I was up at Cranelegs Pond the other day walking Annabel (our deaf, blind and not-so-dumb yellow lab) like a good seeing eye human does. While searching its still, slate water for some sort of sign of that monster bass, the same one, I might add, that Wee Dicky Upwright across the way swears gobbled up a small goat that had casually stopped by for a drink, I stumbled upon an old nickel on the ground. Buffalo up. So I reached down and slowly lifted it, pinched between my thumb and index finger. I examined it for a date but without my glasses, I couldn't tell the difference between numbers and "In God We Trust". Not exactly a glowing endorsement for a seeing eye human.
So I tucked it in my palm and shoved it into my pocket for future inspection. And as I did, I was reminded how my grandma always used to say, "I wish I had a nose full of nickels", which always seemed peculiar to me and therefore worthy of a good old try. So I did from time to time. That is, place nickels in my nose; two in one nostril and three in the other. It kind of felt cool, like body piercing, I suppose, without the holes. I thought my grandma was on to something, until my mother got a load of my distorted snout one afternoon and screamed, "Get those nickels out your nose right this instant buster! Are you insane! Ya know, I can take you back to the lunatics that made you. Is that what you want?"
Now that may seem a bit harsh but that's the sort of thing a normally sane woman will yell from time to time when confronted with the hourly horrors released by her four male offspring under the age of seven. I mean I was well aware that there were no "other" lunatics in the picture and that I was completely of her DNA. In fact I was positive of this fact. Even at age six, when these sort of para-abnormal activities occurred.
No, it wasn't the threat of casting me off to unknown, lunatic louts, who lurked mysteriously beyond my street, waiting for the chance to reclaim their own devil brood, that got to me. What got to me were the mixed messages. My grandma with all the bright ideas and my mom with all the counterpoints. It's a wonder I'm able to eat oatmeal.
Oh yeah, I was able to sell the nickel online for 5 cents cold cash.