by Johnny Paycheck
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Print Save Become a Fan
I had a friend...briefly, in 7th. grade. He loved the term “crum Bum”
“Don’t do that, crum bum!”
I winced when he said it, each time. How about “ass-face”? or “buffalo butt”?
No, he loved “crum bum”
He was one of my indoor friends. I had indoor friends, and outdoor friends, the list practically even when split down the middle, like the Red Sea parted.
Indoor friends: one in particular, who will remain anonymous, for the sake of national security. The most glorious day of the summer, puffy white Californian clouds, dry, warm air with a breeze that is entrenched in a child’s memory for ever... and we played inside. Legos, fighter jet models, army men. His room, dark and dank, like a sub-basement wreckroom, endless designs of Lego castles and spaceships. He was chubby, not fat, but plump and pasty, with a great fear of bicycles, hiking, sap on the palms of his hands from climbing pine trees, and strange dogs that chase you from their yard. His mother sang softly in the kitchen, making us jelly sandwiches, cut into triangles, and she never swore, she would pick us up after school in the winter, and say, “Son of a gunny it’s cold!”
I didn’t mind playing inside sometimes, my knees would pop when I stood up from playing army men for too long on the shag carpet. I worried for my indoor friend, wondering what he would do when he was older, probably a desk job, and a condo with central air. The last I heard, he was flying fighter jets in the air force, and was rarely home....I wonder if he calls the Taliban crum bums.
Outdoor friends: A dear friend, who helped me on every deviant plot I could muster in my adolescence. He never said crum bum, but taught me the finer nuances of profanity. “Fart! Shit! Butt! Fart-FACE!”
Those California perfect days were never lost on us. We broke into the neighbors basement while they were away, and emptied paint cans on the floor, we shut off the power on another neighbor's house, spoiling his winter supply of frozen venison, we collected every acorn we could find, filling two whisky barrels, and then with no other idea for them, we spent an evening throwing them at the train going by. I envisioned my profane outdoor friend in jail sooner or later, and I imagined it a race between us, the first to get arrested or sent to a military academy. He teaches English literature at a prep school in London now, and is getting his doctorate in Theological studies.
And so, what of myself? I saw myself as an everyman, both indoor and outdoor, able to change like a chameleon, into any situation that my friends threw my way. I could climb a tree faster than anyone, and I could build the coolest Lego castle ever. This is a testament to my present maturity. A constant state of flux, between blue collar and white collar. I can build a cabinet, change rear drum brakes on a car, bleed the lines on our oil burner in the dead of winter. I can also quote Voltaire, cross my legs like a gentlemen, and pick out curtains that match the paint. But I can’t make up my mind: indoor or outdoor? Crum bum? or Fart-face?
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!
|Reviewed by Chris Burke
|I don't have any friends. But I really like glue guns and the new XL 750. and my favorite swear is whore. No wait. Fuck whore. I like fuck whore cunt.|
|Reviewed by Nicole Davis Vergara (Reader)
|Nice work, and yes it does seem we all have a Crum Bum friend!
|Reviewed by Steve Ralph
|i guess we all have friend like those johnny, nicely written
|Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader)
|Very interesting write.