A Dad Story

My dad has hundreds of stories, each of them funnier than the last. I’m sure I haven’t even heard half of them yet. In honor of Father’s Day this week, here’s one of our favorite childhood tales of Dad’s… the time he went skinny-dipping in the town’s water supply. Hope you enjoy it! Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

5,000!

Five thousand people have now subscribed to The Middlest Sister. Five thousand! Holy cats! You guys are awesome! To thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and otherwise making this blog a success, I’ve made you a surprise. Below are cut-paper versions of the avatars of 50 of the top 100 commenters, randomly selected. Click on the images to be taken to their blogs :) Here they are in no particular order:

   

Thanks for reading, guys!

Meeting Sam

Like many children, I had an imaginary friend. He was a middle-aged man named Sam who worked as a professional clown. We hung out during his down time, though, so he was rarely in makeup; and to be honest, he wasn’t very funny. I remember the day we met quite vividly. I was scared out of my mind.

It was laundry day. I had a dirty dress.

The usual gentle purr of the washing machine was interrupted by a loud THUMP!

The machine began to jump as though possessed.

As quickly as it had begun, it was over. The machine sighed.

Unable to quell my curiosity, I peeked inside.

And there was Sam, so pleased to be clean.

Naturally, I screamed.

I ran screaming from the laundry room. "There's a man in the laundry room!" By the time Dad came back with a baseball bat, however, Sam had made himself scarce.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

I’m back from vacation! While I was at my parents’ house, I had a chance to go through all the schoolwork and drawings my mother saved over the years. She had all our childhood journals and diaries, report cards, and school projects. It was so wonderful to comb through all that old stuff. Here’s one of the drawings I found, a self-portrait Ashley did with our cat Rapunzel:

Ashley and Rapunzel, not to scale.

It made me remember this day…

"You're so lucky you're a cat, Punzy."

"No one ever says you're wicked weird and that you'll never have friends."

Tender pals

"But that's not true, is it?"

Yes, this actually happened.

No one wants to be friends with a girl who would lick her cat.

BLEAGH

“I am Right, You are Wrong,” the Song

 

I just received this song in my inbox, and I couldn’t wait to share it! This is Chrissy’s awful victory song set to music. Please share it whenever you win a pointless argument. Personally, I’m setting it as Chrissy’s new ringtone.

Lyrics by Chrissy Belanger

Sung by Charlotte Belanger

Music by the talented Chris “Moose” Mohsseni

Greetings from Florida!

I bet you are wondering why I don't design postcards for a living now, aren't you?

Hello, everyone! I am visiting my family in Florida, so I’m taking a short break from all the cutting and pasting. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks, though… probably with lots of newly remembered childhood stories. Hope you’re all having a fun Spring Break! If you’re not on Spring Break, I hope you’re having a fun little Spring Break in your heart.

 

By the way, I’m participating in Munch Madness over at Knuckle Salad, so if you love snacks and filling out brackets, you might want to check it out!

I Am Right, You Are Wrong Again

I have eaten crowsicle. Typically when we went sledding, we dragged our sleds down to the elementary school or to the big hill behind the library. One day, I was feeling a bit too lazy to make the hike, so I suggested to my sisters that we try sledding down the slope of the beach at the lake. It was much, much closer to our house and I thought it would be amazing to go flying over the ice on the lake. Even though it had been a bit warmer lately, I thought the shallow waters of the lake must surely still be frozen. I know– that makes no sense. Well, I was 9.

The girls peer down the sloping shoreline of Long Lake.

"I don't think it's frozen anymore..."

"It looks frozen..."

"It's not."

"It's still winter, isn't it? Of course it's still frozen."

"Whee! That's what you say when you're having fun. You refer to yourself and some other people. "– Mitch Hedberg

Nicki celebrates her short-lived victory

CRACK! I will never forget that chilling noise.

"I am right! You are wrong! You are the freezingest thing of all!"

Seriously, it doesn't even rhyme.

Tough Break, Charlotte

When Charlotte fractured her leg, she got no sympathy from any of us. If she had BROKEN it, we would have given her lots and lots of pity and attention, but a fracture? That didn’t sound anywhere near as dramatic. It was years before any of us realized that a break and a fracture were the same thing. Sorry, Charlotte. You were right, we were wrong, we are the dirtiest things of all.

That Doogie portrait actually exists, guys.(click to enlarge)

"Wanna sign my cast? I broke my leg!"

