Friday, March 24, 2006

The Happy Hollisters

Back when we were kids, somehow my brother had a subscription to a series of childen's books about the Happy Hollisters. I don't even recall what the books were about, except that a new volume (or, horrors, was it two new volumes?) would arrive in the mail every month. And there was no end to them. Dozens of titles in this series. I eventually took to joking that the alleged author of the series, one "Jerry West," was actually a computer programmed to churn out an infinite sequence of books.

(Computer programmed to write books? This was back about 1967. But I had a weird imagination.)

Anyhow. As my brother and I got a bit older we... uhhh... found various diverting ways to dispose of his Happy Hollister books. I remember a book in the vise on our dad's workbench, as we cut through the book with a handsaw, laughing like maniacs. I remember drilling a hole through a book with an old-fashioned hand-cranked drill. I believe we lit at least one of the books on fire and burned it to ashes.

Oh, and then there was the Happy Hollister book we tied by a length of rope to the back of a bicycle. The idea was to drag the book behind the bicycle down the gravel alley out in back of our house, and then simultaneously slide around sideways and slam on the brakes so as to grind the book beneath the rear tire of the bike.

To say nothing of the book we used for... well, there's a reason why my brother and I to this day sometimes refer to toilet paper as "page 80."

Wouldn't you guess, turns out nowadays there's a website devoted to the Happy Hollisters.


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