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Remember the time our friend’s dad came to our door with a gigantic frog and said “Here, this is yours!” because everybody knew we went to Pollywog Park and adopted (kidnapped really) a bunch of tadpoles and set loose the few that survived to froghood in our tiny city patio garden with an old plate full of water for a pond where they were never seen or heard from again and who could blame them so of course it must be one of ours and he plopped that frog right in our six year old hand and we died a little bit inside but bravely carried it out into the garden unconvinced that it was in fact one of ours yet willing to foster it anyway even though we never saw that frog again either?
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Remember the time we watched “The Mummy’s Revenge” on TV late into the evening and when our parents told us to go upstairs and put on our pajamas we paused at the bottom and saw ACTUALLY SAW a mummy lurking in the dark up at the top waiting for us and we screamed and cried and refused to ascend without an escort?
Remember watching that Martian movie where the Martians became covered with lines like suddenly livid veins and then dissolved into mush when they died and that very night we woke up having to peepee and while standing at the toilet noticed those same lines all over our arm not realizing they were just the pressure creases from the sheets and ran out of the bathroom with our PJs around our ankles screaming and imagining we were about to dissolve into mush and scaring the living daylights out of our parents?
And remember that other time we were lying in bed and we tried to roll over but a skeleton was right behind us and shoved us back over rather rudely and once again we screamed and left our parents finally convinced they were making very bad choices about our young TV viewing activity?
Remember when we discovered that Lucy’s friend was ETHel not EFFel and how strange it sounded to our ear for quite a long time afterward?
Remember how in a moment entirely starstruck and tongue-tied by her perfume and general sweetness we called our babysitter a PIG and got yelled at and only later managed to choke out through tears that pig meant Pretty Intelligent Girl?
Remember The Girly Monster game on the playground where Todd our classmate would go drink from the girls’ fountain and then chase us around to drag us back to his cave by the hair presumably though he never actually managed to catch anyone and how he got hit by a car right out in front of school one day when he dashed into the street from behind the bus and how we raced home later to announce the momentous news to our mother only to burst into tears the moment we’d made our proclamation?
Remember telling new second grade friends JJ and Mamoon all about “Bloody Mary” and how we trooped into the boy’s bathroom and turned out the lights and after saying her name seven times the bevel around the mirror caught the light just so and we thought it was opening and screamed real bloody murder and then they screamed and then we all ran screaming from the bathroom convinced she had arrived?
Remember the time when we unzipped our bean bags on top of a ladder and let the gazillion styrofoam beads fall onto our heads like it was snowing in Redondo Beach of all places because we had never seen snow before and then it was made abundantly clear we were never allowed to have any bean bag ever again as long as we lived?
Or remember not long after Todd died when we started thinking about death as we were in bed falling asleep and got very sad and came crying out to our parents admitting that “we miss Todd—we don’t want to die” and how they probably responded “you’re not going to die—not for a long long time” but we only heard the “you’re not going to die” part and believed for a number of years that we were immortal and what a shock it was when we found out all over again that yep, we’re all goners?
Remember the time we were playing the Math Game in fifth grade and no one could solve it but apparently our little brain kept working because a good five minutes later out of the blue the answer burst into our head with such a jolt of divine electricity our legs and whole body jerked and spasmed and we literally turned a head over heels somersault off our chair and onto the floor to deliver the correct answer perfectly upright on bended knee amongst peels of laughter at our improbable acrobatics?
And who could forget when we were five at our dad’s family day on the job and we got a purple balloon but it wasn’t tied around our wrist the way it should have been and we accidentally let it go and as it floated off slowly through the crowd we chased it and then leapt like some kind of marvelous deer clear over the head of a toddler in a stroller to the amazement of everyone including ourselves but as we were ultimately unsuccessful in recapturing the balloon we felt the day out quite ruined?
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