Thursday, October 2, 2008

fort building

Guys build forts.

I've even built forts in my own (current) back yard.

When I was a kid, we had a fort that was actually a big plywood box that we entirely buried out in the woods by the secret pond we used to have raft wars on (my parents would have killed me if they knew this because one of my friends almost drowned as a result of one of our maritime battles).

You'll have to forgive me if today's blog seems kind of rambling. I came home, opened my front door, and my smoke detector was blaring. I think my daughter's cats had a hookah party or something. I can't figure it out.

And things were moved around.

Cats do that.

My mother played in forts when she was a kid, too. She grew up in Italy during World War II. Her parents used to use her to smuggle things under her coat because they knew the Germans wouldn't look there. She was tough. She told me a story one time about how she and her mother were smuggling salt (salt?) and a German soldier saw her and my mom flipped him the middle finger. I think she was about 12 years old at that time.

After the war was over, she and her friends used to play in an abandoned German bunker. She found lots of handguns and ammunition there.


One day, she and her friends opened up a case of ammunition, pried all the gunpowder out, and dumped it into a pile in the middle of the floor.

Then, like all good kids, they lit it on fire to see what would happen.

Well, they actually made a long line of powder leading to the big pile. Then they lit it and ran.

Ahh childhood.

The problem is, that one of her friends, a boy named Mario, didn't quite make it out of the bunker in time because his pants got caught on a spike in the doorway. But, kids being kids, of course my mother and all Mario's friends ran like hell.

Then the bunker blew up, with Mario inside.

I know... you're probably thinking, "Oh, this is just like the story about the time when Smith accidentally killed his aunt."

Oh... oops. I guess I didn't tell that one yet. Save it for another time.

Anyway, my mom and her friends then drew lots to see who would be the one to go tell Mario's mother that her son was blown up. When the lot was drawn, and my mother was assigned the grim task, all the kids set off for Mario's house. Just before they got there, Mario appeared in the road. All the clothes were burned off his body. He was naked, black, and hairless, and my mom told me he said something that roughly translates to, "You fat whores left me there to die."

Nothing like a good fort story.