2004-03-22 - 11:05 a.m.

I got one of those "word of the day" emails this weekend and the word was "salad days", which is defined as:

A time of youthful inexperience, innocence, or indiscretion.

To me, the term salad days will always remind me of the Monty Python sketch "Sam Peckinpah's 'Salad Days'" wherein a pleasant picnic in the park turns into an orgy of blood, guts and dismemberment. Fun stuff.

Now, my salad days were nothing like that. In fact, my youth was surprisingly tranquil. My memory floats back to sunny days when my dad would pull me out of school and take me on these day trips to the mountains. We would usually stop by one of several big mansions with these rolling green estates and my dad would send me out to play while he discussed "business" with the folks who owned the place. Of course, he didn't want me to get lost or hurt, so usually one or two people in the employ of the mansion's owner would follow me around. They creeped me out a little, but it was easy to forget about them.

To me it was heaven. I would wander around the grounds and sometimes I would find these great surprises. Some of these places had their own graveyards! Nothing delights an eleven year-old boy the way that a graveyard does. Of course some of the graveyards were better than others. One of the ones I remember well was so plain that there weren't even markers on the graves, just fresh piles of dirt. And the animals would sometimes dig up the graves. That was a great way to learn about anatomy, but the guys who watched me would always drag me away from those graves. Pity, wasn't it?

The day would roll on and eventually I'd be escorted back to the mansion to see my dad. He would grab me and hug me, sobbing, like he hadn't seen me in years and then he would say something like "I promise this will never happen again" over and over. I never quite understood why he said this because to me these days were delightful. No school, no bullies, no vicious rats. I would have loved to do it every day!

I always thought my dad was the greatest. He always made sure I got plenty of fresh air and exercise on this little day trips, and he always showed a lot of affection. I to this day do not understand why when my parents got divorced that they gave full custody of me to my mother; that pot smoking, gypsy punk rocker. I mean, talk about a bad influence.

Reading A Tale of Two Cities - about halfway through
Wishing to go back to a time before my innocent imagination was marred by those "mtv video games"
Plotting to show them all! Every one of them!

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