not living up to expectations
February 2, 2012
The internet called, apparently we here at jodi’s weblog are not fulfilling our quotas on cat pictures. So here is more Kevin.
My goal in life has always been to become the town eccentric, and up until recently I thought there was still lots of time to work towards that goal. But thinking back on the town eccentrics I have known, I’m starting to realize that those people weren’t as old as I thought they were. I met weird old recluse Pete Z as a teenager (when he was in his early 60s, I’m guessing) but my cousins had known him all their lives, and my mother knew him as the town weirdo when she was a kid, at which time he must have been quite young. Here’s a picture of me and my cousins and Pete, taken in around 1989:
On the left are my cousins Patti and Chris, old Pete in the middle, then me (in the hat; oh! that hat! and I had stuck a flower on it that day because I was A TOTAL HIPPIE) and my brother Dave in the Anthrax hat. Pete is holding the page from the Weekly World News that told the story of the guy who farts fire (photo taken with 110 film, probably Kodak because I don’t think you could get Fuji film at the grocery store in our town; Kodak Ektralite camera).
Just for fun here is another photo from that day, of Pete’s old tractor behind his place:
Taken with Ilford HP5 35mm film and who knows what camera. Please excuse the quality, it’s a scan of a crummy test print which I guess I never got around to printing any better. I wish I still had a print of the one I took of the old Dodge car that he had parked on his side lawn, full to the roof with cut firewood.
Mrs W, the weirdo lady who lived on my street growing up, is still alive, still living in the same house, and her daughter was only in her late teens when I was a kid listening to old Mrs W’s stories in the mid 1970s, which means that when we thought Mrs W was probably at least a hundred years old she was probably only 40. AND I’M 40 NOW, YOU GUYS. I’d better get cracking! So: this year is the year that all of the plastic animals and dinosaurs I’ve been collecting will finally get installed in the front garden; that will be a good start, I think, especially now that we’ve discovered Kevin has feline leukemia. Since this means I can only have the one cat for a while, I’ll have to work harder at being extra weird in other areas. Inspired by Pete Z and my old neighbour lady Mrs W, I’m going to try working on my storytelling skills to compensate for non-crazy-cat-ladyness.
Things Mrs W told me include:
-that the birds were plotting against her. Proof: they repeatedly pooped on her drying laundry, sometimes twice in a day (I did see the poop on the laundry one time so maybe the birds really did have a plot going on);
-that someone had poisoned her dogs (Pepper and I forget the other one’s name but at any rate, nobody poisoned them and next time I saw her, there were the dogs, fine as anything);
-that when her husband died he fell in the living room and one of the rabbit ears on the television went into his eye socket and pierced his brain (my mom says he died of a heart attack at home, but who knows, the falling on the rabbit ears part could still be true);
-a horrible story about some people setting fire to a cat in a barrel that I think was actually not a delusional old lady story but an actual true story she heard on the news.
Things the neighbour kids said about Mrs W:
-that when she was her daughter G’s age (so, around 18? at that time) she was very pretty just like her daughter and also she had an identical twin sister and the two of them left a dance with some unsavoury men and Mrs W was weirded out and wanted to go home but her sister didn’t and so Mrs W went home alone and her sister got murdered that night. Totally untrue and also probably inextricably linked to a town culture of slut-shaming Mrs W’s daughter G, who took a lot of flack for driving around on her motorcycle in a two piece bathing suit;
-that her dogs had in fact been poisoned, and died, and she had gone out and gotten two identical dogs and given them the same names as their predecessors and then forgotten the poisoning had ever happened.
Things Pete Z told me include:
-that a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every day will keep you from ever getting bunged up (this is true and I believe it and I will tell all the neighbour kids about it too);
-that if you kids wanna get bunged up, just you eat them prunes off that tree over there;
-that the walking trees from South America were moving north at a rate of a mile a year and were already halfway through Mexico and heading straight for Ontario;
-that antique dealers and the C.I.A. were in some kind of cahoots bent on getting their hands on all of his valuable stuff (the part about the dealers is undoubtedly true, his whole place was full of stuff that would have been pretty valuable then and even more so now). Also detailed accounts of how he had run several of them off his property, one who even had the gall to walk straight into his house without invitation and don’t you kids go trying that or else;
-killer bees will kill you and they have a blood lust fueled by killing;
-about a man who farted fire and he kept burning holes through his trousers and had already set his bed on fire in the night a couple of times (this one he showed us, clipped from the Weekly World News, probably also the source for the one about the walking trees).
Posted by jodi on February 2, 2012 at 10.23am
Categories: crazy cat lady, dumbass, makes you think all the world's a sunny day (oh yeah), navel gazing
Comments on "not living up to expectations"
ah yeah, crazy lady blogger.