Monday, December 15, 2008

The Abominable Nitmos

When I was in elementary school, in the days immediately preceding parachute pants and Thriller, I started a club or, as we liked to call it, a “gang”. We had visions of dominating the elementary school cafeteria and playground and extorting kids for lunch money and twenty sided D & D dice. I chose the rather unfortunate name of The Latrines for our gang.* Our first real test of strength came at the foot of a snow plow created ice mountain one fateful recess. At the top stood school bullies Kenny B. and Art H.** We charged the mountain on a number of occasions but, sadly, the power of the Latrines was broken that day amidst an avalanche of hurled snow balls. Our dreams lying in a crumbled heap at the foot of Mt. Snow Plow.

This Saturday, I found myself in northern Michigan at my parents place for an early Christmas with the family. While back home we have little snow left from a weekend thaw, there were huge piles at the base of my folks’ driveway. After a futile attempt at snowboarding this 12 foot tall beast of a mound, my desire to tumble down a hill in comedic fashion disappeared by the third near dislocation of my shoulder.

Enter flashback to elementary school. Here was a battle I could win!

A snow fight ensued. Me, the lone Latrine, versus an assemblage of lightweight children ages 4, 5, 9, 10, and 13. I stood on that mountain, Mt. Snow Plow II, covered in snow from the repeated rolls down the hill in my failed snowboarding experiment. Tiny snow balls clung to my polar fleece like dingleberries to a hairy man’s ass. I was the Abominable Nitmos growling and flinging cannon balls at fragile, but menacing, children just a few years removed from their cranial soft spots. I was surrounded but stood bravely on that mountain repelling attacks from all sides.

Here’s a free tip: Don’t get into a snow ball fight with kids. Though you may try to aim for their bodies and avoid their heads, the little snot lickers do not return the favor. They pretty much throw packed snow balls, ice balls, icicles, shovels, whatever they can find directly at your forehead.

I took more than one shot to the noggin that left me slightly dazed and looking for a school book depository.*** The 4 and 5 year olds really just wanted to sled so I graciously allowed them to climb up the side of the mountain with sled dragging behind them. They needed assistance cresting the summit so I helpfully grabbed them under each arm pit and pulled them to the top taking care to hold them between me and my attackers for a moment as a torrent of snow fire dotted across their abdomens in a thump frump whack of muffled snow suit collateral damage while their mothers looked on in horror from the dining room window.

I like to think that I won that snow fight. I redeemed the honor of my school gang. No non-sledding child reached the top of Mt. Snow Plow II during my watch! Sure, I took a few blows to the face that left me with a partially swollen right temple and a bruise on my left cheek, but I was the victor. I was so inspired that I briefly entertained the idea of phoning Kenny and Art and challenging them to a rematch.

Back inside, the losers gathered around the fireplace drinking cocoa and eating cookies, one beagle short of a Norman Rockwell Christmas scene, while I sat hunched over on a chair rubbing my aching shoulder and examining my swollen temple with a puddle of melting ice dingleberries growing on the floor beneath me.

I exorcised the demons of my elementary school defeat this weekend through a snow ball cannonade upon my innocent nephews and nieces. They could not know the years of frustrated history which propelled each ball of hurt. All in all, I feel pretty good about it. A good lesson for them. Let them carry the sting of defeat for years to come.

I’m sore, bruised, and swollen but…

As the mist of snow fire withdraws, The Abominable Nitmos still owns Mt. Snow Plow II.

Take that Kenny and Art.

Happy trails.

* Hey, M*A*S*H was big back then. Don’t judge.
** Names may be changed to protect…me.
*** Too soon?

_________________________________________

Special thanks to Tom and Amy from Runner's Lounge for the Starbucks gift card. Also, thanks to the few of you who nominated me a couple of weeks ago. I would like to say that, while drinking my overpriced - but free to me - coffee, I would be thinking of you and silently appreciating the trouble you took to nominate me. However, if truth be told, I'll more likely be thinking of all of you jerks that didn't nominate me and thereby robbed me of an even greater prize package. There's plenty of coffee I can drink with this card so rest assured each of you will be cursed at some point between a sip. That's how I roll. Next time, don't be a jerk.

20 comments:

Cindy said...

wow, first to comment! no pressure. that sounds like fun. i had a mental picture of you atop the mound looking like al pacino at the end of scarface. way to represent the old folks!

chia said...

How did I guess that you were that kid in elementary school :-)

Dingleberries?

joyRuN said...

Sounds like a fun time. Oh, & the reason I come back over & over again to read about your adventures in menacing nearby children? These jewels of prose: "Tiny snow balls clung to my polar fleece like dingleberries to a hairy man’s ass."

Sarah said...

I, too, formed a "gang" with some of the kids from my neighborhood. We had "code names" and our "secret fort" was in the bushes next to one of the kids' houses. The name of our little gang was the "Kool Kats' Klub." We were 8-11 years old. It was 1985.

One week my brother (one of the aforementioned 8-year-olds) decided it would be a really kool idea to inscribe our klub's name in green marker in various places on the stucco of our neighbor's house while they were on vacation.

Of course writing "Kool Kats Klub" would have been too time-consuming, so he opted for just the first letters.

Then he enlisted me to help out.

I've only been grounded twice in my life. This was one of those times.

All I can say is, thank god that green pen's ink was water-soluble.

Congrats on your successful defense of Mt. Snowplow, and welcome back to the lower half of the big mitten. I hope you soothed your bruised brow with the internal application of adult beverages.

RazZDoodle said...

You don't aim for their faces? Huh. Wouldn't have guessed that.

Sarah said...

I feel they were kind - they could have taken snow balls to a whole new level.

Vava said...

Swollen, eh? Well, depending on your perspective, that's either a good thing or a bad thing. Normal Rockwell would probably say bad...

I know this isn't a work (my word verification thingy), but I think it should be: coomato.

tfh said...

Now you're really going to have to curse Sarah between sips, maybe even during sips, because I'm pretty sure she outdid you with her childhood club story.

Oh, well. Stand proud, Latrine.

Melissa said...

Ah, yes. Your refreshing attitude toward the age-challenged makes me feel that there is hope for mankind. Excelsior.

Turi said...

I just wish there were video, or even a picture of that whole scene. On second thought, no - it couldn't possibly be better than my imagination...

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

You crack me up!

Ted said...

Ahhhh... it brings me back memories. I am now talking a trip down the memory lane when I was a kid. I didn't even know I was a kid - either.

Hilarious !!!

Xenia said...

Sounds like a Pyrrhic victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Congrats on defeating a band of innocent little children. That's very brave of you.

Blyfinn said...

Good job mowing them down. It's always get to settle an old score.

The Laminator said...

Ahhh...of course you can always count on Nitmos to work out his childhood issues by throwing snowballs at young defenseless children...

Roisin said...

Kids these days...at least they didn't rip icicles off the sides of gutters and hurl them at you. Chicago kids are brutal!

Al's CL Reviews said...

You're too much!

seejessrun said...

Their mothers should be thanking you for toughening up those kiddos.

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

You really are in need of therapy, huh? ;-)

Richard said...

Nitmos, not to be too weird but I would like to speak with you on this cramping crap over the phone if possible. my email address is richard_hambrick at yahoo Could you email me so we can talk when convenient.

I just want to gain some valuable insight from you.

Thanks

Richard