Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, October 3

Gapers Block

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Andrew / August 14, 2003 1:27 PM

This one time? At band camp?...

lacey / August 14, 2003 1:45 PM

I thought I was hot stuff coming back from winter break once, when I told the class I took a trip to Chicago. This was exotic for middle Tennessee.

kegz / August 14, 2003 2:13 PM

My dad tells this story of a kid he knew when he was 13 years old. He knew him as a scrawny 110lb guy with a big mouth. The next fall at school my dad doesn't recognize him with 50 lbs. and several inches added on. My dad asked him how he got so big. The kid said, "liver and onions, twice a day everyday of summer vacation".

A lex, x, x / August 14, 2003 2:37 PM

Many years ago, after a post-graduation Fourth of July beer blast, me and three of my tipsy teen aged friends accidentally smashed up a pedestrian with our car. In a fit of panic, we dispose of the almost-dead body in the ocean.

Sure enough, the following summer our group was stalked by a mysterious figure clad in fisherman's garb--replete with fish hook. Jinkies!

The four of us were being whacked one at time. *Whew* I made it though. Yeah, that was one kooky summer.

Naz / August 14, 2003 2:40 PM

I so know what you did last summer.

Naz / August 14, 2003 2:42 PM

Best childhood memory for summer though had to be boarding school in Switzerland. Three classes: English, French and Math. Foosball, hiking mountains and walking down the infamous 1000-step stairs (1026 actually) built into the side of a hill in Glion overlooking Lake Geneva (the Swiss one, not in Wisconsin yo!).

A lex, x, x / August 14, 2003 2:43 PM

Naz, do you still know what I did last summer?

Alice / August 14, 2003 3:21 PM

7 kids + 2 mothers + 1 station wagon = best childhood roadtrip to Florida ever. We drove straight through without stopping for the night. There are a million stories from that trip, taken in 1985.

Naz / August 14, 2003 3:23 PM

Alex, maybe. But I'll leave that up to the proper "folks" in charge about what to do about that. Best you watch yer back, if you know what I mean.

stephen / August 14, 2003 4:46 PM

Oh, if that captain had only really killed Freddie Prinze, Jr..then the world would be a happier place and Sarah Michelle Gellar would be single. Actually, he should have spontaneously combusted in Scooby-Doo but justice sadly escapes us. What was the topic again?

Wiz of Odds / August 14, 2003 6:45 PM

When I got to tell people, "I was in Prague for the Flood of the Century."

RUthie / August 14, 2003 10:59 PM

I spent a summer in high school volunteering for the Israeli army. I was in uniform, carried a weapon, the whole bit. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and couldn't wait to tell everyone about it, but somehow nobody seemed to think it was as cool as I did at the time...

Alex / August 15, 2003 8:32 AM

One time in school there was this new transfer student - a really cute Australian girl. And this other guy, a greaser kinda, was telling all sorts of stories about fooling around with her. And there was a car race, and a lot of singing, and...

onid / August 15, 2003 9:35 AM

One summer after I got a bad report card I was sent to Greece all summer to help my grandfather on the farm. I think it was to teach me a lesson about hard work. At first I was pissed but when I got there this is how my schedule was:

5:30am: Wake up. Have breakfast.
6:00am: Help gramps water the olive and lemon trees.
7:30am: Back at the house for a nap.
1pm to 7pm: Hang out on the beach.
10pm to whenever: Go out to the clubs.(I was 15 and there really is no drinking age there.)

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. All this was for about 3 months. I can't quite say what kind of lesson that I learned but I did have a lot of fun.

christian / August 15, 2003 10:16 AM

This one summer I spent with family in Austria, I stayed with my cousins the von Trapp family. They had a governess named Maria. Maria won us all over with her natural warmth and kindness. She fashioned clothes from curtain cloth, took us out for picnics in the glorious Alpine countryside, taught us how to sing--and we responded to her care with happiness and laughter. We even staged a puppet show for my uncle and his friends. But then the Nazis occupied Austria. While fleeing villa, we were spotted by storm troopers. We explained that we were merely on the way to perform at the local Salzburg festival. We sang under the watchful eye of the Nazis, and planned to flee after the final number, "So Long, Farewell." The Nazis discovered our plans, and we made a dramatic escape, hiding in the Abbey before they could find us. Slowly, we made our way up the mountain into the emerging dawn--a symbol of our new life of freedom and the importance of staying true to our ideals. Escaping to freedom. The hills were truly alive with the sound of music that summer.

lacey / August 15, 2003 10:28 AM

Man, you guys had exotic summers! Onid gets the medal.

