Wednesday, June 14, 2006

$4 t-shirt and a story that has nothing to do with it

Now that I have your attention, I must think up a story. I have to. I received an e-mail, asking for a blogstory. What's girl to do? Come, sit in my lap.

Once Upon a Time, when I was less than kindergarten age, when my morning, afternoon, and evening schedules were all penciled in with the word "play," I found myself being fitted for a shiny new pair of yellow shorts, as my mother slaved away at a sewing machine. They were almost done; all she needed to do was thread some elastic through the waist band.

My mother wasn't really much of a seamstress; stitching one piece of fabric to another was do-able. Zippers and buttonholes were out of the question, however, so elastic it was.

Alas. There was no elastic to be found in the sewing box.

No sense in dragging all the kids along, she just ran next door to ask Mardell (that's Mrs. McKenna to you and me) to keep an eye on us while she ran up to the Scott's dime store for a sec. Mardell was only too happy to oblige, as taking care of a kid in our neighborhood in the mid 60s consisted primarily of waking us up, and sending us outside for a bit of fresh air until our Dad's got home from work around 5:30 in the evening.

So my mother parked me on Mardell's front step, still wearing the shorts-in-limbo. I distinctly remember banging on the screen door for permission to come in, but was denied. I sat down and waited with my chin in my hand. Bored.

Bored, that is, until little (though 2 years my senior) Joe McKenna sauntered up, toting 2 pairs of boxing gloves. "Wanna box?" he said? "Sure." Boxing? There was a time in my life when I'd actually say "Sure" to boxing? I was actually going to lace up and punch someone for fun? I was no Miss Priss when I was 4 years old. Like I am now.

I gloved up. These were the real McCoy, for kid's gloves; Joe actually had to lace me into them, and tie them into shoestring-like knots. I don't remember how he got into his own gloves. He did though, and said, "ready?"

Ready as I'd ever be. I stood up and assumed my best boxing stance.

And my elastic-less shorts fell right to my ankles.

I challenge any one of you to strap yourself into these things, and pull up your pants. Seriously, look at them:

It's impossible. While I struggled around with 2 giant thumbs on each hand, that blasted Joe McKenna lay helplessly in the grass, laughing his 6-year-old butt off. Chivalry was dead even then. I screamed thru the door for more help, but apparently Barnabus Collins had more to offer than the screechy neighbor kid.

There was nothing for me to do then, but sit my underpants right back down on the stoop, and wait, shorts around my ankles, for my Mom to arrive back home, and unlace me from my boxing-glove shackles.

That's the end of the story. I wonder what that Joe McKenna's up to these days, he moved shortly after that. Wonder if he ever remembers the stupid little fat girl next door, losing her drawers on his front step.

I wonder why sewing never appealed to me.


  1. Anonymous1:07 AM


    I read the comment you posted on New York Hack. I almost fell off my chair when you called yourself a "drooling goober." So I decided to pay a visit to your blog!

    The answer to your question is Joe probably doesn't remember a thing! I was reading my hometown paper's guest book and recognized the name of a bully from my past. I e-mailed him and asked if he remembered the little girl he used to throw rocks at in kindergarten and he didn't remember every doing it! Admittedly the rock throwing incident happened in 1955 or 1956, and he is now retired and probably can't remember what he had for lunch yesterday, but I so wanted to call him a... ah a... drooling goober!

    Thanks for making me laugh!


  2. Loved both the story AND the T-shirt! Gonna get your URL printed on it as well? ;)



  3. oh, I love that story! Does your mom remember it?

  4. Do we get to start calling you the Flash?

  5. Hahahha, this is a really funny story.....written in your unique way. I laughed out loud. Am still giggling. Thanks for sharing. And btw, that's a lovely T-shirt.

  6. Love the t-shirt!!

    And I LOOOOVE the story! That's an instant classic.

  7. Lovely story .. Nice t-shirt ..Where did you get that t-shirt from ..


  8. What a great story. Though I am sure you didn't feel great at the time.

    I bet you wanted to use those gloves on Little Joe McKenna after that too!

  9. That's hilarious. I can see how that would happen with the boxing gloves, they're slippery too.

  10. Heh, I figure the universe will figure out something equally hilarious to happen to Joe McKenna at some point in his life.

