Posted tagged ‘black tongue’

“Sooner or later, everybody dreams of other worlds.”

October 21, 2017

Today is another wondrously beautiful day. The air is clear and the sunlight is sharp. The house had an early morning chill but a blast of heat warmed it. It will be in the high 60’s.

My mother would ask us to stick out our tongues to prove we were telling the truth. She said if we were lying, our tongues would turn black. When we refused to show her our tongues, she knew we’d lied. We’d run to the mirror and stick out our tongues to check. They were never black, My mother said only mothers could see the black tongues. We believed her. It never crossed our minds that our mother had manipulated us. I wish it were that easy to distinguish lies from truth.

My mind has been saturated with far too much news. I am still watching YouTube. Last night I watched three episodes of Rocky Jones Space Ranger, and one is playing right now. The series was made in 1954. The special effects are awful by today’s standards but that’s an unfair comparison. Rocky spent a whole lot of his time talking into a tube to Earth, his boss and to the leaders of other planets. With one exception, the alien leaders all spoke English. There was a sort of a teletype translator on the rocket ship. I recognized some of the minor actors including the star of Mr. Ed who wasn’t the horse. One exchange between Rocky and his crew members, Vena Ray, was reminded to pack her lipstick for the next space journey. She laughed and said lipstick was more important to her than oxygen. Such were the fifties!

I never did go out yesterday. Being home was just too comfortable. I didn’t do my laundry either, but I have made a list for today and laundry is at the top.

When I was a kid, fall was just about my favorite season. The weather was perfect. It was neither hot nor cold. The trees were beautiful and all different colors. We saved the most colorful ones ironed in wax paper. Every Saturday until they were gone, my dad raked the yard and burned the leaves. We rode bikes.

Campbell’s chicken noodle soup with Saltines was my favorite Saturday fall lunch. I’d crumbled the Saltines and put them in the soup. I usually put in so many pieces the broth disappeared. I’d eat the top layer and work my way down to the noodles and vegetables.

My dad loved a snack of buttered crackers. His favorite was Milk Crackers, Royal Lunch Crackers, but Saltines would do in a pinch. From my memory drawer I can still see my dad bringing his crackers on a small plate to the living room. He’d sit in his usual seat on the couch beside the table and munch while watching television. He always left crumbs.

“Truth is as straight as an arrow, while a lie swivels like a snake.”

January 22, 2017

Today turned out to be a pretty day. It was sunny and warm, too warm for this time of year,  but I’m complaining. I love sweatshirt weather in January.

When I was a kid, my mother had a great way to find out the truth. If something was found broken and no one admitted to it, my mother asked the four of us who did it. We all said we didn’t know. She didn’t believe us. She knew one of us was guilty. She told us when we lie our tongues turned black then she’d ask us to show her our tongues. The guilty party always gave himself away by refusing to show his tongue. Running to the mirror to check didn’t help. She told us only mothers could see the black tongue. We believed her. We were young.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. I didn’t know if that was true or not. It sort of sounded silly to me, but I didn’t want to take chances. I jumped over every crack. When I walked the railroad tracks, I jumped over every wooden tie with double zeros in the middle for the same reason. I did not want to be responsible for my mother’s broken back.

When I was in grammar school, if some other kid called me a name, I’d give the standard comeback: I know you are but what am I. There was really nowhere to go from there so it ended the name calling. Another, a more sophisticated comeback, was I’m rubber; you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you. It didn’t have a comeback either.

The women’s marches were extraordinary. I watched them on MSNBC for a good part of the day. I also saw Trump’s speech at C.I.A. headquarters and Sean Spicer’s denunciation of the press in the filled press room at the White House. Words fail me. I’m angry and I’m sad.