Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This summer I moved out of the tiny apartment I had lived in since my divorce and move from Pueblo to Colorado Springs, into a house that ironically was one street over and two houses down from the very first house our family lived in when we moved from suburban Chicago. It's a nice, established neighborhood. Even so, I awoke last week to the news that my truck's driver's side had been pelted with eggs the night before. It's not a reflection on the neighborhood, it can happen anywhere, especially since I typically park my truck on the street.

I dragged the hose to the front yard and hooked it up, and started spraying the mess off my ride. About halfway through the task I started cracking up. It suddenly dawned on me that, way back in my teen years in this very same neighborhood, I had been guilty of the same prank. My mom had befriended a woman down on her luck, and she and her son, Dieter, stayed with us briefly.

To put it mildly, Dieter was a bad influence. In the short time we hung out, we caused quite a bit of mayhem in the neighborhood. There was one of those traveling carnivals parked in the Rustic Hills Mall parking lot, and after carousing there one night, we came home and grabbed a carton of eggs, some maple syrup and various other ingredients, then proceeded to leave our mark on many parked cars nearby. We capped off our devious misdeeds by standing on the back porch and lobbing eggs at the back of the house behind ours, which we successfully blamed on my older brother, Steve, when the neighbor misjudged the time of the incident when recounting it to our mothers the next day. We couldn't have possibly done this, we posited, because we were still at the carnival at that time! But, boy-oh-boy, did we look like the bigger "men" when we graciously agreed to help the neighbor clean up the mess. In hindsight I'm pretty sure he knew we were the culprits, but at the time we thought we had pulled a fast one.

On a daylight return to the carnival the next day, Dieter hauled off and punched some kid I vaguely knew in the stomach and kept on walking. On the walk home, a car came screeching to a halt in front of us, and out popped this kid and his dad. Pops was there for vengeance, and he socked me in the stomach! He then held the much larger and slightly older Dieter's arms back and instructed his son to take revenge, which Dieter somehow managed to talk his way out of. Apparently, hanging out with such a bad seed can be hazardous to one's health! I'm just lucky Dieter's visit lasted just a few days.

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