Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Priestess ‘Hello Master’

Yep… I’m still digging on this Priestess CD. It’s been in my player since Saturday and I can’t get enough of it.

Marni (the person that sent it to me) gave me some touring information and it’s been teasing me in the worst way. These guys sound so good, I’m dying to see them live. And of course, they aren’t coming anywhere near Greensboro, North Carolina. I’ve toyed with the idea of hitting the road for a Priestess show, but I simply don’t have the time or the money.

Normally, I don’t listen to anything for more than one day, but this Priestess CD is rocking my world. The last CD that I listened to for more than a couple of days was the new one from Cheap Trick called ‘Rockford’.

Last night, I was telling a relaying a story to Dianna about flooding a basement… On purpose.

Let me back up a second… My father and his sister, my Aunt Betty, would work out a “cousin exchange program” during the summers. Paula would come down to North Carolina and I would venture up north to West Virginia. We would usually meet at Long John Silver’s in Roanoke for the exchanges along with consuming more than healthy amounts of grease. Mmmmm Hmmmm!

Paula’s summers in NC were pretty much uneventful. And to backup Paula, it wasn’t so much her fault as it was my sister Pam. She can be a little uptight and that doesn’t really open up the floodgates of fun.

But stories are still told to this day when it comes to the summers that Dan and I spent together. Now… Those stories are told with smiles on the faces along with laughter littered throughout. Back then, when it happened, tempers were flaring and threats were thrown around like trailers in a tornado.

One particular summer, West Virginia was having a unusually wet summer. We would go days without seeing the sun. And Aunt Betty told Dan and I to get his sister’s riding toys from outside, wipe them off, and put them in the basement. She didn’t want them to get all rusty and stuff. Riding toys like tricycles and some sort of large caterpillar thing was sitting idle in the basement.

And those idle things became the Devil’s workshop for Dan and me.

Remember, this was back when Aunt Betty and Uncle Malcolm had a party phone line. There was no such thing as cable TV where they lived and those large satellite dishes were still a few years away from being affordable for most folks. So they only had two television stations that we could watch and that meant Dan and I would have to find other things to keep our attention during daylight hours.

We usually picked a direction in the morning and hiked that way until we got tired of exploring. But this week of the summer, we couldn’t do anything because of the rain. So we found a way to entertain ourselves in the basement with all of the riding toys.

We set up a ramp and lined up the riding toys in front of it. Dan would start with the largest riding toy and jump it using a tricycle. I was using a tape recorder to record the event while doing my play-by-play. After a successful jump, I would interview “Daredevil Dan” for the fans at home and around the world. Then we would add another riding toy for “Daredevil Dan” to sail over without any thoughts of self-preservation. “Daredevil Dan” was fearless!

Let me set the scene for you… Dan would have about 30 feet to get a good amount of speed up before hitting the ramp. As he became airborne, he would sail within inches of a metal pole that supported a cross beam above. When Dan came down for the landing, he would have to take a sharp left around the short end of a pool table. Then cut another hard left to speed between the pool table and the freezer. Then “Daredevil Dan” would screech to a dead stop safe and sound, ready for another interview with me.

Looking back at it now… It was pretty stupid. But Dan has always been about taking chances. We even jumped over his sisters a couple of times. But I was too chicken and concerned about my own safety to jump the riding toys.

When Aunt Betty arrived home from work, she went downstairs to get something for dinner out of the freezer. It wasn’t a few seconds until we heard her yelling up the stairs, “Daniel Malcolm Lively!… Eugene Byrl Sims!… Get down here this instant!”

For those of you that don’t know, when a family member yells out your full God-given name, you’re in BIG trouble.

Dan and I exchanged worried glances and we wondered out loud why Aunt Betty would be angry with us. Once we stood in front of her and looked in the direction of her pointing finger, we became aware of her reasonable anger. There were skid marks all over the basement’s concrete floor!

There were skid marks where “Daredevil Dan” landed. Skid marks at each corner of the pool table where “Daredevil Dan” slid around. And skid marks where “Daredevil Dan” came to a screeching stop.

Aunt Betty wasn’t too pleased with our account of how they got there. She kept saying things like… “What if you broke your arm?”… “What if you broke your leg?”… “What if you hurt one of the girls?”… “What if you had cracked open your skull or broke your neck?”

Aunt Betty told us that we had better get the floor cleaned of skid marks before she got home the next day or we would find ourselves injured by her own hands.

Of course, the next day the sun was shining and the hills of West Virginia were drying out. But Dan and I had a full day’s work ahead of us. We used mops with no effect scrubbing in Tide and dish detergents. We used brushes while on our hands and knees. That was the only way those rubber skid marks were coming off the floor.

But once we got all the marks up, we found another problem… We couldn’t get rid of the soapsuds. We tried mopping them up and that didn’t work. We tried sweeping them with a broom, but that only made more. We even got on our hands and knees with towels and yardsticks to push them out, but even that didn’t work.

So as a last resort with a few short hours left, we broke out the water hose. Dan and I sprayed down the whole basement using water to push the suds towards the drains and out the door. We were successful with a little time to spare before Aunt Betty got home.

We were pleased with ourselves and settled in for a little afternoon television. When Aunt Betty got home, she went straight downstairs. And like a replay from the day before, we heard her shout up the stairs, “Daniel Malcolm Lively!… Eugene Byrl Sims!… Get down here this instant!”

We didn’t realize during our water hose cleaning process that we were spraying everything in sight and getting it all soaking wet. There were boxes on shelves that had been hit by the water. There were shelves with water all over them. We managed to ruin a lot of stuff and to this day whenever you open up the basement doors, you’re hit with the musty odor made by us that summer.

No, it’s not something that we’re proud of because quite frankly, it shows our stupidity. But we were kids that never allowed a dull moment when we were together.

And if you’d like to check out “Daredevil Dan’s” website… By all means do so…

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