Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Trip to the Market

At the age of seven a boy’s interest in candy has really kicked into full speed. The scrumptiousness of milk chocolate is quite difficult to resist at that age and apparently at any age for women as my wife has repeatedly informed me. Chocolate for my wife is placed high of her revised Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs nestled between Esteem and Self-Actualization. I once tried to explain to her that chocolate was a want and not a need. All I remember is a flurry of tears and “You just don’t understand” statements.

More women need to come with a warning attached to them.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when my brother and I received our one dollar allowances from our parents. A wise child would quickly take this money and put it in their piggy bank so they could purchase a really nice toy after several months of saving. I, on the other hand, was not a wise child and was bound and determined to spend every last cent on candy. The two kids from across the street (a kindergartner and a 2nd grader), along with my brother and I (3rd and 1st graders respectively), decided we were going to obtain and then eat candy.

Must... have!
We had two choices. The first choice was a three mile bicycle trip to the AM/PM, purchase candy and ride safely back. The second choice, brought up by my brother, was to go to a local market called YJ’s Foods that was located directly across the interstate from our houses. The idea was to strategically cross the interstate by foot, purchase the candy, and safely return back home before any parent knew what we had done. We did what any responsible children would do and set off across the interstate.

Why does Hawaii have an interstate?
Their house backed up to the freeway so all we had to do was stack firewood against the fence to create a makeshift stairway to get our stubby little bodies over. It was particularly difficult for our friend Kelly as he was almost as wide as he was tall. We decided the three of us would just get behind him and shove him over. This really must have looked odd to the motorists passing by on the interstate as they saw a six year old fat kid flop over the wall like a sack of rice.

With all that "muscle" you would think he could have pulled himself over the fence.
As we all stood at the edge of the precipice we waited for my brother to start the charge. As my brother yelled all four of us ran across the two lanes of traffic to the median and paused to regroup. I looked over and noticed Kelly was on his hands and knees trying to catch his breath as if he had just finished an Ironman triathlon. Pulling Kelly up to his feet my brother yelled again and we ran across the other two lanes of the freeway.
Kelly would have died halfway across this one.
As soon as I crossed over I turned my head only to see Kelly trip and fall. To this day I have still never seen anyone bounce quite like that before. He came to a stop just five feet from the side of the road with a look of terror on his face as if someone had just informed him the person in front of him in line had just purchased the last bear claw. Accompanied by the sound of tires screeching and horns blasting Kelly made it to his feet and somehow managed to make it across.

The look of someone who is about to be hit by a car.
Once we arrived at YJ’s Foods we purchased our candy and wisely decided to take the long way back home as the color had not yet returned to Kelly’s face, not to mention he was still shaking and talking to himself. Our family moved four months later and Kelly never spoke of the incident as long as we lived there. Today I imagine his hefty body lying on a couch trying to explain to a psychologist how he was almost ran over by a 78 Dodge in a desperate attempt to obtain a Whatchamacallit bar.

My parents found out about the freeway crossing incident when my brother and I were reminiscing about it in high school. Apparently the statute of limitations on leading an expedition across the interstate to get candy had not yet run out. Who would have thought spankings would still sting a little at age 16.

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