Monday, August 27, 2007

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wanker

When I was little my dad, a lawyer, won a decent case and we moved into a fancy house. Not crazy fancy, but cozy enough that the fellow who lived there before us built a secret closet in the master bedroom to stash his stuff. To the unaided eye, this closet was nothing more than a built-in bookshelf. But to the hundreds of kids my brothers and I shepherded inside over the years, it was a club house fit for a teenage James Bond. One pull on the middle shelf and the bookshelf swung open, revealing a cramped, closed-off space that was once a hidden passageway to a bedroom on the other side of the house.

The musty closet was used mainly for storage and contained such items as pleather suitcases, toasters, alarm clocks and anything else the local bank used to entice customers to open a savings account. It also, as my friends and I were delighted to discover one summer afternoon, housed a quite exhaustive collection of 1980's Playboys. If the three trees on our front lawn that formed a natural baseball diamond hadn't already made me the most popular kid in the neighborhood, these titty-filled treasures put me over the top.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. In this case our demise was literally brought upon by our own hand. Evidently, the almost daily pile of soggy tissues in the trash can outside the bookshelf was a case even my scatterbrained mother could solve. Under the cover of night, the magazines suddenly disappeared, and so did my reign as most popular kid in 8th grade.

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