Sunday, February 24, 2013

Notes because Shin Yu Pai said so

6) Mother recollecting how she and her friends interrupted their weekly mah jong game to investigate the ruckus stirred in the other room from their preschool to kindergarten children (about six of us) seriously whopping each other on the skull with old-fashioned glass Coke bottles but laughing hysterically enough for them to leave us alone...something to the effect of no harm, no foul.

47) Nothing but elbows and ass running away from Margate Park when a kid aptly nicknamed Beaver dove and slid across a huge pile of dogshit attempting a shoestring catch during a fast-pitch game.

62) Elevator races at the old Goldblatt's Department store on Broadway with Mo.

3) Twilight doubleheaders at old Comiskey Park in the upper deck with Dad watching the knuckleballer Wilbur Wood in red pinstripes before he tore up his knee.

17) Explaining to disbelieving Chicago Police officers summoned by neighbors at three in the morning that the so-called disturbing the peace out on the front porch was indeed a nuanced albeit loud vocal demonstration of the cacaphony of traditional Cantonese Opera for my drunken buddies in appreciative audience.

4) Crisp autumn evenings running fly pattern after stop and go under the streetlamps on the asphalt-covered playground of Pierce Elementary School as the Biggest Guy I Know heaved long bombs philosophizing, "Hell, if you run that far, you might as well catch the damn ball".

20) Replying "Yes" over and over again when the exasperated waitress at the greasy spoon Paul's Restaurant on Clark Street continually asked "Soup or Salad?" thinking she was saying "SUPER SALAD?" until corrected by my Steverino Friend shaking his head.

112) On garage rooftops laying low during all-block, whole neighborhood no-holds-barred free-for-all games of hide-and-seek in Andersonville.

23044) Waking up, boiling three to four Oscar Meyer all-beef weiners for breakfast and lodging two Andes Chocolate Mints between my cheek and gums to melt as I fell asleep...pure manna.

23044a) Mom worked for Andes Chocolate Mint Factory; Grandmother for a local fortune cookie plant; Dad was head barbeque chef (of the whole pig with an apple in its mouth) at Trader Vic's in the Palmer House Hilton; and Grandfather cooked for Ming Choy, a combination chop suey house/pizza parlor/hamburger joint.

98) GUARANTEED 120 bowling average (minimum three games).

120) Three Pariser Specials (open-face burger topped with a sunny-side up egg slathered in brown gravy and a mound of fried potato cubes), three guys, total bill: $8.31 plus Hawk Harrelson says, "Some just as good, none better."

3.14) Eating among other things cigarette ashes and mothballs when a preschooler which really explains quite a bit.

11) Being eleven years old and bragging about my first job bussing tables for my Third Uncle Chi at the Holiday Inn in Greektown for pocket change.

818) Nearly breaking my neck flying over the handlebars headfirst from suddenly slamming both handbrakes of my Gitano ten-speed bicycle while peddling on a slight downhill in the alley going about twenty-five miles per hour just out of scientific curiosity to see what would happen.

72) Smelt fishing with uncles at Montrose Harbor after dark in early April bundled up for the frigid night temperatures off Lake Michigan trying to keep warm by the fire lit in a city trash can.

1439) Getting sent home by the elementary school nurse for losing consciousness on three separate occasions:

a) banging my head into the unpadded tiled gym wall attempting a layup but slipping from lack of traction on the waxed linoleum floor instantaneously knocking myself out;

b) slipping on ice outside in the playground being chased in a game of tag and impaling my temple on a jagged point of an iron wrought fence causing much bloodspurting; and

c) total lights out from having the air squeezed out of me being on the bottom of a large pile of maybe ten other boys while playing Johnny Tackle.

55) Simply said, pork egg foo young on top of white rice smothered in brown gravy.

XIII) Swigging lukewarm Budweiser straight out of the can to wash down stir-fried snails in garlic and black bean sauce laboriously dug out of their shells with soggy toothpicks still up around two in the morning after Dad comes home from his late shift.

19) Hong Kong Restaurant, 1155 Edisto Drive, Highway 301 South, Orangeburg, South Carolina

874) Right ear fleshy protusion birth defect all but forgotten except maybe as fingerprint.

0) Being accused of shoplifting when hands full of assorted candies at the local drugstore, I suffered a brain cramp and actually placed an oversized Sweet Tart in my coat pocket so as to reach for money in my pants pocket.