MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: FROM HORNY TOADS TO STRIP POKER

Monday, March 26, 2007

FROM HORNY TOADS TO STRIP POKER

The electrical jobs my dad normally worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) played out several times as one dam or steam plant project ended. During these times, normally during the summers when school was out, my mom, my brother, and I followed him to out of state jobs the IBEW provided. I think you could only turn down so many job offers before the union punished you by not notifying you when work was available. So, dad took jobs in Birmingham, AL, somewhere in West Virginia and Indiana, and Pittsburg, PA in separate summers on these occasions. Mom and dad had to assess the duration of the remaining work, before school started back, in order to decide whether we moved to the new location, or stayed where I attended school the previous year.

I remember him coming home during the time in West Virginia and yelling loudly as he arrived, “I’m home from West 'By God' Virginia!” When he would get back home from further north, Pennsylvania or Indiana, it was “Jesus Christ and a couple of by God’s, I’m home!”

The language of the north always fascinated him, and us, for that matter. In those days cussing was less common in the south, with mostly simple swear words reserved for all male groups. Women rarely cursed openly, even in heated contentions over the backyard fences.

However, cursing seemed part of the culture the further above the Mason/Dixon you got. “Jesus Christ and a couple of by God’s,” was dad’s way of poking fun at what he observed. Even as a young boy of fifteen, I blushed several times for my mother as men, and some women, said things in front of her that noticeably startled her.

One summer, as I was beginning my adolescent introduction to a grown up world, I struggled to make the shift from a young boy to a developing young man. I still loved to play along the creek with my five-year-old brother, making dams, and catching crayfish, or building home sites with imaginary garages of our toy cars, and connecting roads in the dirt in the little yard we had in the new trailer park in Pittsburg.

The plan was to move back to Waverly, Tennessee when school started, so we left our trailer there and rented one for the summer. The park was not the Mockingbird, but it was full of new and strange adventures.

My brother and I ordered a horny” toad off the back of a comic book and tried our hand at raising this strange lizard. However, within two weeks we succeeded in letting the local ants kill it. I still do not understand what happened. I thought toads, or lizards ate ants, but these ants someone burrowed into the lining of its mouth and choked it to death. We had a ritualized burial, down by the creek, and soon forgot about it.

Playing with boats, cars, and “horny” toads was my way of clinging to my childhood I suppose, but I liked being a kid. However, something new came along that began to coax me into a new realm. I had been close to that strange new land before, but never before with a strange new creature known as a “teenage girl!”

I do not remember her name, but her classic Atlanta, GA looks are burned into my mind, even today. Her hair was “dishwater blonde” and naturally curly, cut just above the shoulder, with bright colored barrettes, that always matched her clothes, holding back the hair on each side of her head just above her ears.

Her sixteen-year-old skin was almond and covered in soft little hairs that caught the sunlight when she was outside, and her eyes were so dark that it appeared she had no pupils. These eyes pierced my very soul and beckoned me to edge of my moral restraints.

One Sunday afternoon, we played cards in her living room while half watching TV with her family. Then, as if an answered prayer, her parents announced that they were going over to my house to play cards with my folks.

It was summertime, so we could hear through the cranked out Jalousie windows as they walked the few feet across to my trailer and as they were greeted and welcomed.

Being a rookie, I did not know what to do, but I knew I wanted something to happen. Before I could make my own plans, she softly, and as matter-of-factly as could be said, asked, “Do you want to play strip-poker?”

Why, hell yeah” I shouted inside! Out loud I said, “Huh?”

If you win a hand, I take something off, and IF I win, you take something off. Okay?”

It sounded easy enough, besides I had been winning quite a few hands already. However, life never deals you a fair hand or a straight from either side!

Soon I was sitting there in my socks and Fruit-of-the-Looms, trying mentally to beat down my “tight pants point,” and dreading the fact that it was her deal.

Finally, I won a hand and there, right in front of me, was that tan little belly, all covered in fine little blonde hair that swirled in a perfect clockwise pattern, like fuzz on a (Georgia) peach, around the most beautiful “inny” belly button I could have imagined, just beneath her snow white bra. The best part, it was my deal next!

It’s been great, we’ll see yawl next time,” her father said as he came out of my parent’s trailer. “Yeah, thanks for the coffee and cake Christine,” her mom added.

Oh my God, I had about twenty-five steps to get all my clothes back on and she already sat there fully clothed again looking at me with desperate eyes, and whispering “Hurry up!”

Because I am writing this you know that I survived, but it was a close call with me jerking my pullover shirt down just as the door opened. “You kids have fun?”

The only thing good that happened that afternoon was that another little “horny” toad was born into the world. The next time that opportunity came along I played faster and I cheated!

12 comments:

BRUNO said...

Loved it, Mushy, I loved it! Made ME blush just remembering---er, THINKING about it! (AGAIN!)

L said...

ha ha ha!

Jess said...

Just a bit of wisdom for ya... Never ever play cards with GA girls unless you want to lose... We cheat like crazy!

Dana said...

Us southern girls were raised to be so demure and wholesome, but underneath we are little bad girls. LOL

Great post, Mushy! You have a way with words.

*Goddess* said...

GASP! That chick was taking advantage of you, Mushy! LOL...I love it.

Les Becker said...

"The next time that opportunity came along I played faster and I cheated!"

Best line in the whole story...

Fathairybastard said...

Yep, that was classic. I think she'd played that game before, eh? Good post. you spin a great tale.

And we used to catch horny toads when I was a kid. They were common here till fire ants came along in the 70s. Cool, prehistoric looking lizards. Don't see them much any more.

Chuck said...

Excellent story! Is it wrong that I was reading this, hoping something more was going to happen? Man, I should really get my head out of the gutter!

Suldog said...

Mushy! I'm a happily married man, but you had me just yearning for a look at that navel of hers. Evil, man, evil.

Mushy said...

Thanks for the comments guys and gals...it's great to remember youth once again.

Honestly, I'm not sure I ever felt that intensity of anticipation, that ache in my loins, again.

Butch said...

Mushy,

Cheating at Strip-Poker is perfectly acceptable... :)

Mushy said...

Thanks Butch...I feel better. I was about to call'em all up and apologize. Now, I'll just see if they want a re-match!