Writing is an Itch. This is a place to scratch.

Monday, November 9, 2009

7 Things You Don't Know About Me

By Rattus Scribus© 9 Nov 2009.
Please read the previous blog (Kreative Blogger Award) before this one.

Here are seven things that most of my blog readers don't know about me:
One part of me wants to say that some of these things would make me who I am today. Another part of me wants to say, "And you're bragging this?"

1. When I was an infant (that's my excuse) my mother (so she says) found me once in my crib covered from head to toe in a thick brown substance. Apparently, I had worked my diaper loose and, well, let's just say I was born an artist. I still think my mom told that story so that no matter my educational or professional achievements, I would always remember that I was one of the little people.

2. At around age 11, I fell into a bout of sadness about what I cannot for the life of me remember. But I do remember that I had had it with home and was going to run away. It was a day or two after Halloween, so naturally I grabbed my pillow case and filled it with all the candy that all four of us kids got trick-or-treating, which would sustain me for the circumnavigation of the globe. Although it was in the afternoon and I could just as easily have run away through the font door of the then empty house, I chose, dramatically, to climb out of my sisters' bedroom window (there were big bushes outside the room my brother and I shared). I got to the corner, vagabond candy pack over my shoulder, and ran straight into my mom who was driving home. She gave me that, "Your arse belongs to me" look, and I ran tout de suite back home, thus ending my wunderlust. I never traveled over seas until 2003.

3. When I was about 13, I was with my brother in a store that sold everything from penny candies to live animals. Without warning, my brother opened the cage of parakeets at the rear of the store, grabbed one, stuffed it into one of the pockets of his levis and started walking across the entire length of the store to the door, the bird chirping away, though sounding like it was bound and gagged, and me sweating my youth away thinking we were going to Alcatraz for sure. That was the least stressful and least dangerous example of what could happen at any given moment hanging around my brother in those days.

4. Right around the same time, my brother and I (and the whole world) were into the Beatles, so we begged our parents Christmas after Christmas to buy us musical instruments: a guitar for my brother, a drum set for me. We were going to be the brown Puerto Rican Beatles. One Christmas morning we awoke to unwrap a plastic toy guitar-like thingy for my brother, that was impossible to tune and play (indeed, I am certain it was not meant to be), and a 3 piece all METAL infantile toy drum-set for me that was only slightly better than overturned coffee cans. I would tell you how that Christmas changed my life. But I'm trying to keep my blog positive.

5. In middle school, my parents took us to buy shoes. Since we NEVER (I say again, NEVER) dressed in style, I was biting my nails all the way to the shoe store. What O sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, would our dear but so not fashion conscious parents buy us? They bought us each the same pair of chalk white indestructible humongous bricks (I'll not call them shoes) that would have been our last choice if it was between them or walking across the burning sands of Arabia barefoot.
These are the only shoes I could find on the web that might give you a feel for what we had to endure.

Our friends could see us coming from a mile away and we never heard the end of it. My brother and I tried to color them black with roll-on black shoe polish. But the fiendish things would just keep absorbing it, succeeding only in looking like a bad Earl Scheib paint job. We tried everything to shorten their life: kicking trees, scraping them against stones, nuclear detonators. OK, OK, it wasn't my money. Maybe my parents just couldn't afford the latest shoe styles. But was it too much to ask that my shoes not look like a pair of great white sharks?

6. Right after high school a second cousin of mine came back from Vietnam and started hanging around us "kids." These were the days when I used to inhale. One time we planned a camping trip for a bunch of friends. Willy and I left a day ahead, and we brought all the necessities for a one-with-nature experience: pot and plenty of stupid foods. By the time we got to the camp site, we were so high, that we couldn't even figure out how to make our dinner, let alone put up the "five-man" tent (which back then required an advanced degree). We laughed for an eternity under the starlit mountain sky, eating uncooked beans and candy. We slept under a totally collapsed canvas tent that acted as our 50 pound blanket, under which the effects of the beans and candy made themselves known. Those were the days, and it's a wonder we came through them alive.

7. I went to high school with Marie of Dancing in Tattered Shoes (who nominated me for the Kreative Blogger Award), though we did not "hang out" together. She and a couple of people here of course know this. But what most of you will not know, and what I myself could not have known in my high school days is that I would (8 years later) marry Marie's cousin, Anita from Castles Crowns and Cottages. We are still happily married 27 years later. My brother has calmed down and has long been one of my best friends. And my mom and I are as close as we've ever been, though the tables have turned and it's me the one telling the stories now.

Now you know the real mind behind the blogs, Rattus Scribus and Rattus' Tales. I hope you still like me.



