Thursday, June 28, 2007


ALIVE! ALIVE! Yes, I can eat now. Which is a strange thing to be saying coming from a girl who has spent her entire life trying not to share the low to the ground and very round girth of her Russian ancestors. (Whom she loved.) But due to the frighteningly quick response upon drinking some unknown liquid, I have gotten back my appetite and crave everything unhealthy and yummy. I also started to think about sex. Not with me, necessarily, but for some reason my mind went right to my Uncle Melvin. My dad's youngest brother. He was a crazy, rudderless guy who died young from smoking which was probably a blessing. The last thing he owned was a 99 cents store in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where nothing anywhere in town cost more than 99 cents. And you could get everything you wanted at the local Kroger. Even plastic shoes for a buck fifty. My father thought those plastic shoes were a real bargain. He'd buy half a dozen at a time. Now you are talking about a guy who ran a little printing company in Chicago and wore a suit and tie to work everyday and looked very respectable and in charge...Until you glanced under his desk. His pathetic shoes were held together with velcro. He looked like a very large six year old. But they were a bargain. I tried to convince him that a bargain and just plain cheap were two different things but it didn't penetrate. And then there was the time he went to get his pants shortened and the tailor had a bright RED sports jacket hanging up and he told my dad that Wayne Newton had left it there. My dad tried it on and said, "Wayne Newton, huh? I'll take it." Between the red jacket and the plastic shoes he looked like he should either be in a shelter or performing in a lounge in Reno. He was not a vain man.
Back to Melvin... He was a handsome devil who could never get his shit together. He sold brushes, he sold handkerchiefs and then finally he had this store. The Bargain Barn. And he and his partner decided that they had to have an "event" to attract the people of Beaver Falls. Now the partner was a guy named Harry Gubitz and Harry was insane. His idea to get them on the map was to have Harry wear his bowler hat and stand on his head in front of the store and spin...On the hat. And he did that. He stood on his head and he spun. For days. While my Uncle stood outside smoking his beloved Camels and cheering Harry on and waiting for a customer to walk by. I happened to be in Beaver Falls the week of the spin and my cousins and I had to watch Harry and clap and scream and say how amazing it all was. Even at ten I knew that Harry was insane and if I were a customer I would be afraid to go into that store.
But this all started with me thinking about sex. So my Uncle Melvin had one joke that he told everytime he saw me...Or anyone. He would put his hands in his pants pocket, feel around for a while, then say..."When did I buy plums?" Well, the joke sounded sexy to a ten year old.
I am realizing while I write this that going from sex to Uncle Melvin is pretty much a turn off to most men. But it wasn't always like this. After all, I did sleep with you know who. Raise your hand if that's all you care about on this blog...Aha...Suddenly I feel cheaper than a plastic shoe.

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