It’s very strange that I had no problem buying liquor or illegal drugs when I was underage but I was too embarrased to buy condoms in a drug store.

In the group of friends I hung out with, fear of pregnancy was very high.  I think we would have had less of a problem calling our parents to bail us out of jail on a minor drug offense than to come home and tell them you had gotten someone pregnant or were pregnant (my female friends, not me).

My solution to this dilemma was to buy condoms from a vending machine in the bathroom of a gas station that was at the end of the airport runway.

I finally got over this fear of buying condoms publically when I was about 18 and moved in with my now wife and she had no problem sending me to the store to buy her “feminine hygiene” products.  Once I tackled that fear, condoms were no problem.

The fear of pregnancy followed my wife and I through our 20’s and 30’s.  We were never ready to have kids, didn’t have enough money to have kids, we should have done that last year, all the usual reasons.  We then realized one day we were too old to have kids.  Probably not biologically but definitely psychologically.  We were selfish and self-centered. 

Children can’t be let out in the yard to play until you get up at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday because you were out at a club until last call the night before.  Dogs can. Cats don’t even need to be let out, you can ignore them.

 We never talked about our lack of desire to have children with family very much which led to the following encounter between my wife and her father when we were in our late 30’s –

My father in law had some sort of surgery and my wife had gone to Florida to be his “nurse” during this time.  As he woke up from the anesthesia, she was standing there and he asked her “Have you had Charlie tested?”  her response was “for what?”.  He then said “well you’ve never had kids”.  Her final response –

“I guess it might help if we stopped using birth control”.

End of discussion.

As always –    

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc    

cs

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The Pickle Truck

January 15, 2010

My best guess is that very few people had a “Pickle Truck” selling pickles across from their school.

I did.

Being a child of the 70’s I was part of the great social experiment called “Mandatory Busing”.

It was an appropriate concept to address and remedy school segregation that was ludicrous in its execution.  In my area it included being bused to a “7th Grade Center” that was at a traditionally or should I say formerly minority school.

In my case this school could at best be described as being – in the ‘hood.  80% of the students were bused in from the suburbs and the remaining 20% came from the immediate area.

My biggest complaint about the school wasn’t  the the bus ride or location it was the LACK OF AIR CONDITIONING – IN FLORIDA.   That school was a total and complete sweatbox.  The only room I ever was in on a regular basis that had air conditioning was my homeroom which I was in for about 15 minutes a day.  It had air conditioning installed the year before because it was the chemistry lab, but my science class got to use the lab maybe once or twice during the year. It was probably some time in the 1980’s that the school district finally passed a bond issue to raise the money for air conditioning all the schools in the district.  Prior to that I guess they spent all their money on buses, drivers and gas.   

I don’t remember any security issues inside the school but it was a fairly common occurence to have to get down on the floor of the bus as we left to avoid the rocks and eggs thrown at the buses by the people and students in the immediate surrounding area.

Every single day as we came and went to school on the bus there was one primary thing we passed.  The Pickle Truck.  It was parked across the street from the main entrance of the school and was a local neighborhood gathering spot.  Since neither I or any of my suburban friends ever frequented The Pickle Truck, I have no idea if they sold anything else like chips or soft drinks. 

It was a common everyday occurence to see the non-bused students walking through the halls or in class with a whole dill pickle wrapped in wax paper which did not seem to have been purchased for eating.  The pickle was apparently purchased to bite the top off of and then the pickle juice be sucked out as desired.  These things, based on how late in the school day they were seen could last most of the day. 

I know some people who went to this same school read this blog.  Please leave a comment verifying that what I have just written is accurate.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

 

 

  

Time to spill more family secrets.  This time it is my wife’s family.  The topic of this post was kind of suggested by her.  I thought her and her family might be off-limits (click here to see why) but apparently not.

This is not some Queerbait¹ story about a family being on hard times and having to delay christmas so they could scavenge the dumpsters of local apartment complexes after christmas to check for other people castoffs until some guardian angel brings them presents.  My wife’s family was not Low Rent or Creekers.

Anyway – The first time I met my wife was the day after Christmas in 1978.  I had been working at the clothing store “Chess King” at the mall, I wasn’t cool enough or a hot female so I couldn’t get a job at  “Merry Go Round” and had just gotten off work and picked up a friend to go out to “the beach” (future blog post) to hang out and take part in underage drinking and other Dazed and Confused type activities.

