Within these pages are the memories of two senior citizens who drove their family and neighbors absolutely crazy with their youthful foolhardiness during the forties and fifties in Acton, Massachusetts. True stories of two youngsters who terrorized a town, enraged their parents, Ole Ern and Ethel, their neighbors, Ray and Bell Harris, and succeeded in blaming all of them on another kid labeled Gunk, who is ultimately the star of this book. “He was much taller than us, and uglier too. The jerk was as stupid as a box of hair, yet because he thought it funny to push my four-year-old face into his butt and release gas . . . well, it was war.”
It didn’t matter what crime we committed; the fact that Gunk was there to take the blame ensured that Ron and I would live another day to get up to more antics, create more chaos, which would be enough to condemn our neighbor across the street. Ron and I did so many tricks on a lot of people that the end results of blaming that other person and getting away with it were so funny that inspiration became an extension of our disruptive activities.
Gunk Did It became my mantra for the subsequent indiscretions and were cause for his receiving castigations from anyone we deemed necessary. Predictable as always, as we were to proclaim that Gunk Did It, we never tired of conspiring against him. I owe my learning to inflict falsehoods never dreamed of by humankind to Gunk’s butt-inflicted abuse, which initiated and developed our proclivity for youthful and very funny revenge.
. Every morning when I would leave for work, he would give me the saddest look he could muster. If you know anything about beagles, you know that this is the canine equivalent of the death scene from Camille. When a beagle wants to look sad, he can roll his big brown droopy eyes up at you and pull his ears back, and you will do anything to make him happier. In fact, many beagles earn top commissions in the sales field by giving customers that sad look until they crack and buy whatever the beagle is selling. "I'll buy anything," the customers cry, throwing money at the beagle, "just stop looking at me like that!"
. The voice-mail mantra, "Your call is very important to us" is always a lie. If my call were actually important to you, you would answer the phone instead of putting me on hold and playing an orchestral version of the old Buoys hit "Timothy."
A portion of all profits from the sale of this book goes to the Jade Pasley Patient and Family Assistance Fund of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.