This experience could have been my springboard for a career as a tattoo artist, if Mrs. LaCross hadn’t squelched my initial attempt. I did, however, become an art major.
My brother and I usually were the best of pals, but I was mad at him for a crime no longer remembered. Words were exchanged and he and his friends stormed off. I was still mad and felt obligated to let him know.
I grabbed a black crayon, but had no blank paper since we’d been outside coloring in coloring books. I drew a mean face on a stone, but the bumpy lines looked like a scared lion. Hmmm, what could I draw on?
“Hey Deedee, come here,” I yelled to a younger neighbor. “Take your shirt off.”
An hour later, Mom received another in a long line of angry calls, this time from Mrs. LaCross. Mom watched from our porch as I reluctantly walked next door to apologize. I softly knocked on the LaCross’s door, but Mrs. LaCross heard me anyway.
She called me into the kitchen where Deedee sat on the edge of their kitchen sink, wailing away while her mother scrubbed I hate you David off her back. Her chest, not yet cleaned, displayed an artistic face making creative use of nipple eyes and belly-button mouth. Deedee’s back-skin was scrubbed red and looked like it hurt. Mrs. LaCross should have let the crayon marks wear off naturally; with a shirt on, Deedee’s billboard body could have remained our little secret. And on a positive note, I gave Deedee tatoos about fifty years before they became popular for people other than sailors and carnies.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” Mrs. LaCross asked.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“Do you see how much pain you’ve caused Denise while I scrub off your handiwork? Why would you do such a thing?”
The answer was self-evident. “Because I didn’t have any paper.”
Lesson learned: Creativity and resourcefulness are not always appreciated.
Now it’s your turn: What did you do to get a neighbor’s mom a bit upset?
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