Monday, June 28, 2004

Boring Childhood Stories: Unexpected Funerals

This story doesn't actually belong to me, but it's one of the best I have, and the topic has come up recently in my comments...

The year was 1981. I had just moved from my Mom's place to my Dad's. Luckily, they were divorced or this would have been a very weird scenario! Anyway, in the move, most of my toys were left behind for my two younger brothers, J and M. Among these many cool and fascinating things was my collection of "dinky cars". And thus begins our story...

The curtain rises on J and M, happily playing with their cars in the alley behind their home. I should point out that the cars they played with were a mix of the ones I left behind and whatever vehicles the two of them already owned. In short, enough to keep them occupied for hours. Also, this particular back alley was the dirt and gravel type that lend themselves so well to the construction of miniature roads, parking lots, and
impound yards. And so, the two young boys were making the most of their day cruising around their tiny Automotive Utopia.

As mothers usually do, ours called J and M in as the day drew to a close. Now, since it was the middle of Summer, they just knew they'd be playing outside again the next day, so they couldn't see the logic in packing up all the cars and bringing them in. Why, they'd just have to bring them out again! Talk about inefficient! But how could they be left outside without creating too much of a temptation for the other neighborhood children? It was then that J had a brainstorm... They could bury them!

And so, before Mom could call again and threaten a grounding that would last until the next school year, the boys dutifully consecrated the dinky cars to their temporary graves for the night.

The next day dawned bright and sunny. The boys jumped out of bed, wolfed down their breakfast of generic-brand cornflakes and powdered milk, and set off to resume their play of the day before. However, as they approached the back alley, their hearts sank and they knew they would never see their precious little cars again...

The alley had been paved.

At some point in the morning, before J and M had risen, a City Crew had come and added a new, pristine asphalt hard-top to the previously gravelled back lane! What are the odds?!? Now, the collection of cars, trucks, and various other vehicles would be forever enshrined in their little tombs...

It has been over 20 years since this terrible tragedy occurred, and almost as long since any of our family has lived in that house. Yet, the house still stands, and the alley remains paved. Now, if J would only borrow Dad's metal detector, as he has often vowed to do, and resurrect those treasures of yesterday, maybe he and M could finish what they started... Better late than never!
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