Monday, December 19, 2005

The Ghost of Presents Past Part I

So last year at this time I wrote about my The Ghost of Boyfriends Past, and this year I decided to do The Ghost of Presents Past.

Not any ordinary presents, mind you, but the ones that stick out in my mind. The ones that were more then just a trip to the mall, the ones that blew me away.

The very first blew me away present, and probably still the most exciting present I ever received was a Honda Kick-n-Go. It looked like this:

Isn't it beautiful?? You just have no idea how much I wanted this scooter. It had a pedal on the back, which you used in a kicking action to propel you faster and faster. Yes, it was a death trap waiting to happen, which is why they stopped making them I think, but kids don't worry about death traps. All I knew was it was the coolest thing my five year old eyes had ever witnessed.

This was my Red Rider BB Gun.

You see, it was made by Honda, and I grew up in a very American Made friendly household. It was 1976, and the imports were just starting to effect the American car industry. My Father saw anything by the foreign industry a threat to our way of life.

Anytime it was mentioned my Father would mumble on about cheap labor and non-union workforces. My brother and I just had to have one! As Christmas grew closer, my Father's diatribes on the Evil that was Honda grew. We had all but given up on having one of these Satan's spawn scooters.

When it was time to go to Santa I didn't ask for a Honda Kick-n-Go. I probably asked for something lame like an Eazy Bake Oven. Visiting Santa had become a traumatic enough experience due to the fact that it always got me in BIG trouble, and you can read about that here and here.

My parental units asked why I didn't ask for the Kick-n-Go that was my heart's desire. I explain that I didn't want to hurt my Dad's way of life, or something like that.

So my fifth Christmas on this Earth just didn't have the joy it once had like when I was four. I probably still get some cool stuff, because even if my parents were the non-spoiling kind Christmas was a special occasion that looked like a toy store blew up in our living room.

This was one of the years when my Dad pulled a double shift, so he was to tired to wake us up. He could never, ever wait until morning, so after "Santa" had visited he would put on his work boots, run through the house with jingle bells, ditch them, and come wake us up shouting "Santa was here, Santa was here!" Very few Christmas present were ever opened after 3 in the morning in our household, much to the dismay of my poor, tired Mother.

So this particular year my brother and I woke at the crack of dawn and my parents were still asleep. We decided to take a peak downstairs to see the Christmas presents in all their glory. Shaking a few before the parents woke up wouldn't hurt, right?

We crept downstairs, and low and behold their were two Kick-n-Go's in the middle of all the presents. Mine was yellow with a big green bow, and my brother's was Red with a big white bow.

I nearly pissed myself I was so excited. Now taking into account that today is my birthday and I'm 35 years old, not since has anything in this life ever given me such a rush, such a charge of excitment as that moment.

We couldn't move for a few minutes, couldn't breathe. It was just unbelievable. We had the crown jewel of Christmas presents that any kid would ever, ever want standing in our living room FFS!

Now we could have went and woke our parents up. We could have waited patiently for them to wake up.

But we didn't.

We threw on boots, maybe a glove, and a couple of scarves and took those puppy's outside to give them a test ride. In the Chicagoland area. In the mountain sized piles of snow that had already stacked up that year.

Our parents were not please when they finally rolled out of bed and realized they were missing two kids and two death trap from hell scooters.

By the time they had found them my brother had already crashed on his and had a decent sized scrape on his arm. I had flipped on mine and put a sizable gash in the side of my head near my eye, the scar barely visible now after 35 years.

Maybe it was the cold, maybe it was the excitment of getting the scooters, but neither of us felt any pain. My Mom rambled on about how dangerous they were, and my Dad just said they weren't exactly made for winter, that we'd be fine once the snow and ice melted.

We were also grounded from them that day for taking them out before our parents were awake. You gotta just love tough love, eh? My parents had the biggest hearts for being such heartless bastards.

I would have slept standing up on that thing that night if I wasn't grounded from it for a week.

As an adult I realize how hard it was for my Dad to purchase that product. He's really huge on principles and morals and all that junk, so for him to go against everything he believed in to make his kid's Christmas is just an amazing act of love. You really wish that you could realize things like that when you were a kid, because all I knew was Santa must have wild mind-reading powers, and my Dad was mean because he grounded me from it.

But I know it now.

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