"No, you didn't" "Um, what?"

"I heard Dad say your leg was fractured"

Well, I don't know what 'fractured' means but look-- I have crutches. I have a cast. I HAVE a broken leg!"

"It's just a fractured leg"

"It's broken. I HAVE A CAST. Are you gonna sign it or NOT?!"

"Sure."

Sticks and stones may break your bones but your leg is only fractured

"Hey, Charlotte! I heard you fractured your leg."

A Valentine for Ewe

Chrissy spreads the valentine's day cards out in front of her, her heart heavy.

You're still filling out those valentines, honey? What's taking so long?

Just LOOK at these valentines.

The sappy valentines lay before her.

"Bee mine"? I can't give that to a boy! They'll think I LIKE them!

The only one remotely platonic is "Beary kind"... but like I really want to give that to some scab-eater.

I just think the makers of these kits need to get a litle more realistic..

You are fowl

It’s kind of late, but if you simply MUST have “You Are Fowl” as a card, I added it to the Zazzle shop here. If you can’t see it yet, it may take a day to process.

OR you can print these mini valentines for FREE if you want!

Here is the pdf of all the valentines

And one of just the FOWL valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

Game Boy

My sisters and I loved Super Mario Land for the Game Boy. It’s a great game. I still sing the dungeon music to myself sometimes when I am in dangerous situations. BUT the game must have been developed by only children who never had to share anything a day in their lives– the game has no save feature. At no point in the game can you save and come back; you have to keep playing until you have beaten the entire game. Mom had little to no interest in video game time paradigms, so she didn’t know that the hour-long turns she allotted us were completely unfair.

Chrissy plays the Gameboy.

Super Chrissy Land

Super Chrissy stomps on her Goomba sisters

Super Chrissy stomps on her Goomba sisters

Super Chrissy admires her destruction

Super Chrissy Land gif

"My turn!"

Chrissy throws the superball at Charlotte.

Chrissy plays the Gameboy.

No Trespassing

On the street where we grew up, there was this derelict old shack on a heavily wooded lot. My sisters and I spent endless hours wondering about it and trying to get a better look inside. It was a great mystery and remains a mystery to this day. If you happen to know the story behind this little abandoned shack, please do not tell me. I’m sure the stories we invented about it are much better than the truth.

The girls stare at the shack

"I wonder who used to live there?" "I wonder why they left?"

"I wonder why they left all their stuff!" "WOW, Really??"

"Let's break in!" "Let's look for clues!"

"We can't. Read the sign." "No Trespassing. Violators Will Be Prosecuted"

"Prosecuted. What does that mean?" "I don't know. I'll go ask a grown up. Don't do anything until I get back!"

"Mrs. Z! I read a word, but I'm not sure what it means. Can you help?"

"I'll try, Sweetie. What's the word?" "It's, um... pros... pors... persecuted..."

"Oh, dear... hmm... how best to explain...?"

"Well, you know what they did to Jesus, don't you?...Well, that's what that means!"

"Well?" "You guys, we can NOT go in there."

That the punishment for entering this shack was so severe only strengthened my belief that there was something hugely significant about this rotting, broken down little building.

…and a Happy New Year!

Our family always held a big reunion every New Year’s Day. It was a pot-luck affair and our many extended relatives brought all the favorite family recipes. Some of them were a bit too sophisticated for the oh-so-sensitive stomach of my younger self, to tell you the truth. It took me a long time to develop a taste for spiced, boiled pork, for instance. (Otherwise known as cretons or corton.)

The family heads out to the reunion

"Daddy, I don't feel good..."

"Aww... what's the matter, Nicki? Are you getting carsick?"

"Just think about the yummy food that will be at the party!"

"Mince meat pies... corton..." "Stop..."

"...shrimp dip..."

BARF

"EW! EW! She puked! Ugh, uht... uhht! HORK!"

"Well, this is an auspicious start to the new year..."

Littlest Women

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the beloved 19th century classic novel “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.

Anytime I read novels with a lot of sisters, I immediately try to pair each fictional sister with one of my flesh-and-blood sisters, in order of birth. I don’t know why, my brain just does it automatically. It always falls apart pretty quickly.

Ashley is reading "Little Women"

"Hey! We're just like the sisters in this book!"

"Nicki is Meg, the oldest. Polite and maternal, sweet and even-tempered. She discovers that happiness doesn't depend on her social ranking."