    And he'll think to himself, "Hey! what did I do to deserve this..."

    Wonder if he remembers the incident? :)

  11. AZ: Thanks for stopping in, happy to amuse. Hey, I got hit in the face with a rock when I was a kid too, still have the scar on my lip to prove it. I won't say who did it, but his initials are Vincent Frisbee.

    Janet: You're a genius!

    SS: I'm sure she does, I remind her every so often, how she scarred me for life.

    Awe: Flash. I like it. Ok.

    Edina: Thanks. I bought it very extra big, it's my nightgown now.

    Momo: It's funny every time.

    Ilaiy: TY. The T-shirt is Prada, of course.

    Barry: I dare him to show his face again!

    Darius: Hi, Darius! Boxing gloves do make for awkward manipulation. Think I'll try typing in them...

  12. I'm with Spider Girl. Karma's gonna get that kid.

    That post is evidence why you are in my faves. Fantastic story.

  13. LOVE THE SHIRT! And the story is terrific - you made my day!

  14. ROTF...

    I have a similar story involving Pantyhose, bullies and dresses.

    I'm not giving any details but I can say: I don't wear Pantyhose evah!!

  15. Spider Girl: Your post came in just before my response. I'm sure you're right, we all have our embarrassing crosses to bear, don't we?

    CB: Ya sweet talker. I wonder if Joe M. will ever google his own name...

    Wendy: Thanks; I rarely wear t-shirts, but just couldn't resist this one.

    Mary P: Ohhhhhhh, "someone" tucked their dress into the back of their pantyhose, didn't you, I mean "they"? Spill it!

  16. NEED the t-shirt. Can do without the elastic-less shorts, however.

  17. I'll send you one. What with all that weight you're losing, a men's "S" will do, yes?

  18. You gonna wear that to work? Hehe. :) I love the shirt!

  19. LOLOLOL!!!

    Oh boy, that was a good one!

  20. That shirt will be mine!! If you see a suspicious looking (ruggedly handsome, well-mannered) British boy lurking in your neighbourhood - run for your life!

    As ever, loved every minute of it!


  21. I love that story! It is funny every time. Ask my coworkers, they are all staring at me after I laughed uncontrollably for 10 minutes.

  22. LMAO i can imagine the scene! that is absolutely priceless.

  23. Okay, I get home from work. Click on your blog. See the pic. I am tired, my eyes are bloodshot and watery from staring into headlights all night, I don't have my glasses on and I read:


    My initial amused reaction was that this "empty-nester" is becoming rather risque.

    Woke up later in the day and noticed my error.


  24. Oddly I didn;'t laugh. The story is kind of sad. I laughed my ASS off at the black and Decker Hammer and Screwdriver set though. I needed that!COol about the car picture. Odd coincidence. (cue twilight zone music)

  25. BTW the TShirt needs your BLOGGY ADDRESS on it. I can hook you up with my cafe press account but the shirt will be more like $12

  26. I bought Kristin a t-shirt recently - it says "I'm a fucking mommyblogger" and she really wears it!

  27. Yes- the best way to get guys' attention is to write something on your chest and point to it!

  28. Hilarious! I am glad I am here!

  29. Cass: to work? Nooooo, lest my boss tune in and find out what I'm really doing at my desk all day...

    Sven: Mi camisa es su camisa.

    PP: Back to work, girl! No laughing! No smiling!

    Lime: ;-) Thanks

    Will: I'm not saying anything about my risque behavior here (but others may have blogged about it)

    Andy: Don't cry. It was funny.

    Wendy: Where did you find THAT shirt? Hilarious!

    Jack: Right. As if either the OR the pointing is necessary.

    Gautami: Glad you stopped by! Welcome!

    Femme: Fun...once. It worked out in the end: blog fodder 40 years later!

  30. I just dropped my pants, put on boxing gloves and pulled my pants up. Ah, the joy of having an opposable thumb.

    Then agan, I did it in my living room without having to worry if anybody would see me.

  31. Greg: Alllllll right. You. Me. Gloves. Mike 'N Molly's. Friday night.


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