), candy buttons on a paper ribbon, SuperBubble gum, Charms suckers, Sugar Daddies, Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans, candy cigarettes, cigar gum, Chuckles, Mallo cups, Jujyfruits, Pixy Stix, Jolly Ranchers, boxes of little jawbreakers, Atomic Fireballs, candy necklaces, Safe T Pops, Chiclets, Fruit Stripe gum, Chick O Sticks, Coconut Flags, Giant Taffy, red hots, root beer barrels, candy lipstick, licorice babies.

I carried my loot home in a little brown paper sack. It lasted a week.

We were kind of poor, with only my dad working at the time, with my mom going to night school to get a teaching degree. There was a counter that separated the kitchen in our trailer from the living room, and at his two-week payday, my dad would proudly stack two quarters for me, and two quarters for my sister.

Ahh...good times.