"Charlotte is Amy, the baby, who is particularly vain about the shape of her nose. She grows up to marry the rich and dashing Laurie, who is a boy with a girly name."

And obviously, I'm Jo, the plucky writer, the tom-boyish heroine, the jolly secondborn."

"Who is my counterpart?"

"Oh, um... yeah, Beth..."

"Beth really likes kittens and dolls..."

Chrissy raises one eyebrow.

"...and then she dies."

"WHAT?! My character dies?! First she's lame and then she DIES?? This is so unfair. I always get the short end of the stick! Ugh!"

"Which sister am I?"

"Ooooo..."

House Rule No. 1

Our family had very few, but very firm house rules. Mostly meant to keep the peace, once a rule was pronounced, it was set in stone. We’re all adults now and we STILL obey the house rules every time we visit home. I actually take great pleasure in invoking this rule even at age 30.

"C'mon girls! Let's get a move on! We're late!"

The girls head toward the minivanChrissy and Charlotte reach for the handle at the same time"What are you doing? It's MY turn to ride shotgun!" "No! y last turn didn't count. It was only a 5 minute ride."Ashley, Tess, and Nicki eat popcorn"Well that's too bad for you. Now it's MY TURN." "That's not fair! MOOOOOOM!""THAT'S IT! From now on, seniority rules. The oldest kid in the car gets to ride in the front seat. No more fighting.""WHAT?!"House Rule No. 1: Oldest gets the front seat

 

The Perils of Rosella

If someone told me I could have all the hours back I spent trying to beat King’s Quest IV as a child, I would say “No, thank you.” My sisters and I devoted so much time to this game. We didn’t know there were cheat books. Sometimes we’d be stuck on a puzzle for months at a time. That’s when we’d see what else Rosella could do.

Sigh. I'm stuck. I don't know what to do next."

"I know! Make Rosella say a swear word!"

"Chrissy. Rosella is a princess. Princesses don't swear."

"Fine, then I'll do it!"

S H

GASP!

"Now tell her to pee in the river!"

Roberta Williams, the creator of the King’s Quest games, was and is someone I admire. I read that she once said, “Back when I got started, which sounds like ancient history, back then the demographics of people who were into computer games, was totally different, in my opinion, than they are today. Back then, computers were more expensive, which made them more exclusive to people who were maybe at a certain income level, or education level. So the people that played computer games 15 years ago were that type of person. They probably didn’t watch television as much, and the instant gratification era hadn’t quite grown the way it has lately. I think in the last 5 or 6 years, the demographics have really changed, now this is my opinion, because computers are less expensive so more people can afford them. More “average” people now feel they should own one.”

I hope she won’t be too disappointed when she finds out the truth.

Halloween Candy Exchange Rate

Every year, we would survey our Halloween spoils and start trading the second we got home. And every year, Dad would laugh at us, confiscate our candy, and then ration it out to us 3 pieces a day… until he reconsidered the dental bills and then just got rid of it all. We really, really loved Halloween anyway.

So we're agreed... Tootsie Rolls, root beer barrels and Smarties are of equal value."Here's the exchange rate so far. Any questions?"

Candy Exchange Rate chart"Yeah. What about Starbursts?"

"I dunno. That's a tricky one. If you get a pink, you're golden. 3 yellows though... you might as well have gotten razor blade apples."

"What should we do with these homemade popcorn balls?" "Toss 'em"

"Poisoned?" "Nah, just gross."

"If that's all then LET THE TRADING COMMENCE!""Heheheh""It's so cute you guys think you actually get to keep all that candy..."

Scream faces for everyone!

 

Baby Baby Stick Your Head In Gravy

This was a popular taunt when someone started to cry. I know my sisters and I didn’t make it up, but no one else I know has ever heard of it. Have you heard this taunt before? Please let me know!

"Aww Did the little baby fall down in a puddle?"

"Is the little baby gonna... cry?"


"Baby baby Stick you head in gravy Washing it out with bubblegum and send it to the Navy""Baby baby Stick you head in gravy Washing it out with bubblegum and send it to the Navy"

"Baby baby Stick you head in gravy Washing it out with bubblegum and send it to the Navy"

"Baby baby Stick you head in gravy Washing it out with bubblegum and send it to the Navy"

"???"

HAHAH

Charlotte sheds a tear

Hear the song now in this video! Featuring the vocal stylings of my sister, Charlotte Belanger the Third!