Patricia Cabrera said...

hahahahah.... I have tears in my eyes now... from laughing so hard.
The episode with the diaper is very familiar to me , after all I am a mother of 7!
Yes, grin, I still like you and your lovely wife, too!
My english is so poor that even though I read her post twice , I never thought , not even once, that the award was extended to me. Anita is probably thinnking that I ignore it!:-0
I can only imagine *what* Anita thinks when she reads my broken Englisg notes!
This post made my day brighter!Thank you Rattus!

Michelle Shaw said...

What revelealing stories! The stories about your shoes reminded me how embarrassed I was riding around in our forty foot long station wagon. Remember the old two-tone wagons? Yikes! Brown and red...that was us chugging down the street. Your camping story gave me a good chuckle too. Those were the days...

Debbie said...

I'M LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!!! The parakeet in the pants!!! That poor birdy! LOL!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh mon cher, comme tu écris si bien....tu es si drôle!!! I love these stories and I die laughing everytime. I LOVE YOU! Your sense of humor will always be endearing to me.....BISOUS! Anita

Fete et Fleur said...

WOW! When the shoes came up, I practically fell off my chair laughing!! I didn't know some of these things. Our older brother is something else, and so were you for that matter.

Love you!

Marie said...

Yes, Ruben. Who would have known we'd be related at some point in time. I too have a shoe story, but I think I'll save it for a nice little share time. Lol.

You got more than a giggle out of me with this blog. With hubby asleep I thought I would explode with #1 and it only got harder to keep in especially when I read about your camping trip. You were something else. Just glad my cousin met you when she did all cleaned up and shaven. ;-)

Marie Antionette said...

First,congrats on your award.You truely deserve it.
What an interesting life you led. And I just bet that older brother led you younger ones a merry chase. I have older brothers so I know this to be true...LOL.The shoe story...you poor soul. The things our Mothers would do to us back then. Don't you just love in store pranks? This wa a very fun read. And I still like you!!!
Thank you for honoring me with this award. I'm always happy to recieve awards. They let you know you must be doing something right...LOL
You take care and Kiss Anita and Nancy for me, and here's one for you...XXOO,Oh thats two and two hugs Marie Antionette

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I just had to see this again for an uplifting start for the day. How did I become so lucky to have married you? OH! Please, visit Michelle Shaw's blog....give her a comment on both her entries; she would appreciate it coming from you. Bisous, moi

Bonnie said...

Rattus, old bean, I feel like I know you inside and out! Great stories! Thank you again for nominating me and congratulations to all the recipients of the Kreativ Blogger award!


Bonnie said...

Rattus, thank you for visiting my 7 "things" and thanks for your kind comments. My dad was quite a guy, you would have liked him.

I wanted to say I totally agree with your comment on teaching and speaking of Sister you know who, she had a twin (literally) who once ridiculed this poor boy in front of the class for using the word "plummet" - he actually said plummeted - in his speech. She stopped him right there and asked how he came up with that word. He wasn't quite sure but she kept him on the hot seat. She wanted to say he was too dumb to come up with a word like that AND use it correctly. How we longed for a nice teacher. By the way, we always had to use ink in her class not pencil and the ink color had to be peacock blue. Yes indeed.

That day, as you can tell, is burned in my brain. I told my mother once that in order to be a nun you had to hate kids. :)

Bonnus of the Vallus

Debbie said...

Ruben, just had to comment on your comment on my blog about reality t.v. You say so eloquently and articulately that, which I can only say with sarcasm and bad words! LOL! I agree with your point of view 100% I didn't know I was a Mexican until I got out into the real world and learned that life was not like Leave it to Beaver. I graduated from El Rancho in 1975, did not go to college and began working right away ... my initiation into the cruel, cruel world. I have many stories of my first hand experiences with discrimination (racial and sexual), and I agree with you that if what we see on programs like the Housewives of Orange County are what society views as success, I'd rather be me. Today's programming is proof positive that "love of money is the root of all evil."


Jacqueline said...

I like you even more. You are my cup of java for sure. Your life and times captivate me. Diaper tales, shoe shine tales, pot on the spot tales...love it! One day I'll tell you the story of the rollercoast and my dads false teeth, then you'll understand why the girl with the curl, lives still in a Fairyland world and likes wonderful gum balls like you! You make my mind chew on it awhile.

Judy said...

After reading your stories I like you even more. Sounds like you had a wonderful and interesting childhood. Thank you for your nice comments about my blog.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

I needed a good laugh and you certainly provided it this morning!!! OMG What a great story teller you are! Oh I can just imagine the pain of the shoe burden. I had my own shoe issues too.

If you ever write a book of tales I hope you reserve & autograph one for me because I know in advance it will be a treasure.

Congrats on your award and thanks again for passing it on to me!

Bisous, Sherry

Violet said...

Ruben! I just 'met' your wife on her blog Castles... and now have found you here, an amazing writer! So fun to read your words. This post was so delightfully funny and warm. ~ Violet