nine was a great time for me, especially in the summer
you see, my mom and dad had to work
and i was one of those "latch key kids"
who got to stay home...alone!
i had orders to keep the house clean, not to cook, and to NEVER, ever let anyone in the house, while my parents were gone
naturally i broke all the rules
i enjoyed the mornings eating frosted flakes, feeding my turtles fresh flies from the alley, and tending my strawberry patch
then about nine a.m., before the house got hot like an oven, i'd be off to the baseball diamond with my rowdy friends.
when i was sufficiently ragged and tired, i'd come home and break all the rules, that i had promised to obey
i learned how to cook pancakes
one day, the house filled with smoke, 'cause i burned them
i couldn't sit for a week from the lickin' i got
dad used an old barber's razor strop on my bum
next fiasco was the cake frosting
i used hershey's cocoa mix in the brown tin
and a whole mess of powdered sugar
i was sick for a week from eating the entire bowl
i used to mess up the house, then clean like a demon the last hour before anyone would get home
my brother caught me all the time
i always forgot he was off on wednesday afternoons
he was nineteen and he was a nazi...a clean freak...and just plain mean
he made me clean up and take baths and generally rode my ass like a rodeo cowboy with a mean demeanor and sharp spurs
i also invited kids in the house
they were supposed to be my friends, but always broke something or left cigarettes behind, smoldering somewhere
it's tough being a kid!
it's tough being a man!
it's tough being an old man!
but it sure is a helluva lot of fun remembering all this stuff.