When I got the idea to start Misadventures and Balderdash, I wanted a place where I could share everything. Hence the name. Funny stories, recipes, pictures, miscellaneous stuff I was writing. This is a snip it of something I've been working on, it's the beginning of the story of me.
This story begins with a little girl who liked to tell stories.
“They did what?” Ms. Kincaid exclaimed as I sat across from her in the library of my elementary school at our table which was reserved for my weekly speech therapy session. My grandmother insisted upon speech therapy for me because I spoke so quickly my words sometimes ran together and I said “nakin” instead of “napkin”.
“They threw me off the roof and cooked me in the barbeque pit.” I wouldn’t back down from the story. I needed her to believe that my family had intended to cook me alive the night before and feed me to the cows that lived on the few acres of land we leased out to a local farmer. Where I got these ideas when I was merely in kindergarten, I have no idea. I guess you could say I was an eccentric 5 year old. Later Ms. Kincaid would tell my Mom that I should be on stage one day because I could tell stories with such conviction.
“Tonyne, you shouldn’t lie” Through a quiet laugh she said to me “but I have to ask, why did they throw you off the roof and cook you in the barbeque pit?”
I was always fascinated with Ms. Kincaid, she was a short heavy set woman, likely 35 years old at the time and single. There was a story that on Halloween she would fly from the roof of the local IGA in our small town of Poultney, Vermont. When I think back on her now I realize she was likely just a single woman with cats that just wanted to live her life but people made up rumors that she was a witch because that’s what people in small towns do when people live lives unlike their own.
“I don’t know, they just did.” I replied. The story of what happened the night before was significantly less glamorous than being cooked alive in a barbeque pit. My Dad, who was dying of brain cancer, had a horrible seizure which left him with a horrible migraine. A short while later I was playing too loudly with my Legos, throwing him to a fit of rage in which he threw the bucket containing the Legos down the hall narrowly missing my head.
I started to cry, quietly. My brother Ritch, 17 years old at the time, picked me up and took me into his room to listen to music. He was always my protector in times like these. My Mom was so stressed out being the only one working, taking care of us and my father who was getting worse by the week that she had little patience left. So that left me with Ritch and his friends. I was the coolest kid in kindergarten and quite possibly the only one who knew every word to “Just a Gigolo” by David Lee Roth.
“They just threw me off the roof, down into the barbeque pit and cooked me. They were going to feed me to the cows for dinner!” Yeah, that was the easier story to tell.
During this time in my life I told lots of stories. There was the time I was spending the night with my grandparents who lived up the road from us. I called my parents on the telephone to report that my grandfather had spanked me.
Let me be clear, my grandfather wouldn’t have spanked me in a million years. My grandmother? Absolutely, but not my grandfather.
“What did you do to make Grandpa spank you?” My Mom asked me through the receiver of the rotary phone. She knew I must have done something next to terrible if he spanked me.
“I don’t know what I did, he just spanked me.” I said into the phone. Apparently the questioning continued and even my Dad tried to coax the information out of me. At some point, as the story of my own story goes, I put the phone down and walked away. My parents were concerned at this point since I had been so convincing. They drove down the road to my grandparents house.
“Dad, Tonyne said you spanked her. What did she do?” My Dad asked.
“What? I did no such thing!” Wiping his brow with the bandana that was always in his pocket, my grandfather looked at me quizzically followed by my parents.
“I was just kidding.” I smiled before running into the front room to continue playing with my toys.
To this day, I don’t know why I told stories. Maybe I’ve always had a story to tell, or perhaps it was a harsh reality for a 5 year old to face so I made things up to cope, whatever the reason, I’m glad that I was told the story of how I used to tell stories, so that I can write this story now; the story of me.
There it is, just a little something I've been working on. I'd love to know what you think.