la Ketch

my life story

Saturday, November 05, 2005

babies on bikes

One of my favorite stories of all time, takes place back on the cul-de-sac in So. Cal when I was about four years old. Shockingly, I am not the star of this story. Rather, my sister is. My sister who I have yet to tell about this blog. I keep meaning to tell her and then when I’m talking to her, I just forget. Mostly, I think because she is a single working mom with two kids and she will never have time to read it and so why should I give her one more daunting task to complete? She might enjoy reading this entry though...

My sister, our neighbor S. and this kid S's mom was watching for a friend of hers, G., were all hanging out together in front of S.'s house. Mind you, they were each about three years old at the time. Who would let their three-year-old kids hang out in front of the house by themselves? These were different times I guess. I was there too but I really barely remember all of it happening. The story goes that G. had these orange Tic Tacs he was eating and he refused to share them with S. and my sister. They really wanted some and they began to argue with him. Finally, S. decided that she and my sister would go to the store and get some orange Tic Tacs of their own. They got on their tricycles and set off on an amazing adventure. G. accompanied them. He had his orange Tic Tacs but he didn't want to miss out on the action. I got out right away. I wanted nothing to do with this debacle. I knew the rules. We were strictly forbidden to so much as step one foot off the edge of the cul-de-sac unless we were accompanied by an adult. You would have thought that I might go to my mom and tell her what was going down but like I've told you before, I'm not a fink. Also, I don't think I understood really that they were putting themselves in any danger besides the harm our respective parents would cause them later when they got back. This trouble they would get into would only make me look better and knowing this, I went back into the house and played in my room by myself.

Meanwhile, our little trike riders were more than a block away, peddling their stubby legs down a VERY BUSY STREET toward "the store" aka the Seven Eleven, which was about twelve blocks from our house. This is very far when you are three. S. was the clear leader of the group. Not only did she peddle them twelve blocks along the very busy street but she somehow got them ACROSS the very busy street without getting them squashed by the cars that drive very FAST down said busy street. In the countless retellings of this story, S. has told us that she remembers that they actually stopped traffic. Cars were screeching and honking and slowing down so that the little ducklings could cross. Did anyone bother to get out of their car and ask these TODDLERS why they were riding ALONE on their TRICYCLES down such a BUSY STREET? No, but they didn't run over them either.

By some miracle, they made it to the Seven Eleven. They had been there countless times before. As a three year old, you really do thank heaven for Seven Eleven because that it where all of the CANDY is kept. Aisles of it! S. remained focused however. She waddled up to the counter and pointed at the orange Tic Tacs which the man behind the counter handed to her. Here's where the first unforeseen obstacle presented itself. They had no money. That didn't stop S. though. Where do you go when you need to get money? That's right, you go to the bank. She had seen her mom go there many times to do just that and she remembered that it was only two blocks further down the way. Did the guy working the counter at the Seven Eleven bother to ask these small children where their parents were? No, he didn't.

Outside of the Seven Eleven the first dissention amongst the ranks began to occur. My sister started to question S. and her motives. She was getting tired and scared and thought they should start heading back. S. wouldn't hear of it. She was going to get those Tic Tacs come hell or high water. What cracks me up so much is that G. is still with them and he HAS the damned Tic Tacks in his pocket! He just won't give them up! S. probably wouldn't have wanted them by then anyway. She wanted her own. My sister refused to go to the bank and so what did S. do? She did the only logical thing that a three year old girl in a position of power could do in that situation. She locked her in a phone booth.

S. and G. moved on to the bank where they proceeded to march up to the teller and ask for some money. Finally, FINALLY an adult had the wherewithal to ask these little geeks where their frigging mommy is. The crazy thing is that they are all wearing ID bracelets with their names, addresses and phone numbers on them. All the adult would have had to do was call, which is what the bank teller did. She called S.'s mom who jumped in the car and tore down to the bank to pick up S. & G. Of course she was FREAKING OUT ON THEM. Did S. & G. bother to mention to S.'s mom that they had left my sister back at the Seven Eleven locked in a phone booth? Um, would you?

During the time that S. and G. were traveling to the bank and getting apprehended, my sister was finally noticed. A woman saw her crying in the phone booth and opened the door asking her if she needed help, where her mommy was, etc. Then she looked at my sister's ID bracelet but instead of using the phone booth that my sister had been locked in to dial the number on the bracelet, she decided to just drive her around and try and find her house. My sister says she remembers being put inside of this woman's car and driven around for a while. The woman couldn't find the street we lived on to save her life. Finally my sister blurted out, "My daddy is a policeman!" Ah ha! That was something this woman understood and so she went back to the Seven Eleven, back to the phone booth and dialed not my mother's phone number but the Police Department. Those days, my dad was working in a patrol car and he happened to be on duty blocks away. He came and got my sister immediately and brought her back to the police department with him. THEN he called my mother. I'm told the conversation went something like this:

phone rings

Mom: Hello?
Dad: M.?
Mom: Yes?
Dad: Where's your daughter?
Mom: She's right here in front of me, why?
Dad: The other one.
Mom: P.? She's over across the street playing with S. and G.

And then he told her exactly where she was. Needless to say, my mom was totally busted and completely mortified. Even to this day she shudders when that last part of the story is retold. “Why, oh why did that woman have to call your father and not me?!” Still, there was a certain level of forgiveness from everyone involved because nothing bad happened to the little pip-squeaks when so many bad things could have happened AND it was such a hilarious sequence of events. No one could believe they had done it.

I still can't.


At 6:51 PM, Blogger ketchummccabe said...

How about a story about how I cooked you vegetables and read you important literature?

At 8:51 AM, Blogger la Ketch said...

when was this? Just kidding! yes you did do those things too mom but who wants to read about that? boring!

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Brikin Blog said...

Yes La Ketch's mom, I agree with your daughter. This is a priceless story. Clearly you cooked La Ketch vegetables and read her important literature otherwise she would not have grown up to be such an amazing storyteller.

Thank you, mom of La Ketch, we salute you.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger ketchummccabe said...

truth be known, we spent more time making sure they knew the dialogue to movie's like Where's Papa, Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Strange Brew, Mr. Mom, .....hmmmmmm oh yes and Pee Wee's Big Adventure, then we made them practice placing just the right phrase at just the right moment in a converstion. All this while I was steaming fresh vegetables and reading the next chapter of Great Expectations.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger momster said...

Here's a related story...
One time when my little sister was about 2 years old, my Mom got a call from a neighbor at the end of the block. "_______ is down here riding her trike bike without any clothes on!"
Some of you readers actually know this person...

At 12:00 PM, Blogger la Ketch said...

i love it! what a rich bit of information momster. thank you. yes i think i know the little streaker you are referring to...


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