Fun for Four

One day we were running around in swim suits. It was hot and we had played in the sprinkler most of the morning. We had run in for kool-aid and were sitting around in the dining room playing records as we cooled off. One of the albums was female singers and one of the songs was "Big Spender". We were singing along, as always, and really getting into belting out "Big, big spender!" It was making us laugh and snort kool-aid out our noses when Vee stood on her chair and hootchie-cootchied as well as sang.

Now, I think Mom told us to settle down, so we did. But we got talking about it and ended up running up stairs to our rooms and finding all our can-can half slips. We got towels from the hall closet, wrapped them around our heads to make turbans and pinned them the long way around our necks to make capes of them. Add 3 cancans apiece, a little of Mom's red lipstick and we thought we looked like this ->.

We raced back down to the dining room. The other 3 ran right outside to the porch. I hustled to open the front windows and start the record over before Mom saw me! We wanted to surprise her. I turned the volumn up fairly loud and joined the rest of the troupe.

We giggled, hiding down behind the porch railing, through the first song but when Carmen Miranda started singing we climbed up on the wide ledge that ran around the porch and started doing a can-can! A few neighbor kids rode over to see what all the noise was about and we shook those slips like maracas! We ended with the customary "turn your back, flip your skirt up move" then turned and took our bows!

The next song was "Big Spender". We must have seen the movie about Gypsy Rose Lee because we knew that dance, too. The turbans were peeled first. After a few sexy moves,for girls that were 8,9,10, & 11, the capes followed. We were bumping and grinding like pros! (ask us, we thought we were GOOD!) Next we started wiggling out of the slips. Vee even threw one to the crowd, to share between all 4 of them! They were laughing up a storm and we danced even more energetically.

Mom must have been on the phone or something because she only just got to the door as we started the last chorus. She did a lightning fast overview of the action and in less than 2 seconds she realized what we were doing, (strip tease) where we were doing it, (in front of God and everybody on a 14 inch wide ledge 8 feet off the ground) who was watching, (a girl and 3 boys from the 'hood) and that we were down to one slip apiece and our swim suits.

Now, I have sent grown men running when I shift into Female Demon from Hell in a Rage. It's only happened a few times in my life but I even impress me when I am rightously angry. I learned most of it from Mom.

There was that hateful, scraping noise from the needle being dragged across the record but it was drowned out by the "Voice of Death" screeching, "Get down from there RIGHT NOW and GET IN HERE!!!"

We hit the floor running and, from experience, sad to say, headed right for our rooms. Mom pounded up the stairs behind us. I don't know where the neighbor kids went but I know they were gone before our feet hit the first step!

Arr was last as her legs were the shortest and she slammed the door behind her in an instinctive reaction to the fear she felt. I screamed, "NOOOOOO, she'll just get MADDER!" and tore over to rip it open just before Mom cleared the last step. I got a good look at her face and almost slapped the door shut again, but freaked out and just ran to the far end of the bedroom.

You need to know we put on plays, puppet shows, circuses, talent shows and animal acts all the time when we were kids. We never had one end like this! We were all in a state of shock because we had gone from giving a prime show to being threatened with death in under 10 seconds. You just can't change gears that fast and not suffer for it.

She stomped in the door, looked at us all huddling in the corner in fear and then cut loose on us. "What do you think you were doing? Do you realize you could DIE if you fell off the porch? Where are your BRAINS!? What will YOUR FATHER SAY! Are you TRYING to make all the neighbors HATE ME!" She was so enraged she had to stop to breath.

I knew what came next, again, from experience. "Valerie MARIE, GET OVER HERE!" she shrieked as she pointed to the spot on the floor in front of her. I didn't go fast, but I went. My eyes were on my feet to see where I was walking and to avoid looking into the face of the "Goddess of DEATH".

Her hand yanked my chin up so I had to look at her and she brought her face down to mine. Right on cue, I started to cry. "What were you DOING!" she hollered into my nose. At this, the rest of the girls broke into sobs. They thought she would KILL me.

Through the sobs I gasped out, "We were just singing and dancing!"

Staring with the concentration of a predator and using the "stare of mind penetration" I could see the click in her eyes when she registered that I believed I was telling the truth. She released my chin and stood up.

Knowing she would get no better answer from any of us and that we couldn't hear her over all the crying her shoulders slumped under the load of "what the neighbors would say" we had just piled on her and she just shook her head really slowly, back and forth, for about a minute.

"I want you all to go DOWNSTAIRS, pick up ALL THE CLOTHES and TOWELS, then get BACK up here and STAY IN BED until YOUR FATHER gets home."

We went past her so fast her blouse rippled in the wind of our passage. There was going to be no DEATH!! We were still crying but that was because once you started it was hard to stop. I didn't have to tell them anything. We got every bit of our "props" and were back upstairs before she got to the first landing. We blasted by her again, streamed into our room and I dropped my load then closed the door behind the last girl in.

Now Mom wasn't really a monster, it just seemed that way when you were short and she got angry so quickly and completely. We had a real talent for setting her off till we learned all the invisible rules of life better.

The kids had all flung their loads anywhere and leaped into their beds. I stood by the door and saw the mess we had made. Somehow, I knew that wouldn't sit well with Dad. "Come on, guys! We have to put all this stuff away neatly or we will REALLY catch it when Dad comes home."

"Mom said to go to BED!" Vee challanged me with a glare. She was alway hardest to be older than.

"So? We will be VERY quiet, shake it all off, fold the towels and put the slips back AND THEN go to bed!" I insisted. "You know how Dad HATES a messy room!"

Everybody looked at everyone and the concensus was we had better do anything we could to lighten our punishment. There was a short rush while we helped each other get it all picked up and put away, then we went to bed.

First we all discussed what got Mom so angry. We did lots of singing and dancing acts. One of our best was "Ain't We Sweet". Vee said it was the stripping part but I told her we were wearing our swim suits! It was the same thing we had worn all day! We never did figure it out then, we just all feel asleep from nervous exaustion.

I just hate a story with a bad ending so I wanted to make one up for you. The real ending was we slept till Mom called us for dinner and Dad never said a word to us about our latest show.

I would guess that, once again, what Mom saw as a criminal act that would ruin her as a mother with the church and the neighbors Dad saw as his wild animals having a good day. He probably laughed his head off and was sorry he missed it! Mom would have spitted and sputtered at him but he would have said she handled it just fine. We were punished enough.

So we cleaned the room for nothing!!

Later in my life I was to try and explain to a 10 and 12 year old pair of females why it was OK for your boyfriend or neighbor to see you on the beach in your swim suit but NOT OK to model them for the boys in your bedroom. It made me dizzy and I KNOW they didn't get it.

I remembered the "Big Spender Day" and I understood Mom's point of view better. By then I was in my 30's. It is true that "You will understand when you are older" - at least sometimes.

Comments: 4 Comments:
At 14/6/05 8:23 PM, Blogger Madzillah said...

That CLICK of realization is what saves my sanity and the lives of MY children occasionally.

Do you still Can-Can?

At 15/6/05 10:52 AM, Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Can just barely get my leg over either bike. The mate doesn't dance unless he is 6 beers drunk so it really doesn't matter any more. I can still flip my skirts! That's the important part! :)

At 23/6/05 9:28 PM, Blogger SidDawgone said...

hahah! Great "remember whens" and great post! Thanx for stopping by my "house" recently, hope to run into you some more!
Allison (Magz little sis)

At 30/6/05 11:01 AM, Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Thanks for stopping in, siddawgone. I love to make people laugh!


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