Saturday, July 28, 2012

Knocked Off My Ass

I know, I know... you're thinking I meant to write "Knocked On My Ass",  especially considering my usual ass mishaps, (both literally and figuratively.)  But the truth is, I have been knocked off my ass on my ass.  It's been awhile, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

It all began in a small, country home somewhere in the midwest...

My father was the pastor of the First Moravian Brethren Church of Ely, Iowa.  Well, it was actually a Presbyterian church but that was the church's original name.  And that, in itself, explains a lot about where I may have taken a wrong turn or two in my life.  Preachers' kids... geesh!  (Right up there with psychologists' kids.)

But I digress... My dad made next to nothing to minister to his flock, but to help compensate him people would always be bringing around things like chicken dinners and eggs and shit... literally.  We'd get a free load of manure each spring to fertilize the garden.  And of course, my father detested both chicken and eggs but was always too polite to mention it.  They also tended to give the poor minister's children their cast-off pets.  We were the equivalent of the humane society in those days.

At one point, we had a dog, 18 cats, a guinea pig and a donkey.

Figures... most kids grow up asking for a pony for Christmas... all we got was a freakin' donkey.

My parents decided we should call the donkey "Harry", short for Harry S. Truman.  It was the 50's after all and my parents were (gasp) Republicans.  At first it was all very exciting.  Silly children that we were, we thought we could ride him.  Harry, on the other hand, thought that was a stupid idea.

That didn't stop us, though, from chasing him down and trying to jump on his back, grab onto his bristly mane and take him for a little spin around the yard.  Harry lived in the lower back yard, down by the tree lined creek, (or "crick" as we country folk called it.)  Most often, Harry would stand there refusing to budge.  If you were lucky, Harry would move at a slow walk.  Not all that exciting, but hey... when you're 7 years old and it's as close to a horse as you're going to get, you take your shot.

One day, the little girl from up the road came over to play and we decided it was time to go for a ride.  Being the polite girl I was, I let her ride in front and I jumped up behind her onto Harry's behind.  It was the one time in his life that Harry decided to take it up a notch and actually started to speed up to a lope.  The crafty animal had a sinister plan... he took off for the tree-lined crick.  We were thrilled!

Unfortunately, my so-called friend neglected to remember that all-important word... DUCK!  As we came to the trees, she suddenly leaned down over Harry's neck and I was hit smack in the chest by a low-growing branch.  Whop!  Next thing I knew I was flat on my back on the ground, gasping for air.

Yes, Harry got the drop on me.  I had been knocked off my ass on my ass.

And so it goes... the beginning of a lifetime of mishaps.    *sigh*

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