Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Restitutions

First, I would like to wish all of my visitors (some of them inexplicably loyal!) a very happy, healthy and productive 2006!

One of my favorite blog-buddies, Metro Dad, had the best idea for a New Year's post. He (like me) has become enamored with the new show, My Name is Earl, where Jason Lee's character makes a list of all the bad things he's done to people throughout his life and tries to repair the damage, one poor victim at a time.

Anyway, what Metro Dad did and what I'm doing here is to make my own little list of bad karma-inducing behavior from childhood and somewhat beyond...if you recognize yourself in this list of unsuspecting targets, SORRY!!

~ There was a girl on my block in Brooklyn named Carolyn who just annoyed the crap out of us. We did some rather uncreative things like make her eat dirt and drink perfume, but my claim to fame was staging a version of "The Dating Game" where she was the 12 year old "bachelorette". We positioned the "bachelors"in another room, and I (acting as MC) would take her questions and deliver back each guy's response. Bachelor Number Three had ALL the right answers. Long walks on the beach, romantic dinners by candlelight...he was good. Of course she chose him and waited for him to be revealed.
That's when I giddily introduced her to her new date: Her dog Rusty.

~ In the landline days, all kids made prank phone calls (um, right?). Sure, we did the typical "Is your refrigerator running?" ones, and some a little more interesting. ("Don't answer your phone in the next 10 minutes. Men are working on the lines and can be electrocuted." Called right back and when the person answered, we screamed real loud.)The cruelest one, though, was perpetrated on an unsuspecting man named Irving Levine from Bensonhurst. I still remember his number: GE6-8802...that's how many times we called. For some reason, I was elected to put on my best Borscht-belt accent and ask for Irving. My name was Sylvia Rosenberg, and when his wife answered I was outraged ("His WIFE??!!") as I claimed to be having an affair with Irving. We even went so far as to send him cards and letters from Sylvia!! Sorry Irving. Yikes.

~ My friend Andrea and I babysat for a couple, Angela and Lou, who hired us almost nightly while they satisfied their Bingo addiction. They were pretty horrible people who never washed the sheets on their kids' beds (we kept track of the stains). We rifled through all their personal correspondence, photos, etc. Worse yet, if there was any commotion outside like a car accident, we'd run out to see what was up, leaving their house wide open (and their small children inside alone). But again they were so weird that we didn't feel so bad about it. The husband was super creepy so I made up a version of the song, "Close to You" about him. ("Unlike me, she likes to be...close to Lou...")

~ I did some things in a church confessional that are still illegal in a few states south of the Mason-Dixon line.

~ I misled a nun who was foolish enough to ask a couple of sixth-graders what 69 meant while she was keeping me and a friend after school as punishment for reading a "dirty book" (Elia Kazan's "The Arrangement". What can I say? We were sophisticated!). I guess she figured that we were as good as source as any to fill the gaps in her knowledge of sexual terms. After the initial shock of being asked this question, I thought for a minute and then drew stick figures of the position and said: "the girl lays like this, the boy lays like this, and they lick each other's feet." Sorry, Sister! (she later left the nunnery... sorry, ex-Sister's boyfriend!)

~ Much to my 15-year old self's horror, I found myself hosting some creepy-crawlies that had been sexually transmitted to me by my heroin-addict boyfriend. Too embarrassed to buy the stuff that kills them, I told my father that we needed it to get rid of the dog's fleas. Off he went to the drugstore to do my dirty work. (Hey, it was karma for him too... he had once sent my sister to the hardware store to buy "elbow grease"!!)

~ I collected the dissected earthworms from our high school Biology class and planted them in various unappetizing places in the cafeteria, including the Coke machine and in one girl's tuna sandwich.

~ We had an inventive 5th grade homeroom teacher who used to let us rearrange our desks every few weeks, so we'd face a different side of the room. We had three teachers of different subjects who would rotate in an out during the day. They were fairly annoyed with one of the positions that put the clock behind them. When the Science teacher, a nearly senile nun, entered the room and realized she couldn't see the clock while teaching, she foolishly nominated me to raise my hand when it was 5 minutes before the end of class. Every day I'd raise my hand a little earlier until finally I'd let her TEACH for five minutes, raise my hand, and she'd leave the room. Tee hee.

Thankfully that's all I can think of right now, and hopefully no long term damage was done. Do you think that Carolyn and Rusty are still together?