I think my favorite summer was one where I tortured my parents by merely living with them while I was on summer break from college. I went out every night to drink coffee at an outdoor cafe and smoke cigarettes with friends under the stars. All we did was talk and laugh and it was fantastic. During the day I watched old movies on AMC and visited the YMCA. That was the best summer--totally relaxing. I did absolutely nothing productive at all. :)

ryan p / August 15, 2003 12:14 PM

Ah... "The Summer I Got Pubes". Good times.

Shylo / August 15, 2003 1:13 PM

There was the summer I was 10. I grew three inches and suffered terribly from growing pains. The only thing that made me feel better was to float on my back in our swimming pool at night, staring at the stars and wondering when the pain would end. I stopped growing when I was 20.

sr / August 15, 2003 2:27 PM

The first summer I worked midnights at the bakery in Detroit. No a/c. Just me and the head baker all night. It would get to be over 100 degrees in there sometimes.

There were water balloon/water gun fights between oven loads to keep cool. Since we had free use of the cappuccino machine, every night I made a huge pitcher of espresso, and threw it in the freezer. If you did the math, we probably averaged seven or eight double mochas a night. Both of us had a tendency to get cranky around 3:00, so on the nights it got really bad we'd steal a bunch of cookies and binge until we felt totally sick.

Even though the retail area was closed at night, there was this Detroit cop who would come by on his break and knock on the door until we let him in. He would sit at the counter and eat sticky buns and talk about all the people he'd picked up that night. He was a real prick, and the head baker and I would make fun of him after he left. One time he hit on me in a very lewd way (not to mention the fact that this guy was married and had three kids) and the head baker kicked him out and told him never to come back.

That was a pretty cool summer.

brian / August 15, 2003 2:53 PM

This summer might be that summer.

In the meantime, I took a trip to NC. Mountain camping, planting big lipstick kisses on a cop car, 4am rock and learning to smoke, and one really good night in a graveyard with a bottle of under-21 "El Sangre Del Toro".

I still taste that summer each time I have a cigarette.

Leigh Hanlon / August 15, 2003 10:23 PM

Every summer it's the same old story: I wish I'd killed my father when I had the chance.

I'm not joking.

This stereotypical Irish-American soap opera really gets kicking the summer I was 13 and figured out that my father was a hopeless alcoholic. Following the humiliation of a friend's mom telling me (in front of a half-dozen neighbors) that she'd read my Dad's name in The Denver Post police blotter under DUI arrests, I vowed to take direct action.

One night, after Dad had been drinking, he announced plans to go out with friends. Even by the relaxed standards of those pre-MADD days, Dad was in no condition to drive. So, I sneaked out to our Ford station wagon and let most of the air out of the tires.

Unfortunately, Dad didn't notice the tires were flat and drove about six blocks before he suspected anything was wrong. All four tires were ruined. He parked the car over by Russell Elementary School and walked back, blaming the flats on nails from a nearby construction site.

I didn't tell Mom about letting the air out of the tires. The last summer of her life, Mom confided to me that a couple of summers after that incident when a relapse of scleroderma required her to use a wheelchair, Dad had gleefully pushed her chair down a flight of stairs -- and laughed as she bounced her way to a mangled heap at the bottom.

Mom told her doctor that she'd accidentally rolled down the stairs herself. I guess that back then, medical personnel still believed that an overwhelmingly large percentage of bruised and bloodied women who showed up in emergency rooms were the victims of attacks by otherwise innocuous household objects such as doors, stairs and cabinets.

I wanted to know why, at the time, she hadn't told me what really happened.

"What would you have done?" she asked.

"I would have killed him," I replied truthfully and without a moment's hesitation.

"That's why," Mom said.

I already would have known how to do it. Once I accepted that Dad was an alcoholic, I read up on the subject, and knew that drunks often suffocate when they fall asleep face-down on pillows and soft mattresses. All it would have taken would have been a gentle roll, a hand to the back of Dad's head and a firm push for a minute or two.

I wouldn't even have been a suspect.

There are those who say I should forgive Dad his trespasses -- that, after all, he ultimately died of alcoholism-related illnesses, that he suffered greatly for his weakness, and that he really was as much a victim as my brother, my sister, Mom and me. And for a while, I ate heaping spoonfuls this psychobabble pablum.

But it's all bullshit, really. Regardless of the underlying pathology, there's no justification for beating someone up.

Summer stories for me always mean patricide.

Wiz of Odds / August 16, 2003 12:05 AM


Pacman / December 12, 2003 6:38 PM

Does anyone remember a street gang called the Gaylords? They have a website now. It is pretty cool. I think it is the best gang website on the web. Check it out using the URL above!

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