My friend and I were parked hanging out and this COOL ’73 Firebird Formula pulled up alongside us in the adjacent parking spot. I was told “That’s Ross’s girlfriend, let’s go hang out in her car”.  Ross (fake name) had been my best friend since 7th grade but for some reason we weren’t hanging out together much at that time so I had never met his girlfriend.  I think he might have dropped out of school at the time and been working wierd hours or something.

We get in the car and first thing I am told is “I just got my ears pierced” by my future wife.  Which was a coincidence since she had just had it done at the “Merle Norman” at the mall just across from where I was working at “Chess King”.  She explained that her mother was old-fashioned and she had to wait until she was 18 to get it done because her mother felt “ONLY WHORES HAVE PIERCED EARS”.  This was one of those items that later became known as a “Francisism”  which was crazy things my mother in- law named Francis said. If you are doing math – yes I was underage, she was 18, so my wife is older than me.

We then reviewed what everyone had gotten for Christmas.  Her haul included – A new 8-track stereo for her car including Jensen Tri-Axial Speakers with a Power Booster.  That Stereo could be CRANKED UP.  Very cool in 1978.  We chatted a few minutes but then she had to leave because she had to get home to have CHRISTMAS DINNER.  This was at 10:30 at night on 12/26!! – Her excuse was “My father is a Sergent for the  airport police and he had to work Christmas and won’t be home tonight until 11:00”. 

It turns out, that was true but not the real reason Christmas Dinner was being served a day late and at 11:00 at night. 

 It would take a while for the REAL story to come to light.  

TO BE CONTINUED

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

¹ – Queerbait is used here as it was often in the 1970’s as a synonym for lame, stupid, boring or nerdy.  Not as the derogatory term for gays or effeminate men.  I am being 70’s style Politically Incorrect, not hateful. 

As a Point of Reference you may want to watch this scene from my favorite movie 1993’s “Dazed and Confused” before you read this post.

That clip is not just entertainment.  Within the group of people I grew up with it is known as a “HISTORICAL REENACTMENT”. 

The one in our neighborhood was known as “The Back Door” because the entrance was on the back loading dock side of a strip shopping center.

Some people were told by their parents to stay away because  “bad kids hung out at these places” and that “there were drugs”.  Both of those things were true, and I was there every weekend for a few years, until “The Beach” became the place to be (future blog post).

I was never banned from going there because my parents were big drinking buds with the owners.  (Click Here to get more information about my parents and their drinking habits).  Plus when it originally opened, it was billed as a “Teen Disco and Game Room” – The Teen Disco concept lasted just a few hours after opening but my parents always thought of it that way.

This was not Chuck E. Cheese.  There were mostly Foosball and Pool Tables with a few pinball machines sprinkled in.  This was a few years before Pac-Man.

I visited several of these places in that time frame and they were all the same and they were all just like the above video.  There weren’t usually any drugs actively being used IN these establishments.  The drug use which mostly consisted of drinking and marijuana took place driving/riding around in cars – so there was CONSTANT in and out.  If any of these places had tried to institute a policy of once you leave you can’t come back – nobody would have ever come back.   This was the place to meet up with your buds and go for “A Ride”.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

The Inspiration For This Blog

December 15, 2009

Here you have it, the trailer for one of  my favorite movies and the inspiration for this blog.   If you have not watched this movie I advise you to do so. It is currently showing on HBO-On demand.  I assume you have cable.  If not, Netflix and Blockbuster carry it.

CS

People don’t always believe me when I tell them that I was in a band back in 1977 and we played a sold out show at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

BUT IT’S TRUE.

Well OK that is not the whole story.  In 1977 I was a sophmore in High School and also in the Marching Band. I know that makes me a band nerd but I fought the stereotype all I could.

My high school was among a BUNCH of high school bands asked to participate in the half time show for a University of Miami game and we got to go out on the field and play plus the game was sold out. 

I don’t remember a lot about that weekend except – The buses smelled, we stayed at a Holiday Inn and we partied at the IHOP after the show (I mean game).  The reason I don’t remember much is remember it was the 70’s and I think a clarinet player had given me some quaaludes. 

The main part I remember is it was like being in a wierd foreign movie when we descended at the IHOP.  If you have never been in an IHOP at midnight with a 120 member marching band which included a full complement of Dancerettes and Flag Girls with lacquered wigs, drag queen makeup, capes and tap boots.  Trust me it is wierd.  The closest other memory I have occured about 10 years later at an intown Krystal on Halloween night at 3:00 AM.

So – I’m Sticking with my story.  My Band Played The Orange Bowl in ’77.

CS