“So neither one of you guys are responsible, is that right?” “Yes, Daddy.” ” Well then, who did it?”
We don’t know.
Having rested amidst nature on a hill in Dentonia Park, partaken of peppermint patty refreshment, and a tobacco fuelled repast, we then sought to repeat our wonderful shopping experience by traipsing our way towards the Danforth. Meandering up side streets, we had almost reached our target when my brother Terry piped up. “I’ve got a whole bunch of slugs, you know.”
“Where’d you get those, you bandit?”
“I found them on Dad’s workbench.” Oh. Okay. He won’t miss those.
“We can use them on that Coke machine by the Italian Ice Cream place. You know, the one that says Gelato.”
“Let’s see, Terry.”
He holds out a handful, and I grab most of them.
“Hey, leave me a few, ” Terry spouts, threatening to revert to diaperhood by thrrp’ing and talking with flecks of spit spewing out.
Peeking around the corner onto Danforth Avenue, we spychecked the Gelato place; didn’t see anyone standing outside the window ordering ice cream, and marched onto the main street anticipating conquest of the Coke machine. First, we stared through the take-out window to see if anyone inside was keeping watch, and noting that there were no adults visible, we shuffled over to the Coke machine, sitting brightly red-and-white by the corner of the door. I put in one slug, and out came a pop. Glory! I opened it and began to drink, telling Terry it was his turn. He put in one slug, and out slid his ice-cold Coke. He opened it on the machine, and took one drink. Yum.
“Hey, let’s each get an extra to take home for later.”
Terry put in another slug, and out dropped another Coke. He was just bending down to recover it from the opening when we heard the machine’s mechanism start the sound that suggested another Coke was coming. Good! Free pop, and our slugs saved for another day.The second bottle dropped, then we could hear another coming. Well, okay – thank you, God. And another started its slide into the world, and then another.
“Dean! I can’t catch them all! What should I do!”
“Shut up! The guy’ll come out and catch us!”
One bottle dropped from my bent over little brother’s tiny claws, making a huge popping sound as it hit the sidewalk.
“Gimme a couple! Okay, let’s go before the guy comes out!”
Terry’s stuffing the bottles into his pants’ pockets, his windbreaker, trying to hold onto the others sliding out, as I back away, ashamed at such a display of crass greed. Also, to keep an eye out for the owner, and to be a safe distance from my brother so the guy would try and grab him instead of me.
“Heyyyyyyyyyyyy, whatta you do, you leetle Bastardos!”
Clutching our treasure, we scampered, hearing the guy yell and scream as he bent over trying to save the free-flowing Coke bottles sliding into oblivion from his hairy arms.
“Come-a here, you bastards! I’m a get you!…”
A quite satisfactory belch aimed at the aggrieved store owner. “No, you won’t!” Hahahaha.
We ran, drinking and laughing. Sugar-fuelled now. Watch out, world.
“Where should we go now, Dean?”
“How about we try the slugs in that gumball machine on the corner of Dawes & Danforth? You know, right outside the comic-book store.”
“You got two pops in your jacket, so you have to make sure I get more gum,” Terry told me.
“Okay, I’ll make sure you get more.” Right.
Hmmm, I thought. Rebellion, and demands. I’ll make him the lookout at the gumball machine, that way he can get caught, rather than me. We reached the appointed corner, spotted our prize waiting for us, and decided to check to see who was on duty inside. Yep, that grumpy shouting old fart. Geez, most grown-ups were really grouchy.
I told Terry to watch the shop geezer while I tried the slugs. Excellent! One slug and gumballs began sliding down. I held my hand out expecting more, but they had stopped.
“Where’s mine”, Terry bellowed, as I tasted the fruits of our labor, shoving the extras into my pocket.