THIS IS #76…WHAT HAPPENED TO #75?

This is the seventy-sixth blog post I’ve written. The previous posting was the seventy-fourth. So what did happen to #75?

#75 is titled “Know Thy Foe” and contains the results of my going onto three of the anti-wolf pages and clicking on the personal pages of some of the foulest, most vile individual posters. Basically it’s a bit of an insight into the rather dark and twisted minds of people that insist I’m the twisted one. I sent the final draft to someone versed in the legalities of publishing to make sure I hadn’t crossed any lines that might get me in trouble. I received the edited copy last night but when I read the “smoothed out” version it didn’t feel right. The editing didn’t take anything away from the content but the time that passed between writing and final reading has enabled me to see this piece with some critical distance, removed from the original emotion that prompted my creation.

As a release (a vent if you will) it still holds up but the lady that went through it for me suggested that I might be doing what I condemn them for doing. To an extent I agree although mine is not a personal attack. I’m just relaying information that they have already published on their own pages so they obviously don’t care who knows. Then I thought about the regular readers of this blog. This is yet another departure from what I intended the “White Wolf Moon” blog to be. So, at least for now, #75 will remain in a folder on my desktop.

But this whole experience has reminded me of how important it is to step back and look at what I’ve written through different eyes…to approach it in the “cold light of day” before deciding I’m done…to stop and think before hitting the “publish” button.

Following is the second part of my “Fear” blog. They were going to be posted back-to-back but I got a little side-tracked.

In school I feared those nine-times tables. The rest I could handle but those nine-times brought the hairs on the back of my neck to sweaty attention. Then the little girl next to me (who was in the “grade ahead” row) explained that if I knew all the others I knew the nine-times. A light went on and the fear disappeared along with my shadow of doubt. I thanked her and at lunch we sat in the playground of that one-room school in Roblin, Ontario and ate squashed peanut butter sandwiches and drank warm Freshie while we discussed her personal favorite, the five-times table. I had to admit that other than the two-times, the five-times was also my pick for outstanding times table.

Inoculations also frightened me in school. In those days we all lined up outside the Principal’s office with our sleeves rolled up. One by one we disappeared through the door as the remaining basket cases inhaled the medicinal odors while trying to ignore the muffled crying and screaming emanating from behind the Rand-McNally pull-down map of Canada. Our teacher’s speech on how this would help us grow without disease fell on deaf ears, or rather plugged ears. My turn would come and I’d stand there while they patted the cold liquid on my arm.

“You’re not scared are you?” the nurse would always say. My lips said no but my eyes said, “Get me the hell outa here!”

“Everyone has to have their booster,” she would say calmly. “You’re not the only one.”

That’s like telling a Christian that the lions will eat everybody who enters the Coliseum so don’t worry about it. Bottom line? You’re feline fodder and just because you’re one of fifty won’t change that fact and most certainly won’t make you feel any better about it.

There was another fear that happened about that time. One warm afternoon our math teacher Mr. Harcourt advised us not to be alarmed at what was about to happen. This insightful statement, of course, brought instant trepidation. He explained that today would be the first in a series of bomb drills in case the Reds decided to start a war. When the bell rang we were to run to the hallway, put our heads between our legs, cover our ears and open our mouths.

As a military brat in England I would spend evenings watching full charge wargames taking place on the hills around Warminster. I rode in tanks and trucks and watched them noisily navigate the narrow English roads on the way to a spectacular display of muzzle bursts and explosions. With this background in mind the prospect of the bomb didn’t frighten me as much as the thought that if we were bombed someone would find me in this ridiculous position.

Girls.

At age eight most boys run away from girls. It’s ‘cuz they’re yucky’ is the given reasoning behind the stampede. Truth is most boys are scared of girls. This is an example of a lifetime fear, no expiry date.

I was never really frightened of girls at an early age. To me they were just boys who smelled better. Later on when I discovered that smell wasn’t the only difference things changed.

Her name was Sharon. Bedecked in her white fuzzy sweater and tartan skirt she was a vision of femininity and a gorgeous fear monger. Most guys were scared to be in the same hallway with her let alone talk to her. Linda, Suzanne, and Bev were okay. At twelve or so, they were still like the guys, perfume aside.

But Sharon was a girl. Sharon liked older men, at least a grade older.

We ended up having to work together on a project in Mrs. Livero’s art class. The thought of sitting beside Sharon at a small table for a week frightened me to the point that I couldn’t sleep the night before however I’m not sure it was fear that caused my insomnia. The next morning in art class I sat alone, hands placed perfectly on the scarred tabletop, twiddling my thumbs. Sharon was late and as she entered the room her eyes sliced me into easy-to-chew stir-fry strips. She asked Mrs. Livero if she could work with one of the girls or at least a different boy but was instructed to take her place beside me. Despite her protests and ink flicking we managed to get the job done and after the first class got along quite well. We realized that we liked the same music, animals, and television shows. It was here I discovered that really pretty girls are no different. They’re just girls.

Of course some girls teetered on the precipice of another fear I used to have and to a degree still do.

Anything that’s bigger and hairier than me deserves a wide berth although there are some hairy things that are smaller and some bald things that are bigger that command the same respect. Skunks are smaller and hairy, elephants are balder and bigger. Both smell funny and both get the deserved distance and respect.

Knowledge and familiarity dispelled those early fears as it dispels most fears.

Childhood fears are usually left behind along with the security blanket, favorite toy, childhood friends and dreams.

They have to be left behind to make room for grown-up fears.

SIGN25

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2 comments on “THIS IS #76…WHAT HAPPENED TO #75?

  1. JP McLean says:

    Girls feared those hideous, one-piece, blue gym uniforms that ballooned out the butt.

    • Mike Grant says:

      I remember those, uh…no, I didn’t wear ’em and I wasn’t peeking. Gym was split by volleyball nets, boys on one side, girls on the other. Hmnnn so you weren’t all as big-butted as it appeared…another fantasy shattered.

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