Category Archives: Everything

Corn of the Flies

The school year was over and the long summer of fishing, swimming pools and daytime TV was upon us. Is there some way for me to avoid summer band with Mr. Mcgraw? In my pursuit to be like everyone else, I was ambitious to get a job corn detasseling. I talked to my sister’s friend who did it, and she made $900! I was going to be a millionaire. She bought Jordan’s and roller blades, boy what I’ll be able to do with that kind of cash. My mom managed to get me an application, and there I was, as eager as a 12-year-old can be, copying the funny number off of my social security card onto the form. It didn’t take long before she talked to Brian’s mom at swimming lessons, he was on board too. Brian was sort of the weird kid in class, but our parents decided to take turns driving us to Cokato, where we had to be early each morning for those several weeks. I readied myself in the weeks prior, I could tell my little brother Nik was both proud and a little jealous that I was going to have a job. In our bunk beds each night, we talked over the Nintendo games we were going to be able to buy with all my money. Buster, our fat yellow dog, was a little peeved that he would be deprived of so much of my time. I assured him there would be many late nights of co-op Ninja Turtles 2 action to look forward to. Even he seemed excited for me. The days prior drug on for what seemed like a summer in itself before finally the day came.

It was so early, it was still dark outside. The cool night air hugged the ground and left a fog  hanging over the slews and fields along the way. We stopped at Brian’s house, which was way out in the country in the opposite direction. We waited and waited outside. Was he crazy? Why wasn’t he outside waiting for us? We can’t be late on our first day. Finally, some movement inside. Here came Brian out the door. Darn he is so prepared, he has lunch box and a water jug. I only have a lunch box. We drove and drove down County Road 2 toward the Cokato city park. My mom showed us where the pay phone was, so that we could call her when we were done. She gave me a zip-lock with a bunch of change in it for the phone call. We finally made it to the park where we hustled out of the car toward the park shelter where many other kids already waited. All the other kids were strangers, many of them seemed to know each other already. Brian and I stood near one of the shelter poles where he told me about how his older brother did this when he was our age. All I remember from that conversation was Brian mentioning how his brother brought lemonade everyday, and how by the end everyone called him lemonade boy. Brian’s water jug was filled with lemonade. He was hoping by the end everyone would call him lemonade boy. I remember thinking to myself, “what the fuck?” It was cold waiting there. It reminded me of duck hunting trips I had made with my dad. We should have brought jackets, but it said in the brochure not to bring personal items. We waited and didn’t talk to the other kids. Everyone was eager and nervous, plus the other kids all seemed bigger than us and intimidating. The bus came and an adult did a short roll call as we all got in. He explained that the 15 year olds (that would be the 6 or 7 kids that were way taller than the rest of us) were the leaders. We were broken up into groups and all assigned to a leader. We never saw that adult again during the detasseling season. We took the bus out to the middle of nowhere, where our leaders explained and taught us the difference between seed corn and feed corn. A couple of other buses pulled up as well and dropped off a hoard of other kids and leaders. They showed us what the tassel was and how to pick it. Well they weren’t the furry things on the top of the corn I had expected, but oh well. We waited to start the adventure, laughing and jostling among the ranks began to grow. Then a few kids were screaming, “ouch!” and “what the fuck!”. Suddenly SMACK. A wet hard lump of something nails me in the ear. The green spike that you pull out of the corn-stalk can be slammed against your foot, causing the end to break off and fly through the air like a little torpedo. As the bullets flew, we were pelted on and off again for about 15 minutes in the crossfire. I wondered what I had gotten into. Finally the leaders took the time to stop laughing and tell everyone to quit. They started us on our rows.

We walked through the corn fields one mile at a time, for what seemed like an eternity, until we finally reached lunch. By this time we were all soaked with that very mist that had hung above the fields so innocently. Within minutes of starting, the gloves I had worn were drenched to the brim. I had to take them off, it was so uncomfortable. I didn’t realize that those wet corn leaves had edges sharper than razor blades. By the end of the first row my hands had little cuts all over them. My gloves weren’t drying, and it hurt even more to wear the wet cloth over my freshly wounded hands.

At lunch time the laughing had stopped, people were quiet sitting on that hot bus eating their lunches. Death hung in the air. We finished eating and left our lunch boxes on the seats. I thought to myself that I might never see that lunch box again. We waited to start the afternoon detasseling. While waiting, some of the kids gained their steam back and were wrestling, fighting and swearing. I think I remember a few of them crying. The leaders came back out and yelled at all the groups for missing some tassels. There was some spiel about quality mixed in there somewhere. The speech was effective, we were scared of missing tassels. We got back to it.

