Childhood Memories: The Nickel
This incident took place when I was all of 5 years old (armed with the curves and wit of a girl of at least 8). And, like most girls of 5, I hadn't a care in the world. Kindergarten was a breeze, and I was a major player in the Hanukkah Spectacular over at Temple Menorah, the private school I began attending at 3. Yes, Temple Menorah, the Jewish equivalent of Church Christmas-Tree. The teachers that year had the brilliant idea of dressing the children up like little candles (flame hats, foil costumes, etc.), lining em up like a menorah, all the while singing songs about dreidels and chocolates and the miracle of light. I had scored the coveted role of "Shamash", the ninth and tallest candle of the menorah, placed in the center and used to light the others. Sure, I have a good voice, and was something of a ham at this kosher day school. The fact that I was a foot and a half taller than all the other kids helped too.
Where was I? Ahh yes! So things were going GREAT!
It was evening, and had just grown dark. My parents were out and my 13 year old brother was babysitting me. I plodded about the house barefoot, making my way to the hallway leading to the spare bathroom. The camera cuts in on my adorably small feet, dimly lit, each innocent step, the tiny toes gently gripping the chocolate brown shag carpet. Then, my foot stumbled upon something. In the shag... small and flat, round and cold... could it be?... A NICKEL!!! I found a nickel. In the carpet!
My memory is fuzzy, but I'm sure a small dance of delight was involved here somewhere. I reached down and eagerly plucked my find out of the rug. My small hand clasped around it, I ran to the doorway of my parents' bedroom where the light was better to inspect the coin for its provenance, year, etc., assessing its actual value.
It was here that the camera does that trick where it closes in on the horror of my face while the background recesses in the distance. For it was no nickel I was holding, oh no. My delicate doll-like hands were grasping. A Cat Turd. A petrified cat turd!!! Small and cold, it was likely one of dozens scat-tered around the apartment. I flung the fertilized discus across the room and ran around helplessly. To this day, I can't accept a nickel without picturing it being dooped from a cat's asshole. This incident is one of many that I'm guessing lead to the decline of shag carpeting. Especially brown shag carpeting.
Of course, this lil' ditty doesn't hold a candle to the time I was severely electrocuted when I was 7. I can't get close to a microwave without my jewelery setting me on fire. I also receive messages from my cable box.
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See also: Cat Shit Cookie Cutter.
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