I’ve decided to share my latest book (The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man) with my followers here, free of charge, one chapter at a time. So… Where were we on this read-along… Oh, yes…
Chapter 10: Burning Down the Basement – Well, Almost
Shortly after my sister Tomi Ann’s 16th birthday, she got all prettied up and headed out the door with some floppy-haired weirdo for her first date. I watched her zip in and out of the different rooms of our house as she got ready for her big debut into the world of love. She was on cloud nine for sure, and if I remember right, her feet didn’t touch the floor once during the last hour. I found it annoying. And magical. Okay, I’ll be honest. I was jealous.
The rest of the family was so excited for her, especially Mom and Dad. She was the oldest kid and it was the first time any of their kids had gone out on a date. You see, in strict Mormon families, your parents don’t let you date until you’re at least sixteen.
But she wasn’t the only one who would bring excitement to the family that night. An hour or two after she left, all hell would break loose.
I had done something bad. I have no idea what it was. I probably went to a friend’s house when I was supposed to be doing homework. Or I didn’t do my chores. Or maybe I just begged one too many times to be allowed to date as well.
My punishment for whatever bad thing I did was to go down to the basement and clean the kitchen and family room while the rest of the family watched a movie and ate popcorn upstairs.
Holy shit. I just realized that was very Cinderella-like. I probably didn’t even do anything bad. I probably was this sweet blonde-haired boy who only had mice for friends, and I was down there working because I was too awesome for them to be nice to.
No, I definitely did something bad. I was kind of mean to my family, usually rebellious, always argumentative, and in general, I was eternally just a big butt to all of them. At least as a teenager.
Anyway, after arguing (I’m sure) about my punishment, I huffed and puffed down the stairs and begrudgingly got to work.
There were boxes stacked all over the place. Mom had been canning jams and peaches for days as she worked on another favorite Mormon past time, getting the family’s one-year food storage in place. As part of my cleaning punishment, it was my job to take all the boxes of jars and stack them up against the back wall of the storage room where they would probably get dusty and grimy over the next years as we held off eating them should disaster or calamity suddenly strike.
Now, before I go any further, let me tell you that I know this is only the 11th chapter in this book and I’ve already centered two of them around pooping. Get over it. I pooped a lot as a kid. And frankly, I think you’re weird if you didn’t.
And, this one also involved pooping, though, lucky you, the pooping was just a side note.
Now, back to poor CinderDanny, slaving away in the basement while his family lived it up without him.
I had about half of the boxes put away and had just picked up another one when my bowels demanded immediate attention. Yep, I had to poop. Again, get over it.
I set the box down on top of the stove in the basement kitchen and went to do my business while I got lost in an issue of Sports Illustrated. Swimsuit Edition.
What I didn’t notice was my ever-enlarging gut bumping the burner control-knob when I set the box down, turning the stove on high.