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Put that away before someone gets hurt.

November 13, 2011

My brother and I were crazy kids.  And my parents loved to capture the most exciting moments of our crazy young lives on 35 mm Kodak film. 

But back in the ‘70s, there was no Primitive Bob Saget to dole out cash awards to those good honest folks out taking-it-in-the-groin for America’s viewing pleasure.  (And what a shame, since Bob Saget’s signature “not-funny” brand of stand-up would’ve probably done well in the Variety Show Era.) 

That’s okay — my parents weren’t trolling for prize winnings.  They just couldn’t stand to miss a good photo op.  See for yourself.


Intuition tells me something is amiss.  You can tell I damn well knew it, too.  Just look at the body language, just look at my shoulders.  Just look at my brother’s smile, just look at his vulcan death grip.  Just look at the cliff we’re sitting on, just look at this great photo my mom snapped.

My mom was too busy taking my picture here to notice that I just roller-skated under a 200-pound Maytag appliance stacked haphazardly on top of two narrow boxes.  And now another poor kid is a training-wheel collision away from his untimely demise.  

My parents love to tell the story of how I’d perpetually crab-crawl my way under this old director’s chair and then bawl my head off when I couldn’t get out.  A while before they’d free me from the badger trap, and a moment or two before they’d kiss away my tears, they’d grab their camera.  (If this chair wasn’t the end of me, the waist-deep shag carpet surely would be.)

Aww, what could possibly be cuter than pets or babies?  Pets and babies side by side in a photograph, that’s what.  My parents thought it’d be even cuter to throw my infant brother in a giant dog food bowl for the photo.  Then they readied themselves with the camera to capture how it all played out. 

My mom has often told me how I’d relish in getting to scale her desk and fiddle with her sewing machine.  I was fascinated by the needle, the way it could stitch together two fabric scraps.  But could it also stitch a trusty security blanket to my wrist?  I was about to find out.  (It’s relevant to point out that our camera was probably not stored in the sewing room.  Fortunately, by the time my mom returned with it, I hadn’t toppled backwards and blew the great photo op.)

There was a festive wood-burning fire in here.  My mom requested I photoshop it out.

A clever guy, that brother of mine.  And my parents were thrilled for the chance to capture that brilliance early on.  I don’t know what’s worse, an unsteady toddler standing on his highchair or an unpottytrained toddler standing in a diaper that’s hanging-on-for-dear-life.  Let’s hope the imminent fall didn’t cause him to lose all control. 

Please, I beg of you.  Get this poor kid to the potty.  Do not grab the camera and do not say cheese.  Do not pass Go and do not collect 200 dollars (Bob Saget doesn’t even have that kind of cash).  Just get there already.  


Moms and Dads, the folks at Kodak would like to remind you, it’s always Picturetime!  Even when your kids are out fishing for sharks, even when they’re off wetting themselves.  Don’t let safety get in the way of Picturetime.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2011 4:05 pm

    Just got off the phone with Child Services. You might want to give your parents one final hug.
    Great Blog! Pics are just the right amount of sepia. I’m pretty sure I filmed a porno on that orange shag but I’ll have to check the archives.
    Very good writing. Nice and dry, just the way I like it!

    • November 14, 2011 8:14 pm

      Thanks, Les. I hugged them good and tight. I hope their cells are comfy and I hope they won’t have access to any cameras. I don’t want them to risk hurting anyone anymore.

      See, I think you just identified the key problem with ’70s shag carpet — people back then took everything literally.

  2. November 13, 2011 4:45 pm

    It was the swinging 70s (I don’t know if the decade was called that, let’s just say that it was). I remember how perfectly normal it was to travel to Florida in the back of a station wagon with nothing to restrain oneself from pitching headfirst through either the front or back windows.

    I would imagine your brother is thrilled that you included the pic of him in the saggy diaper. If only I had such a picture of my brother…

    • November 14, 2011 8:17 pm

      God’s honest truth — when I was a newborn, my parents loaded me in a dresser drawer for our family move from Florida to Chicago. Oh, those ’70s parents and their false sense of safety. How cute were they.

      If you had a picture of your brother like that in current date, I’d say that’d be a money shot.

  3. November 13, 2011 5:49 pm

    And Boba Fett is STILL cool! See my shirt?? yeah. If only I woulda invested in George Lucas stock back then.

    I took photos of my youngest daughter whenever she’d get stuck in places like that director’s chair. For the greater good I had to ignore her cries and first snap the photo. Then free my trapped rabbit.

    • November 14, 2011 8:21 pm

      I knew you were going to zero in on that shirt. Everytime I run across an old picture of me in any kind of iron-on t-shirt, I feel my heart well up with emotion.

      It’s okay — she won’t remember much of that. But unfortunately, the pictures will remind her.

  4. November 14, 2011 5:17 am

    This was awesome. You poor girl–god, having to endure your brother’s vulcan grip AND getting trapped under a chair?! Sounds eerily like my childhood. Glad you survived in one piece!

    • November 14, 2011 5:19 am

      by the way…the diaper “hanging on for dear life” had me laughing so hard. I wish I had a similar picture of one of my brothers to splash across my facebook page.

      • November 14, 2011 8:25 pm

        Funny — Speaker7 is hoping for a picture like that, too. Maybe we’ll all get lucky and run across a similar one in a few years when they’re in diapers the second-time around. Then who will be laughing — huh, evil brothers? Actually, no one.

    • November 14, 2011 8:23 pm

      Someday we should get together and compare notes on all the ways our brothers tortured us. We can have a contest to see which brother had the most inventive torture devices.

  5. November 15, 2011 1:40 pm

    I love the ‘waist-deep shag.’ You had to wind up with some pretty good biceps crawling through there. Great post!

    • November 16, 2011 7:23 am

      Thanks, publikworks! I never thought about the feat of crawling through it. I wonder if kids of the ’70s were in fact stronger as a result.

  6. November 15, 2011 10:32 pm

    The picture of you under the chair troubles me. Isn’t is possible your parents staged that picture by pinning you under the chair?

    • November 16, 2011 7:20 am

      You might be on to something there. That’s probably where my mom put me to keep me out of her hair.

      • November 17, 2011 8:50 am

        Is it bad I’m taking notes? Note scribbled by my computer: Buy director chair to trap baby when I need a breather.

      • November 17, 2011 6:02 pm

        Absolutely fine to take notes — in fact, I encourage it.

  7. MOM permalink
    November 16, 2011 8:01 am

    Fess up time . . . The already sagging diaper on brother had an extra tug or 2 from Mom for humor effect. Angie under the director’s chair was a fact. No help from a parent. She was always into things beyond her escape.


    • November 16, 2011 9:14 pm

      Hmmm…the name “Mom” is vaguely familiar. I’m thinking you were maybe in my third period English class, senior year?

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