This part of the day was different from the morning. The dew had burned away and the sun was cooking us alive while we limped down the corn rows, yanking the increasingly tougher tassels out from their corn holsters. Every now and again a tassel bullet flew through the air and hit someone. Many of the kids lost it, there was yelling, cursing and odd rustling in the leaves here and there. The afternoon dragged and dragged. My gloves were never going to dry, I had to go on without them. Now my skin was rubbing off between my thumbs and pointer fingers, fostering blisters. I remember one girl was whining a lot and the leader had to go ahead of her and finish her row. She sat in the ditch and cried as we started what we hoped was the last mile of the day. It wasn’t. The fights and screaming died down again as everyone was slowly baked under the hot summer sun.

We finished and waited in the “crying ditch” for the buses to come back and take us to the park. There was a biffy on a trailer that they must have brought out as some point while we were miles deep in the field. An Asian kid who had been involved in a lot of the rough housing earlier went inside and closed the door. A group of roughians surrounded it and started slapping the outside and laughing. One kid held the door shut, while the others tipped it over while he was in there! The leaders rushed over and yelled at the kids (for only a short moment). The poor Asian kid crawled up and out the door. He was covered in shit and soaked in urine. I will not be pooping for the rest of the duration. I remember him screaming inaudible words. His will had been broken, he wouldn’t return.

The ride back was hot and quiet. We unloaded at the shelter, which was apparently donated by the snowmobile club as indicated on several signs. Brian and I walked to the payphone, which was dead. We went to the mechanic shop next door where an angry, oil dirtied man wouldn’t let us use the phone for a long distance call. So we had to walk to the Casey’s gas station on the far end of town. The whole while thinking there was no more home for us. Finally there, Brian produced a weird calling card which he said would save us money. I gave him the change bag and watched him pump nearly all of it into the phone while he pressed different numbers, eventually turning to me, handing the phone over and shrugging his shoulders. The automated voice on the other end was asking for an additional dollar seventy-five. We had a quarter and a dime left. I hung up the receiver, fuck no refund. I put the last of the coins in and dialed home. It worked and I told my mom to come get us.

After the long walk back to the snowmobile club shelter, there were only two boys left waiting around. We sat at one of the picnic tables when I remembered I had saved my Nutty Bar for later. As I pulled it out and looked at it in its melted glory, the two boys came over to us. They wanted to trade some shitty lunch leftover for it. I declined. Then the bigger of the two, who if I remember correctly had the last name “Boys”, swatted the whole lot of it off the table. Nutty bar and all went flying. We shot to our feet. A moment passed. Big boy and I stared at each other. For the first time in my life the overwhelming fight or flight adrenaline coursed through my 12-year-old veins. I rushed toward the lunch box. Somehow in the  mess of it all, the smaller kid had managed to trip me. I fell hard on the pavement slab. I grabbed the Nutty Bar and pulled the small kid down to the ground with me. I grabbed his shirt, not sure how to fight, landing punches where I could. As we rolled around on the ground the bigger kid threw my lunch box onto the roof of the shelter. He then came over and started kicking at my side. At this point an old man who had been doing yard work across the street yelled, “Hey!” His voice hammered through the air like a shotgun blast. The two boys hightailed it toward the jungle gym on the other end of the park. Now we are in trouble. As I got up the old man walked over and asked if we were okay. I looked back to see Brian cowering on the other end of the shelter. Thanks for the back up lemonade boy.

After checking the situation, the old man brought a ladder over and I climbed up onto the shelter roof to get my lunch box. The two boys hid under the jungle gym and watched us like a couple of hyenas in wait. They didn’t come back. Brian and I decided it was best not to tell our parents about the fight. I’m not sure why, but we felt that it was one of those things to keep quiet. The melted, smashed up Nutty Bar was ruined, ripped and covered in grit from the ground. I put it back in my lunch box, instead of throwing it away. I was no longer a little boy.

My paycheck came long after the three weeks on Corn Island, and was only $286.00 after taxes.

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Facebook App request

Before you read this: If you are about to think, “Well just don’t use Facebook if you hate it so much.” I need you to put ginger in your mouth. I have my reasons for having Facebook.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

-Bilbo Baggins

Most people have Facebook, most people receive app requests from Facebook friends that are playing stupid flash games or can’t appreciate a news article by themselves. I’m getting these from people I barely even know. Sometimes friends even ask in person, “could you just play a round on coin party and accept my invitation and send me some coins?” I don’t understand this. Would you like to come over to my house and play monopoly? No, no one would. I  know that. Would you just quick type all your passwords to companies you don’t know and email it? Would you buy an N64 and invite me over to play smash bros.? Anyway; not that big of a deal, I just don’t like that stuff.

The real issue that is trending more and more on Facebook is posts asking, “If you like this {insert whatever} please like/repost this. These drive me absolutely insane. I’m sorry to you beardos, who at some minor level get off doing this kind of thing, but really?  Oh boy let me see who loves their mother… this is going to be great !

