4.08.2008

Hot Bologna Sammich

I used to babysit a lot when I was a kid; most of the families in my neighborhood, actually. I also did Lunchroom Helper in Elementary School, which is code for Dorks Making Sure Kids Don't Choke on their Lunchables. It was tremendously unglamorous; two of my friends and I watched a Grade 2 class during the lunch hour. It gave the teachers a break and gave us some pull in class. If you failed a test, your teacher would drop it. Skipped class? Never happened. It was nice; sort of like being in the mafia. Except the stakes were a lot lower and instead of having cool nicknames like Pauly Walnuts or The Mouth, you got called Loser and Dipshit. I was cool with that though because I knew that I was getting good marks in class for doing dick all. In one class I didn't even show up for a massively important presentation, and that mark was mysteriously missing at the end of the year. Besides, I would get eaten alive if I had to hang out with my peers; my mom refused to let me dress cool and my legs were too long for regular pants. Last time I checked, lanky 13-year-old girls who wear their mom's clothes aren't exactly the cool kids. But enough about me being a nerd; the cool kids of Elementary school are working in the Audio/Video Department of Wal-Mart and/or parents and/or addicted to Horse Tranquilizers, so I think I win in the long run.

Anyways, one of the kids in my Lunch Class found out I lived near him, so the next thing I know he comes to school with a note pinned to his jacket asking if I will babysit him and his brothers and sister. I figured it wouldn't be that bad; 3 boys and a girl would normally be a pain in the ass, but the two boys were about 8 and 7, so they basically take care of themselves. They lived in the apartment building down the street from my home, and I'm no snob, but where I grew up, only two types of people lived in apartment buildings: seniors and empty nesters, and poor people. Needless to say, this family wasn't 6 seniors, so I mentally prepared myself for what I imagined a poor person's house looked like. I had only ever been in one poor person's house before, but the family wasn't really poor, just crazy. The parents smoked a crapload of drugs and didn't care what time you went to bed. We could swear all we wanted, and one of the sons lived under the stairs in the crawlspace. I loved sleeping over, but my mom didn't like when I would come home the next day with leaves in my hair and smelling like stale cigarettes, herbal tea, and cats. In retrospect, I don't think it was a healthy environment for children; I'd be willing to wager $100 that 2 of the kids smoke Crystal Meth on a daily basis, and the 3rd is still living in the crawlspace.
When I arrived at the 8-year-old's apartment, I was surprised that it didn't smell like smoke or have any cats, and no one slept under a staircase or broom closet or with their Mom and Dad. Sure, it was messy and there were stains all over the carpet, but I could assume that no mom was as anal as my Mom was about drinking juice anywhere but the kitchen table, so I figured that lots of people with kids had stains on their carpet, especially if they were renters. That was a term my Dad loved to use; Renters. House without landscaping? Renters. Kids carved their names into the garage door? Renters. Naturally, I looked at the carpet stains and broken bathroom fixtures and whispered "renters". It wasn't until I rented my first apartment that I realized that renting did not a lazy-slob make, and I reserved my judgment against anyone with a leaky faucet or stale bread in the breadbox.

The kids were not really what I was used to. Rambunctious and silly, but dirty and messy. I chalked this up to their mom being recently married to a guy who's arms were covered with unidentifiable tattoos, which where I grew up meant, "I give up". Well, to adults at least. As long as the step-dad was paying me $6 an hour, I would turn a blind eye to a face-tattoo that said "I Kill Cats". But for all the carpet stains and broken cupboard handles, they had cable and a leather couch. Cable meant I got to space-out and let the TV babysit the kids and a leather couch meant I could sit and watch TV with them, free of the fear associated with dirty people couches. Leather didn't trap vomit or pee, and even if it did, you would be blissfully ignorant to the fluids that predate your ass. I stuck through after-school sittings and weekends, knowing I would be able to weasel my way into the very lucrative summer break period. That was when you made the serious cash. Instead of one $20 bill, you would get two. It was like winning the lottery; getting paid to watch TV and make sure the kids didn't systematically murder each other. The only thing that bothered me was that their air conditioning was always broken. I grew up in a home that could easily be confused for a meat locker. It would be the hottest day of the summer; seniors would be dropping dead left, right, and centre, and my house would be so cold that you could spit on the floor and it would be frozen before it hit the linoleum. So I would try to work my hours around High Noon; if their mom needed me at 1pm, I would see if I couldn't push it to 2:30. She had a hair appointment at 11am? I would be there shortly after 9:30. One Saturday she asked if I could be at her house all day, from 8am to about 5pm. This meant big money in the 13-year-old babysitting world. You would work 9 hours and make $50; you would be stupid to turn down a shit-show of cash like that. I agreed, knowing that we could always kill time at the park. The 4 kids were cool with lounging around the house for all of 15 minutes before they asked to go to the park. Shit no! Not before 2pm! The park was right beside the apartment building, and if we went early it would mean I had no way to kill the remaining 8 hours. The younger ones would obey me (because young children are stupid and will do what you say), but the older two were content to jokingly flip me off and keep begging 'till I caved. I knew that I could wear them out and kill a good portion of the day by taking them on a picnic to the park. Yes, I would be the cultural babysitter, the hero who would pull them from the wreckage of WWF Wrestling and Pizza Pops. As they packed backpacks with crayons and paper (to draw the trees) and books (to read in the shade), I made a picnic lunch. There wasn't much in the fridge; condiments and baking soda, a few wrinkly vegetables, a carton of milk. There was tonne of food in the cupboards, but it was all non-perishables in cans. I thought bringing Chef Boyardee to a picnic was a little more ghetto than I was willing to have, so I reached to the back of the fridge and pulled out a package of garlic bologna. I didn't think to check the date (their mom was a bit of a space-case, but not neglectful) and made 5 sandwiches. Into a backpack with the crayons and books, and off we walked. Maybe 10 minutes from the house I realized I had made a grave error. It was about 200 degrees outside in the sun, and it would only get hotter. It was like when we exited the apartment, we walked through a wormhole that drew the Earth closer to the Sun's surface. I thought it would get better as soon as we got to the park, where we could all collapse under a tree and die, but I didn't take into account that the drinks in my backpack might be boiling hot and the sandwiches might be steaming in their Ziplocs.

