1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Butting In

Me in 1962, age twelve, and I was NOT a bossy brat.

Me in 1962, age twelve, and I was NOT a bossy brat.

I did not rush head-long into trouble … this time. I backed into it. If only I’d remembered my lesson learned from a failed heifer riding experiment. If only I’d let David go first.

We often brought Barbara Kay camping with us. Her parents owned the vacant lot on Lake St. Catherine, we were the same age, and we liked to play together.

Photo taken around the time of my 'incident'.

Photo taken around the time of my ‘incident’. L-R: Susan, David, moi

She slept in her sleeping bag between David and me and made us get as close to her as possible. This became the best time to tell her scary stories taking place around the lake. I also liked telling her the source of each mysterious outside noise. Mom made me stop after a few minutes.

Camps, houses, and other tents lay scattered around the lake. After lunch, David went on a hike and explored the nearby area. Barbie and I chose to lie on our towels, sunbathing on the dock.

David hurried toward us from behind our tent. “You’ve got to come see what I found.”

Barbie and I stopped to put sneakers on and followed him up a hill. I soon wished I put shorts on over my bathing suit.

David stood by as we were properly impressed over his discovery–a long wooden trough leading straight down to a woodpile near the camp below.

I stepped onto the top of the wooden structure. “Let’s slide down.”

www.chutescoulonge.qc.ca David's chute didn't have water to assist my slide down.

David’s chute didn’t have water to assist my slide down.

“I get to go first since I found it,” shouted David.

“But I’m the oldest, so I should go first.”

David gave in and I thought I won. I thought wrongly.

I sat on the top of the trough, but didn’t budge. I climbed off and walked back a few yards. I got a running start, jumped on, and slid a few feet.

“Ow, ow, ow,” I screamed.

“Ha ha! You got just what you deserve,” shouted David.

He ran ahead to our tent with his inappropriate laughter trailing behind. I walked slowly with Barbie at my side.

The grain of the wood in the old trough pointed upward, while I slid downward. It was not a happy meeting. Looking back, I think David may have planned my unfortunate incident. He knew I’d want to slide down first.

In the privacy of our tent I leaned over Mom’s lap with my injured butt exposed. She muttered while tweezing a million tiny splinters embedded in my hind-end. It took days to pluck the last one out.

Now I knew what the thugs in gangster movies meant when they said, “You’ve got to cover your own butt.”

Lesson learned: Sometimes it’s better to go second; a lesson I learned previously and remembered too late. No butts about it!

Related posts: Chapter Seven: Mary Reincarnated

Now it’s your turn: What’s your worse sliver experience?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Glynis Jolly says:

    Sorry but I can’t help laughing. I had a similar experience in an old outhouse when I was a teenager.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      You know, Glynis, I came to believe it should be the responsibility of adults to keep all old wood sanded down so we young’ns don’t get slivers. After all, what else do they have to do.
      I’ve changed my tune now that I’m older.

  2. spunkybong says:

    Enjoyed this one, Skinny. )

  3. Mimmy Jain says:

    Very funny, Mary, though I’m sure it must have been pretty painful at the time. Puts me in mind of the time I got a tiny fish bone stuck in my throat. It hurt even to swallow. None of the traditional methods worked. And it was a Sunday, so we had to wait till the doc had finished his siesta and would deign to extract it for me. Scarred me for life. I still will not eat fish that have many tiny bones.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Yes, Mimmy, it hurt. But what was most painful was seeing the smirk on David’s face every time I felt another sliver that Mom had missed.
      A tiny fish bone stuck in my throat? That would be much worse. And I’d be wary of a repeat performance too.

  4. parrillaturi says:

    Ouch! This brings back awful memories. Happened to me numerous times. It’s like riding a Porcupine, bareback, or landing on a Cactus plant. Hmm. Wonder which is worse!. Blessings.

  5. kriskkaria says:

    Owww! What a funny and painful story, all at the same time.

  6. oh i was laughing out loud to this! ouch!! you have such great stories!

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