From birth to four-years old, I really have no memories . None. Zip. Nada. Nothing.
It was either science-fiction author Isaac Asimov or comic book artist John Byrne who claimed to remember being born. He even gave a detailed description of the operating room, people in the room, the colors of the wall and what exactly transpired after he came out of the womb.
Pretty crazy. I'm not really sure if that's the norm or not. But, I can't remember a single thing, until 1976 when I started kindergarten at Hilltop Elementary School on Colerain Pike.
In fact, I can remember this one Kinder-story like it just happened yesterday:
It was recess and I was hanging out with my classmates on the playground. I really wouldn’t call them friends yet because I barely knew them. (And what the hell would we talk about anyway? Probably jibberish.)
Anyhow, this one kid - Russell - started dancing around and holding his butt. "I gotta go." he screamed to no one in particular. Then, without warning, he unbuttoned his cord pants, pulled them down around his ankles and plopped out a turd right on the playground cement.
The kids around him started laughing. I was pretty shocked. I looked around for teachers. They didn’t notice. Even so, I got nervous.
Suddenly one of the giggling kids, Jason, went over to the turd, picked it up and dropped it into an open classroom window. Not our kindergarten classroom, mind you. But a grown-up classroom on the other side of the school. First Grade.
All the kids scattered like they just threw a grenade into a foxhole. I took off as well. (I wasn't stupid). But, for the remainder of recess, I just stared intently at the turd window. "Did I do something wrong?" my guilt-ridden mind asked myself over and over as the recess bell rang and we entered the building.
It was music time and we were getting ready to sing a hearty rendition of BINGO. When, all of a sudden, Hilltop's first-grade teacher burst into the room. This old bag of bones looked like she passed up on retirement and was heading straight to death. She wore these nylon stockings that would roll down her boney ankles. And she would always wear those 1950’s housemother dresses you see on Leave it To Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show. They were pastel green and always dirty. It looked like she hand-washed all of her clothes.
But right at the moment, I wasn't focusing on our first-grade teacher's dress habits. The thing that caught my attention on this particular day was the sloppy, brown turd dangling in her hand. It was Russell's turd.
And she wasn't holding it with a paper towel or a rag? No, that would be too sanitary. Instead, she held the turd in her bare hand for all the world to see
"Who did this? Who threw this into my classroom?" She screamed at the top of her lungs as she waved the brown bomb into the air like the Statue of Liberty. I noticed the brown turd juice running down her fingers.
A couple kids in the class started to cry. I thought I was going to barf.
My heart started racing. I remember thinking. "I know I was there. And I remember Russell taking a dump. But maybe, I made it all up? Maybe, in fact, I did the dirty doody."
Her eyes locked with mine. "You!" she screamed. "I saw you standing outside the window, did you do this?" Spit was flying. And her hair was bobbing in the wind as she thrust the turd within inches of my face.
I gave her a "Who me?" look. Shook my head and began to scan the room for Russell and Jason. They were looking straight ahead with the most innocent look on their faces. The bastards. How could they be so cool, calm and collected at a time like this?
"Can we please talk about this in the hall," our kindergarten teacher, Ms. Barrisford, said to the first-grade teacher as she grabbed her by the arm and escorted her out of the classroom.
Before she exited the room, the first-grade teacher extended her hand and dropped Russell's juicy turd into the metal trash container next to the door.
It landed with a KABLOMB! that echoed throughout the halls.
When the door slammed, all the other kid’s giggled…even Russell and Jason. I breathed a sigh of relief. The mystery of the turd would remain unsolved.
That is, until now.