I was reading about a new college-level comic class being taught by Lynda Barry in Wisconsin. Here are a few of the 20 questions being asked of those that apply:
– Describe an object lost that you still think about.
– Describe a dog you knew when you were young.
– Describe an object or thing that disturbed you as a kid.
– Describe something you made by hand as a kid that frustrated you.
They seemed like interesting questions, so I offer them up here for you.
One of my first pre-teen style statements was a stretchy red bathing suit lined by a white Charlie Brown zig-zag, which mysteriously vanished, and still to this day I keep half an eye out for it.
Lost at the beach
I had a Pink Floyd smoking stone that I loved. Lost at a beach bonfire. I still look for it.
Describe an object or thing that disturbed you as a kid.
The Screen Gems logo, with the intertwining solid bars around the central dot. Something about the way it was both flat and 3-D at the same time bugged me.
When I was about 8 years old, I carved/painted a ring out of scrap wood with the embossed bust of a character (Junior Pig and his side kick Jimmy Bug) I wore constantly. This came about when I made up and wrote/illustrated a series of short handmade books about their adventures/capers to read to my fellow 2nd grade class mates with the teachers permission, something that started out as a project but took on a life of it’s own as I really got into it and naturally wanted to start marketing accessory items. I lost that ring and looked for it years to come.
Another thing I lost was a piece of yellow seaglass that had Japanese writing on it ( a rare find) down in my mother’s upholstered reading chair and she helped at first but wouldn’ld let me rip it apart any further to find it although I pryed every crevis in that oversized chair/rocker when she wasn’t there to no end, it swallowed it up forever.
When I travel out on interstate 88 upstate NY to visit my brother I will not look at the Blue Dolphin Diner Sign as I pass by on route as I think it will bring bad luck,and I’m not even superstitious, so I thought, or can say the reasoning behind this exactly, wierd I know. Maybe it’s something to do to keep my mind occupied or test my memory on such a long trip pin pointing my location and anticipating the sign’s approach so I’m sure to look away in the nick of time.
It could have something deeper to do with the article I just read off the internet about “Why swimming with Dolphins is a bad idea” and how their treatment in captivity goes against essential freedoms these animals require in the natural world and are part of their being.
Now that I think more about it, it has something to do with the fact I refuse to stop on this 6 1/2 hr trip to eat out and pack a lunch instead to eat at rest stops, not that this diner tempted me in anyway but we did stop at Arby’s out of desperation once way back when (been making this trip for at least three decades) and it nearly killed the trip! Anyway this was one of those things that I find disturbing, not really just unappealing. Maybe I’m the disturbed one mentioning this trivial quirk, but I was thinking along the lines of disturbing signs or logs as Chris had mentioned, of course there were many events I found much more disturbing as a kid, but I will let others comment.
1st of all, I love Lynda
1st of all, I love Lynda Barry and would love it if she taught a class around here. Jealous!
Okay, here’s what disturbed me as a kid: Words I could not read.
I learned to read at a very young age. I got really good at it and could read most words by the time I was 4 or 5.
But there were a few signs in my area I could not read. One was for a plumbing supply place near my house. I remember driving by it with my mom and asking her, “Mom, what is that word, the one below ‘plumbing’.” (It was “supplies”, which I could only read as “supp-please” and that made no sense.) Since she was driving and couldn’t look without taking her eyes off the road, she couldn’t tell me. The second one was in the old Two Guys store (shout-out to all northern NJ folks of a certain age — you remember Two Guys!) — it was a great small discount department store chain, and ours was right on the border of Dover and Rockaway. In the store, there was a big sign over the undies department that said “Lingerie”. I could NOT figure out that word. “Linger-ee?” I asked my Mom and she didn’t answer me. And then on some game show there was a contestant named “Gladys” and I couldn’t get my Mom to come in to the living room to look at the tv and read me her name. What the hell is a “Glade-ees”? (Rhymes with “ladies”.)
All 3 incidents disturbed me because I KNEW my Mom knew what I was talking about and I had it in my head that she CHOSE not to tell me because it was some “adult” secret and she didn’t want me to know.
To a little smarty-pants child with budding paranoid tendencies, keeping secrets is about as disturbing as a young mind can handle. 😀