Posted by: jamesotis | August 24, 2008

Evil in the 4th grade

  Once upon a time a third grader contracted mono. Yes, me. The right fullback on my soccer team went sexually active at a very young age and chased every little vag he could. And as comrades in sport the team shared water bottles. Or so the doctor surmises. As for the rest of Arvada High’s future B-team, well, we won’t go there. I was lucky that all I got was mono.

  So enter half a year of blitzing nausea, vomiting, involuntary sleep and homeschooling. Guess what? Those Bs became straight A’s. Maybe all the nastiness was a blessing in disguise. My parents decided to let me keep up the good work. Made me even weirder than my family and birth it’s self, but it beat frustration for teachers, parents and the student alike.

  Fast forward one year. My mother got ahold of an amazing set of teacher’s resource catalogues for her little science geek. So in addition to amazing math manipulatives (yes, I know I am, but this kind – click on kits) and I got to play with real live animal guts. Yes, in fourth grade, not college. Well almost…

  You see we kept the guts (mainly sheep and cow liver, kidneys, lungs and hearts, with a brain or two) in our massive chest freezer (no pun intended). This particular appliance was kept in a poorly insulated back room just off the kitchen. We called it the Great Room because it was nearly the size of the entire upstairs floor. Anyhow. The Great Room was great for food storage because in could freeze a side of meat in the winter and dry better than a food processor in the summer. No exaggeration.

  The guts arrived in a very large Styrofoam container, complete with raised eyebrows from our postal worker who just happened to live next door. This was near my birthday in October. I was surprised and somewhat grossed out. It just wasn’t as cool as I had envisioned. Huge fight with the Teachers and the cooler went to the giant freezer. Or it would have had not my mother been sucked into the food co-op by a particularly paranoid group leader who thought that all the group’s pre-teens should get married.  So on to the couch near the freezer the cooler went. It was a harsh winter and although the snow and sky cleared, the thermometer never raised until Muddy March.

  As the spring progressed the once mousy smelling Great Room took on a decidedly sour scent. As we came to a prematurely hot May my family reached their limits for foul odors on the way to the car, to the point of walking clear around the house and avoiding said room like the Guilt God in the fridge*(see note). My mother bravely donned rubber boots and gloves and her utterly unholy, bleach eaten jeans and sweat shirt and began the tenth search that month, vowing to move everything but the walls and floorboards. After deep searching the freezer and everything around it, she tried to move the couch. Just in case anything had fallen underneath or crawled there for an eternal moment’s peace. This involved moving a now rather sloshy and curiously heavy Styrofoam cooler…                                   

  My thanks to Mr. Lady for reviving this wonderful memory and for all the wonderful stories sent in by her readers. Now let’s make this personal. We’ve heard about the car. How ’bout that house? What was the most god awful (no, lets capitalize that) mess in your living quarters? The email lines are open and remember, nothing is off limits here. But sorry, new-pet-garter-snake-that-dissapeared-and-was-found-in-the-heat-duct-6-mos.-l8r is taken.

* Scroll down, Chapter 33 & Final Chapter (35).



  1. I want to die like my grandfather; peacefully in my sleep. Not screaming like his passengers.AnonymousAnonymous

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