These remind of me email forwards I used to get to my hotmail account which was hilariously mwacko69@hotmail back in the day. I tried to log in, the account doesn’t exist anymore, I guess I won’t be going on MSN messenger anytime soon and reconnecting. Back to the point… there would be some long-winded story about Bill Gates sharing his money to anyone who forwards this to 25 people, or some sad (clearly made up) story about some cancer patient being carried up a flight of stairs and getting divorced. Then whatever stupid story (some might have been based on true stories, don’t get me wrong, but the act of putting it on a forward made it stupid) would have some message at the end about if you love your family you will send this to 25 friends and you will have good luck in life. If you don’t send it to 25 people you will have 7 years of bad luck. Well those were fine and dandy and easily deletable. I often wondered if some of the people out there, whether they were desperate for love or religious cult followers, actually or even partially believed in any of those things. I mean they didn’t hesitate to attach dozens of people to the forward. I always thought those people were such suckers. Perhaps that’s an archetype example of how the rich sell masses of crap to the regular.

I realize those emails were the bastard children of snail mail chain letters, but I am too young for chain letters. More popular are the obviously fake stories that people “repost” on their wall in the hopes of generating “likes”. Is that what you want attention for? I like good stories, but stories that are clearly fake trying to be passed along as real events annoy me. More specifically are the ones about where “if you don’t take the time to tell someone you love them… then someone dies at the end.”  Anyone who loves anyone knows that stuff, if you don’t love anyone, the story would be of little concern to you. I won’t rant any further on this.

Facebook is clearly for dogs, babies, thumbs upping engagement announcement pictures and watching your friends weight fluctuate.  The end.

Pink Tulips

TRUE STORY — *** DON’T LET TIME PASS YOU BY…*** MUST READ IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY

Roger was an old man with few friends. In fact the only people that knew him well were his doctor and the local police dispatcher. Both of whom he would call and talk with frequently. Everyone else that knew him or at least interacted with him thought he was a mean, grumpy, stinky old man. They would dread him coming into the store then laugh about the the things he would say behind his back. In a way he provided entertainment, but not the type anyone would be proud of. Roger knew that most people laughed at him and didn’t really like him, and even though he had no friends or family left to comfort him he kept on chugging along.

Roger was somewhat of a paranoid man. He kept a pistol hidden in his wheel chair and would call the police information line anytime he saw something suspicious in his neighborhood. He kept an especially close eye on the trees since he felt they provided easy access to the windows of homes. Roger lived in a bad part of town, so the calls were frequent. The neighborhood wasn’t always so bad. When his family had first moved in, it was a bustling young part of the city where everyone had good employment, there were block parties, bbq’s etc… over the 97 years of his life he watched as things slowly got hairy around them. Roger had been given a bad hand later in life. After surviving as a front line soldier through the war and working many fulfilling years at an automobile factory he had retired with a good pension. Then one day everything went to shit for him. Roger and his wife had decided that since he had retired they would move out of their long time home. The value was dropping by the day and they were no longer fond of the surrounding area. After many unsuccessful showings, Roger’s real estate agent suggested an open house. Roger was very against he idea of having his front door open to any stranger that might want to come in, but after much discussion he agreed to trust that everything would be okay. Roger’s only condition was that he and his wife would be a part of the open house to keep an eye on these potential buyers. In preparation Roger had decided to have his son come down and visit to help them move some things out of the house and arrange some of the furniture. The morning of the open house Roger’s wife had prepared a deli tray of snacks for the potential guests and his agent had put together brochures for potential buyers.

They opened the doors and after not long wild street cats invaded the house and violently mauled and hunted everyone inside. Roger had both legs eaten off and was only saved only by the grace of a laser pointer the agent had dropped when he perished. He was able to stir the cats into a frenzy by swirling the laser pointer around the room. He lost both of his legs that day. He also lost his family and his house cat, which wasn’t accepted by the wild street cats. It was the worst day of his life, and he’d been through a lot over the years.

Years later Roger had developed an unrivaled sense of paranoia for anything that could potentially harm anybody. Even though most people didn’t like Roger, he cared dearly about protecting them. When he died the notes he had kept about all the calls to the police information line were found in his home. They helped solve countless crimes around the city. They also eventually led to the capture and rehabilitation of all the street cats in that horrible gang.

LIKE/REPOST IF:

You love your family

Believe in second chances

Have ever been laughed at

Understand the difference between vegans and vegetarians and why it’s important

Love your house pets

Are weary of strangers

Celebrate New Years

Have legs

Remember the good old days

There is hope for the world, we just need to learn from our elders. Reach for the staaaars… You might just grab one…