One afternoon, years ago, I was playing with some friends across town. I forget the game, and in fact, I recall the main part of this story happening in between the games — a sidebar that got out of hand, so to speak — the gang had been split into two groups — the little girls exploring the garage, and the other little girls who were riding some small wheeled vehicle a ways down the block. I’m pretty sure there weren’t wheeled vehicles for everybody, so there were some on wheels, some chasing along — as you do — and others watching.
It was probably in the fall, probably in the early 70s. The Partridge Family was on television, but I had never heard of it until I met this group of children. They tried to explain, and I was more disappointed that the Family did not own a cat than I was about any other aspect of the plot. It meant when the group played “Partridge Family”, there didn’t seem to be any character that I especially wanted to ‘be’.
Any way… M. and I found something interesting in the garage: a First Aid kit. Oh, this was exciting! Real stuff, not pretend. We sent another girl to tell the group along the sidewalk about the discovery.
She didn’t return, having fallen at some point on her journey after racing down the driveway.
We sent someone else. Again, no one came running back to share our delight at the First Aid kit.
Eventually I ran off, realized the problem, and was running back to tell M. that we needed help — in fact, we needed the First Aid kit! — when I fell, and we sent one of the last few uninjured parties back to the house to get help from Mrs. P, the Mom-in-Charge. I don’t know how she kept her temper as she had to use the now-infamous First Aid kit to thoroughly mercurochrome a gaggle of whimpering children in her kitchen. I had never encountered mercurochrome before then, either, and I do NOT remember it fondly.
But the story of that afternoon? Eventually I realized it would have made a fabulous Marx Brother’s or Monty Python routine….
Aside from the fact that I’ve been chatting with some of the people related to this incident for the first time in we-shall-not-discuss-how-many-years, you might wonder what brings this story to mind. Well, when you’re ass-over-teacup outside a locked-down building at night, wondering who will be the first to find you and your scraped knees and injured hand, the mind does tend to dredge things like this up…