Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Cat-a-Middle P

Back around age five or so, I thought I knew how the alphabet ran. It ran like this: A B C D E F G, H I J, Cat-a-Middle P, Q R S T U V, W X Y Z.

That's right, Cat-a-Middle P.

Don't ask me where I got this from. Actually, I could read quite well. My Mom taught me to read at age four, which was unusual back in those days. But somehow I picked up this weird idea about the alphabet.

I also had odd ideas about numbers. Here's how the numbers ran: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 15 20 40 55 75.

This I connect with playing cards. You had the spot cards. Then jack, queen, king were 11 12 15. The aces were 20, except the ace of spades was 40. The extra joker was 55. The joker was 75.

(The number 600 was also associated in my mind with the image of a brown cowboy hat. Don't ask me why.)

On the radio in the kitchen, I remember once hearing a warning. They were telling people over the radio to watch out for someone called "Mr. Kamper," who was driving around ramming people's cars and deliberately getting in accidents. Or at least that's how I took it.

Or there was the time (my folks tell me it must have been a dream, but that's not how I remember it) when we got up in the morning, and started eating breakfast, and all of a sudden it started getting dark out again. Seems the entire family had slept clear through the day into the evening. It wasn't morning after all, it was sunset. And so it was bedtime again before we had hardly even finished breakfast, which made me quite mad.

There was another dream where the Speedy Alka-Seltzer Man came out of a hole in the wall (he was about six inches tall), and he was going to take all my toys away.

I was under the impression my Dad had once told me that I was the inventor of the word "instead." I was quite amazed that I had invented a new word in the English language. I also connected this insight with a purple coffee mug we had in the kitchen, and also with a spot out by an oak tree that used to stand in front of our house along the street.

There was a chip in the paint on the kitchen wall. I always thought it looked like the outline of a cat sitting in a wicker basket. In fact not just looked like; almost more like was. When I was a bit older, the kitchen got repainted, and I was quite disappointed that the cat in the basket got painted over. But soon the paint settled, and there once again you could see that outline on the wall.

I used to have the idea that when I sat out in the sun, I turned soft like butter, and I was able to interchange my right and left legs. I insisted that I had sometimes actually done this.

I somehow knew that there were two orders of color for the rainbow. One was the seven colors you see in the sky: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. But there were also nine "colors of the rainbow," and they ran in this order: white, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, purple, brown, black.

I used to think it was "taken for granite" instead of "taken for granted." "Having a hard attack" instead of "having a heart attack." And the pit beneath that big concrete lid out beside the house was known as a "sister" rather than a "cistern."

Also, I remember what a big insight it was when I first realized that all houses had people living in them. I had always thought that only our house, and two houses across the street, had people in them. The other houses were empty. It never occurred to me to wonder where everyone else lived.

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Blogger dowingba said...

I always used to think that there was a big invisible cord attached to my back, and that if I turned around without turning back around exactly the same distance, I would eventually get tangled in the cord.

Monday, July 18, 2005 1:56:00 AM  

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