Segarini – My Life as an Indoor Cat Part One

I have never been an outdoors-y kind of guy.

I prefer carpets and hardwood and asphalt to sand or dirt, air conditioning to humid or arid air, lights that can be turned up, dimmed, or turned off completely on a whim, instead of blazingly bright or squinty dark and unswerving in its self-serving totality.

There are exceptions of course.

The magnificence of Yosemite, the majestic and cathedral-like comfort of giant Sequoias and redwood forests, the quaint, pine needle carpeted grounds of Pinecrest, and the solitude, sounds, and smells of Northern California’s off-the-beaten-path beaches.

…but mostly, I prefer a drink in my hand, the cool comfort of air conditioning or radiant heat, and the Great Outdoors sequestered safely and neatly behind 2 inch thick 3 ply thermal glass, its uncontrollable weather and insect population held at bay while I curl my toes in a nice, thick, carpet and consider my next cocktail and try to remember where the remote is.

=0=

Mother Nature Can Take the “O” Out of Country….

I have had too many plans spoiled by Mother Nature to ever be able to trust her. She is, for lack of a better word, a bitch. …but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Let’s go back to June 1952, Stockton California. I’m 6 going on 7, school is out, and I am supposed to be out as well….

=0=

Naps, Warm Cartons of Milk, and Fish Sticks

6 is a great age.

You have a year of social intercourse under your belt and been taught your first set of skills; Block Stacking, Finger Painting, and Paste Eating.

The discipline of forced naps and a tiny mandatory carton of milk (usually room temperature and smelling slightly off) plus the weekly lunch of fish sticks whether you were Catholic or not

Kindergarten may not be actual ‘school’ but it does afford first contact with other recently sentient humans, and allows the faux Mommies (called “Teachers”) to evaluate the possibility of you becoming a contributing member of society, or a knuckle-dragging misanthrope destined for a life of serial killing, lawyering, or running for this or that office.

It is also the proving ground for beginning relationship building skills and interaction between boys and girls.

What I remember from my time in kindergarten still resonates with me. When you stop to think about it, some of us never learn anything more than what we learn here. In somewhat modified and refined ways, our primordial instincts regarding the opposite sex never waiver from these first, nascent, lessons.

=0=

Early Pre-Mating Interaction Between Girls and Boys

Girls show an interest in boys by chasing them and trying to kiss them.

Boys show an interest in girls by shoving them off their feet in the schoolyard.

Girls kick boys if their kisses are rejected.

Boys punch girls in the arm to show them they like them.

Girls talk about boys amongst themselves and giggle.

Boys proclaim girls “Icky” and try to hit each other in the head playing tetherball.

Girls sit and talk in a circle during ‘recess’.

Boys run around in circles, yell, and try to hit each other in the head with dodgeballs, kickballs, and anything else they can lift.

Girls hear the lyrics.

Boys hear the music.

Everybody’s palms sweat when forced to dance with each other or hold hands on a field trip.

Girls draw flowers and hearts and kittens and puppies.

Boys finger paint on their faces pretending to be Geronimo, and draw rocket ships, cars, and monsters.

Girls learn to love Valentine’s Day and buy little cards and candy hearts with sayings on them.

Boys dread Valentine’s day at are embarrassed to get cards and rarely give anyone one.

Within weeks of starting kindergarten, everyone starts to bring their lunch from home, sit in segregated groups, and pray to God they don’t spill their chocolate milk.

Boys and girls learn to tell time staring at the clock waiting for the day to be over so they can go home.

=0=

Survival of the Fittest or Realizing Everyone is a Potential Threat to Your Well Being

I was a scrawny little kid.

Most of my peers could win a fight or an argument simply by shoving me over and sitting on me. My safe word in grammar school was “Uncle”.

At an early age I learned that being funny could save your life. Even bullies would leave you alone if you knew dirty jokes, the earliest of which were tales of a fictional  smart-ass kid named “Johnny Fuckerfaster”. As you may be aware, little bullies were not the most sophisticated audience in the realm. As long as the joke contained verboten cuss words, girl-parts, more cuss words, or tales of flaming bags of doggie do do, water balloons, or wet willies/pantsing/Indian Burns/Wedgies and/or Toilet swirling, the bullies would guffaw, repeat the dirty words, and momentarily forget they wanted to put me in the hospital.

For some of us, being the Class Clown was a necessary defensive position, not an actual choice. I  learned that humour was more than the best medicine…it was how you avoided mental and physical injury without facing jail or an extended stay in an ICU.

Avoiding assholes and dimbulbs at school was one thing, a teacher was always within earshot, but out there in the Great Outdoors you took your chances.

My family owned a neighborhood grocery store and my family name was in big neon-lit letters on the sign above the entrance. This was interpreted as meaning I was a “Rich Kid” and designated the enemy by a certain segment of the kid community.

We weren’t rich, but the perception was what it was. By 1955 there were TWO markets with the family name on them…and that meant I was on the neighborhood ‘no fly’ list.

I had my peeps, and when we rode in a pack we were usually okay, but there were times when we were chased for sport, and if cornered alone, we had to be cunning, quick or funny.

I chose funny, I was quick for short distances, and cunning…I didn’t even know what that meant yet…

…but I learned.

Between the Bullies, the triple digit weather during summer vacation, and the lack of an open carry weapon, I began to favour staying indoors whenever possible, and THAT led to some amazing discoveries that helped shape who I am.

TO BE CONTINUED

=0=

Segarini’s regular columns appear here whenever a child takes a tether ball to the face

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7giphyBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

One Response to “Segarini – My Life as an Indoor Cat Part One”

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Very good!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: