Career Path

At two-years-old I fell into the Oldman River. Apparently, I was swept downstream before a frantic search found me bobbing en route to a new frontier.

At four-years-old, I, with the aid of Johnny Skdyski, commandeered a motorized rail car and, failing to propel the vehicle any great distance, stuffed the fuel tank with rocks. The evil, gruff men in overalls, burning grass along the tracks, remained unaware of our observation post and, subsequently, I now make formal apology for my participation in their obvious chagrin and unplanned leisure.

Continuing in my fourth year, I was determined to learn the art of speed. My father shared my passion and could be oft found tuning his prize yellow Bombardier in a quadrant of the backyard. Leaping to opportunity, I boarded the winter cart, and learned of the throttle at rapid rate down the adjoining alley and through a suburban intersection. My father was heroic that day.

A long and arduous winter soon became a season of training. In a series of regimens, I walked looking down into a hand mirror, thus deceiving my step with the view above. When I had mastered the skill, maneuvering through illusory thresholds of two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a laundry room, I practiced peering from behind the fine mesh of a straw cowboy hat to evade suspicion of onlookers.

We lived near a lumber yard. And from across the tracks and down a short service road, there beckoned the outskirts of my dominion—60,000 square feet of milled plank and beam stacked in various configurations. Johnny Skdaiski and I would engage in mock tribal assault until his parents determined the nature of his tardiness and my own supervisory units were met with discussion from the plant manager.

Determined and in agreement, Skdyski and I set aside our territorial skirmishes and embarked on a journey to mark the future with our own destinies. At four and a half, I became jaded by the limits and routine of childhood. Refusing to suffer the indignation of unappreciative parenting, I decided my skills were better matured abroad. While we did not officially leave town boundaries, the gas bar wherein Skdaiski and I made our first appeal for provision was only a short secondary road from the actual highway.

There are so many more escapades to which I must give fair voice—the attempt at elephant husbandry with a traveling carnival, the wet boots/frozen pond incident, the kiddie pool embankment launch—however, I will jump ahead to age six, my first arrest.

The event is rooted, I now see clearly, with my inability to ride a bicycle. I would have no doubt mastered the craft, yet my mater, through her own spasmodic neurosis, was feign I should risk noggin or limb on the calliope. I was never formally introduced to a bicycle until age seven. Without conveyance, my lust for velocity continued unabated, and I was confident that the surest means to propel my life path was to go automobile.

A loose-knit deployment of neighborhood children reported a towing yard only a dozen blocks from our encampment. Weekend ‘Pick-a-Part’ days were open for public scrutiny, and car enthusiasts, such as myself, clambered rusting heaps for engine stuff. This was my Disneyland. For the next three weekends, I and Peter Marrell scoured the premises, taking notes and making deliberations over required components, weight and maneuverability, and a practical staging area for reconstruction. We isolated, itemized and transported back to Marrell’s house: a steering wheel, a spare steering wheel, a dashboard assembly, two matching bucket seats, a consul with locking hatch, a hood, a non-functioning radio, and various tubings and pipings that seemed vital at the time.

Later, Officer Stretch Thomlin made a poignant impression, framed in a perfect after-supper twilight marching towards me from the rear of the Marrell premises.

Name, age, height, father’s name, address, father’s age, mother’s name, mother’s age, my eye color, my father’s mother’s father’s name and address. They are very specific. I was informed that despite our ill-conceived definitions of trash and property, all materials would be returned to the towing facility. Foiled again, I was then ordered into the squad car and driven 38 feet from the Marrell’s front drive to my parents’ steps. I was not allowed to touch anything in the vehicle.

Career Change

I met Officer Thomlin only once more, at age seven and three quarters. Now master of the two-wheeler, I was confronted transporting a refrigerator crate from within, and traveling in a southerly direction along Industrial Avenue. At blast of his siren, I fell over and was ordered to abandon my find.

After various incidents, I was threatened with the FBI, internment, and the disdain of my beloved mother. I eventually repented my ways and discovered the opportunities afforded one through business, embarking on a course selling lemonade to paving crews, exploiting the neighbor’s five-year-old Goldilocks to make our roadside appeal. At eight-years-old, I had staff of three interns, one lieutenant, and a scout.

 

Career Path © 2011 Gaboo. Read more of Gaboo’s short stories and observational anecdotes, click his tag.

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2 Responses to “Career Path”
  1. Adrienne says:

    You win the prize for most entertaining stories of youth. I loved it!

    • Gaboo says:

      You like that stuff? Just for you… I was ten or eleven, in middle school arrangement, before there were middle schools. Life sucked because I’d been bopped address to address with the old man’s fuel hauling business. (Understand I was myopic, the parental unit was to serve me, right?) Anyway, the school had a field trip to the local police station. I didn’t think much about it, until we were walking, in line down the road, with the class, and realized we were heading to the big house. Inside, we had a tour from Officer Malamute, saw the Desk, the booking procedure, and checked out the cells. No big deal, I was unimpressed with the incarceration whoopdeedoo. Then we went to the ‘state-of-the-art’ telefunken u-47 computer room that had this updated box which, if you typed in a name, would tell you if that person was ever arrested. Immediately, the bust when I was four-years-old sprung to mind. I went cold, couldn’t swallow and imagined I was about to be pegged in front of the whole class and my gung-ho, let’s go, teacher. Officer Maramduke asks, who’s wants to try? I slid back, total James Bond, while others lunged forward, hands flapping, pick me. Susy Buttons, or someone, was selected and the machine went…whirrrrrr.. ping! and, of course, Susy Buttons was clear. She could go. Exhaled upon leaving. Life was stressful then.

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