"Those Old Tricks" by Rolly A. Chabot
Collect the hugs at the door on the way in to all who come to visit. Take up a chair at the Fireside which will soon be blazing again. We are on the downward slide again into the cooler months then the winter months. I looked at the snow shovels in the shed the other day and spoke softly to them they would could just wait. "Not ready for you just yet."
The farmers have started to work in the fields and some have already been swathed and now in the final stages of drying. Soon the prairies and the foothill lands will be filled with the smell of that fall harvest in full swing. The best time of the year to capture those sunset pictures.
Gather around and lets just sit a spell. I was reading a book recently that spoke of remembering those childhood pranks and tricks we played just because we were kids. Those sort of ones where no one got hurt and yet there would be the consequences should you get caught. Did I, well I suppose a few times... I know the nose is growing longer as I write. Ok, Ok maybe more than a few.
Above all as you read know that you are dearly loved... you are family.
My Dad was a barber in a small town of 300 people and 60 dogs. The neighbour lady who had a Cocker Spaniel named Sandy and Dad were in a fairly regular battle over the dog coming over and depositing gifts on our sparse lawn.
One day Dad was away in the city and myself and a friend decided it may not be a bad idea to cool poor Sandy off and give him a haircut. Though there was a bit of a struggle from Sandy because he knew he was in unfamiliar territory (The Enemy's Camp) we managed to give him a trim as poor as it was, leaving his head and the tip of his tail and around his paws where he sported some rather handsome puffs of hair. As far as I was concerned I had done a fairly good job to help cool the poor dog down.
It was not until the owner of the dog saw what happened did we begin to run for cover. This would be a hard one to cover up let alone the mess we had created on the floor and barber chair of Dads once pristine Barber Shop. It seems as though fine red dog hair is harder to clean up than you think.
Dad had no sooner parked the car the neighbour lady came over sporting her dog that now looked like a miniature lion and stood shivering behind her vocal owner. My Dad always had the greatest sense of humour and would laugh at the silliest things. To this day I have never understood how he kept a straight face while the riot act was being read to him that day. I can tell you after she left Dad excused himself and went off in private and laughed till the tears came down his cheeks.
As punishment for this horrible deed my Dad decided that maybe a special haircut for myself and my friend Larry was in order. The rule being we had to wear it like that till it grew out again. Dad did a great job leaving clumps of hair in places and bald spots in others. We were hoping we could pass it off as a new trend a little like the emerging Beetles Band at the time but it fail as word got out what had truly happened. I swear that dog Sandy and all the other dogs in town laughed at us each time we went past.
Halloween seemed to be the time of year when you could walk a fairly fine line and not get caught. (Especially travelling in groups). Harmless again but yes causing some disruption to the regular flow of things when you came out in the morning and found your outhouse tipped over. You see we never had indoor plumbing or running water (I was the runner of water) and such a problem would cause others distress and there would be some upset people in town in more ways than one.
Now being the young entrepreneur I decided one year to cash in and offer a service with me and my fellow tippers to stand them all again. The cost was 25 cents per outhouse and we cashed in rather handsomely and made 2 dollars and fifty cents that day. Now split 2.50 by 7 kids and the net was .37 cents each. Now in those days you could buy a pile of candy for that.
Soon my Dad caught wind of the fine son he had raised and learned of the small fee charged. I was busted again and made to do tasks for each person of equal value or until they thought I had repented. I might add I was the one that took the fall for all my accomplices in the crime of the year. Trust me it was hard being the Barber's son in a small town. It seemed nothing got by and as the years past my once shiny halo was being badly tarnished.
Once in While
Has the prankster ever left. Well not really. Dad taught me well as he was the master. Once we were at a gathering of many old friends and laughing about those times. I was on pancakes that morning and Larry my old buddy and nearly leader of the prank patrol decided he needed an extra sleep in. After everyone else had eaten out came Larry rubbing his eyes and greeting the rather bright day with a headache that was caused by some sort of liquids he had consumed the night before.
I called out "You need some breakfast old friend? His response was I could eat anything. Now for those who know me well enough that opened the door to some options. With my back turned to Larry I proceeded to cook a special pancake and placed a dish cloth inside. This was an extra thick one. In the meanwhile he was bragging about all the good ones he had pulled over on me.
Larry sat and I placed this monster pancake in front of him. After getting it all slathered in butter and syrup proceeded to start eating. After a few bites he ran into the dishcloth and that started another day of getting even. Life is meant to be filled with laughter and harmless fun and it was and still is the same today. (Well more reserved as you can see by the picture) One thing I have learned is when you are busted just accept it and suffer the consequences. This another lesson I learned from Dad after being busted so often.
Larry has since passed away sadly and yet I bet he is still pulling pranks in heaven. Have a joyful heart is what we are taught and take the time to bring a smile to the face of others when you can. There is a time for such fun and a time to simply be a friend to comfort and console others. A time to simply smile and wish a complete stranger a good day with a bright smile. Take the time today and be a kid again and have some fun with those you love.
Rolly A. Chabot
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