The minute I bit into my bologna sandwich, I knew something was wrong. It tasted like shit. I won't waste an elegant metaphor on you; it actually tasted like someone sandwiched a dog shit between two asscheeks. I waited for the kids to mention the shitwiches, but they ate them without question. It appeared that they had built up an immunity over the years to rotten garlic bologna; I, on the other hand, began barfing all over the picnic table, the grass, the youngest boy's sandals. I washed them off in the pond and hauled ass out of there. I guess they had seen their mom vomit aggressively all over their belongings before, because they could not understand why we were leaving. I knew I wouldn't make it home; the heat combined with the nausea to create a feeling I can only equate to being punched in the stomach with a fist made of fire. My Mom was at home all day, so I knew that if I called my house, she would come and pick the kids and I up and drive us home. All I had to do was get to the drugstore down the street to use the payphone with 4 kids without barfing all over the sidewalk. Unfortunately my body wanted to reject all traces of tainted bologna, and I kept vomiting all the way to the store. I couldn't let the kids wait outside the store, because it was right across the street from a shady variety store called the K & Y (yes, they did sell KY there), so I told them to go pick out some candy. I wasn't going to buy it for them, but I was willing to let them take a dump on the floor if it kept them busy while I was on the phone. The payphone was in a one-way door vestibule, so you could go in, but in order to get out, you had to walk through the store to the exit on the opposite side. Every time I picked up the receiver, I would start to barf in my mouth. I knew I wouldn't make it to the exit in time, so I would just swallow it, and what I couldn't swallow went through my fingers. My Mother, out of sheer embarrassment, came to pick me up. I will never know what her ride over to get me was like, but I know if I was her I would have pissed my pants from laughing so hard. What kind of a moron eats garlic bologna from a house that has 2 bedrooms and 6 people living in it? The car pulled up and I told the kids to drop everything in their hands and get in the strangers car. They probably stole so much candy while I was barfing into the payphone; what did I care? After dealing with me all day, I would have let them get away with stealing 5's from the register.

When their mom came home at 5pm and asked how the day went, there was an unspoken bond between the 4 kids not to mention the barf. Well, at least that's what I like to imagine. I like to think they all huddled together in their bedroom, arms around each other’s shoulders and necks to seal in their voices, saying "Let's not tell mom about the babysitter getting sick...we will gain nothing from embarrassing her, and besides, she is so much fun and very pretty!"
The reality is that they weren't even fazed by my barfing on their shoes and dragging them downtown, only to abandon them in a drugstore, and then push them into an '87 Buick station wagon. The first words out of the oldest boy’s mouth were "I got to eat my breakfast in my underwear on the couch this morning!"

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is was so stupid and sounds made up.

raych said...

Oh, Anonymous, you have no sense of humor. I almost peed three times, because barfing in public is funny (not when you're doing it, but when other people are, except that actually hearing someone barf makes me have to. So I guess just reading about people barfing in public is funny).

The Mayor said...

Really? Stupid and Made-Up? Wait a second - take a look at that glorious grammar! This is was? Ahahahaha, brilliant!! Someone got their past-tense and present-tense mixed up!

ThomG said...

Ahhh, good times. Mayor, you're the bomb.

sillymarrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marina said...

Whoops, somehow I deleted my post, but what it said was:

Holy shit..."Garlic" Balogna... I didn't know that they made gourmet flavours of it.

Anonymous said...

this is/ was so stupid.
and "raych" your sense of humour sucks. peed three times? from reading skipraid? whoa. easy now.

Alice's right foot said...

Well, it was certainly entertaining and most likely not made-up. I babysat many a time when I was younger and though I never puked on any of my charges, I did have children actually try and kill each other (with knives and baseball bats) these were cute little boys who's Dad was super religious...Also, I too supervised grade 2 children over the lunch-hour. It was a good feeling to be supreme overloard over small children for an hour every Tuesday and Thursday.

ref. said...

anonymous 1
mayor 0

The Mayor said...

Yes, but let's look at the big picture...
The Mayor - took a shit
Anonymous - read that shit (in full), then bathed in it, then ate it.
Zing! Go fuck yourself, Anonymous!
PS - tell you dad I say hi.

The Mayor said...

No, but for serious - to all the fans, you guys are great. I write for you. But don't worry about Anonymous - he is a cool dude who is such a huge pussy that he is 'scawwed' to put his real name on a little blog. Pity him.

wittmer said...

hahah, loved the story mayor.
you should write a book comprised of bunch of these stories.. hilarious + $$$
man.. you could even write about those shitheads you used to babysit on reach st.

ref. said...

Anonymous made the error of posting a negative comment. Only positive comments welcome here right Mayor?

This section isn't for your truthful comments, only for "kissin' ace"

deadeye-davi / uncle jesse said...

You're like our generation's David Sedaris. More puke stories please.

Christella M said...

I liked this one! Very good!