I Look Good in Plaid

I look quite good in plaid.  Red plaid, to be specific. Red plaid pants with a matching red plaid vest to be even more specific. Red plaid pants and matching red plaid vest with a pumpkin colored shirt underneath just to make the plaid really “pop” according to my mom in 1979. 

I am at my friend Eve’s 9th birthday party. It is February and I have slept over the night before as she is my best friend and I have special 2 nights in a row privileges.   My red plaid suit is packed in my overnight bag, along with my brother’s long underwear that has been handed down to me after he outgrew it.  Until I was 19 years old, I have never had a pair of long underwear without a penis pouch in the front.  Why do men’s long underwear last for so long??  It is cold and the long underwear is necessary, according to my mom, who turns out is almost always right, especially when part of the birthday party involves going for a horse and buggy ride in central park.  Did I mention it is February?

The #2 Pencil Incident

We are fighting over Monopoly money…again.  Or, no, wait, we are making prank phone calls.  Yes, that’s it.  Calling random numbers, (which you can do before “caller ID” is introduced 10 years later) and asking the person on the end of the receiver, “Good afternoon, Ma’am. Is your refrigerator running?”. “Yes,” she says. “Then you better go catch it!” we screech in unison, slamming our mother’s beige rotary phone back down, keeling over with guffaws as we imagine the perplexed face of our victim.

It is one of those rare afternoons after school when we are getting along. We dial another number after looking up a name in the kitchen phone book: “Ron Whitehead”.  He answers.

 “Is this Mr. Blackhead?”  my brother, Chris inquires, attempting to lower  his voice an octave. 

 “No, this is Mr. Whitehead.”  Chris grins at me, eyebrows raised in a “Watch this” expression, and I am suddenly in collusion. 

 “Sorry, must have called the wrong pimple!” he blurts and presses the push button, leaving the phone dangling off the hook as we “slap each other five”.   I am not clear on what a blackhead is, but I assume it’s hilarious because my big brother has told me as much and he is laughing and so I join in.