When I was a young-un my grandparents bought me the greatest christmas present ever. A Little record player and a set of Disney books and records. It had all sorts of stories, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, and a story from Song of the South, Bre'r Rabbit and the Tar Baby.

The Bre'r Rabbit story was one of my favorites. Now my mom always encouraged me to read and with the books and records she encouraged me to listen to them as it could only strengthen my reading skills. She was a single parent, raising her only child in Benton Harbor and desperately wanted me to be a smart girl. She also had a tendancy to take me everywhere with her, keeping me by her side even as she ran errands. One day she ran to downtown Benton Harbor to pay the electric bill the day it was due.

Now, allow me to insert a fact here about Benton Harbor. The population of this city is about 75 - 80% african american.

Anyhow, she took the little me at the time and went in to pay the bill. And we waited in line. She says we were the only white people there, except for the people behind the counter. I was reletively well behaved, amusing myself for the most part... Until the lady walked in with her baby in her arms. My mom said it was one of the cutest babies she had ever seen. It was also one of the blackest. And apparently my eyes got really big and I got very excited, jumping up and down next to her.


She picked me up and tried to shush me, even putting her hand over my mouth.... But I had a lot to say...


She left the building rather swiftly and decided to mail the payment in and be late for that month.

This is something my nephew said.

He was about 7 years old, and my sister (his mom) was dating a guy (Steve) he didn't like.

Steve: Stop eating with your hands! Nephew: I'll stop eating with my hands when you stop sleeping with my mom. (cue grounding)

Only thing I can think of to contribute occurred when I was 3 years old, and my mom was having a dinner party. She was talking me up to the guests— "Rollersnake is so intelligent, so advanced for his age," etc. So I come running into the room all excited and shouting "Come see! Come see!" My mom and all her guests follow me out of the dining room, down the hallway, and into the bathroom, where I proudly point in the toilet and announce:

"My poop looks like circus animals!"

I was 19 years old, home from college the summer after my freshman year, and walking our dog in the backyard. The next door neighbor's youngest daughter (3-4 years old at the time, I think) came out with their dog, who immediately ran over towards me and started barking excitedly. The little girl followed over, and tried to wrestle the dog (which was about as big as she was) back towards the house. As she did so, she calmly told me,

"Don't worry, it's okay. He just doesn't like grownups."

I'm... A grownup?

I was about 3 in a restaurant toilet with my dad, and watched as a guy walked out without washing his hands. We went and sat back down and the guy was next to us. I shouted, 'DAD, THAT MAN DIDN'T WASH HIS HANDS AFTER HE DID A PEEPEE'. I said this right as he passed a bread roll to his partner.

When I was 4 or so, I was standing in line with my parents at the grocery store. I noticed that my old man's face suddenly made this odd change from bored to humored, and he looked at my mom and quietly said "Dyke?" while giving his head a gentle nod in another direction.

My mother didn't respond, so I didn't know what the fuck was going on. Instead of forgetting about it, I did the 4-year-old thing and started shouting, at the top of my lungs, "HEY DAD WHATS A DYKE?"

He was pretty irritated about it, and told me to keep quiet. In the face of that, I kept shouting. "DAD BUT YOU JUST SAW ONE! WHAT'S A DYKE?"

I didnt do this, but it was still awesome.

I'm in line at the supermarket. Ahead of me is a guy and his kid, about 4 years old. In the front of the line is an absolutely enormous in a UPS uniform buying a dozen doughnuts for lunch. The 's beeper goes off.

And the kid yells at the top of his lungs: "Watch out Dad! She's backing up!" wheels around on this poor dad who is trying not to laugh. The cashier and I could not contain our huge roars of laughter. So she waddles out with the most dignity she could muster (and probably killed herself in the parking lot).

Once when I was 6 or so, I was outside with my mom barbecueing. She couldn't get the top off a bottle of barbecue sauce and say a guy walking down the street with his hands in his pockets. She then proceedd to shout across the street, "Hey, buddy, can you give me a hand?"

The man was nice enough and said yes, but when he took his hands out of his pockets, they were just stumps. My mother must have died from embarassment but the guy was sure as hell gonna help anyway, and sat down to wrestle with the top of the bottle. At this point I thought it was an awesome idea to pull on her shirt and scream, "Look mom! NO HANDS! LOOK MOM NO HANDS!"

I was a sensitive kid...

I was waiting at a stoplight and the 8 year old girls were waving a carwash sign.

Girls: Hey mister, want a carwash? Me: Sorry, this is a rental car. Girls: Donations are ok! Me: But I'm a poor college student! Girls: He would be in college too, but he's dead.

Their sign was a fundraiser for a funeral.

Oh, you want some free association? My dad tells me that when I was 2 or so and he was grocery shopping, I sat up in the cart, pointed at a group of black people and said "DADDY! GOOD TIMES! DYNOMITE!"

My uncle was in jail on charges of fraud (took money from the government that was meant to go into the nursing homes he owned I think) with a 3 year sentence. It was Christmas dinner and my aunt said "hopefully he will be with us next year" to which I retorted "doesn’t he have two more years though?". Everyone went silent I think I made her cry which is a bummer cause she is a kick arse aunt.

In the end though I was fucking right and he didn’t get out till the end of his sentence. I think I was about 11 at the time.

I was making dinner, and dished it up. On my youngest daughter's plate was black eyed peas.

Her: Daddy, what's these?
Me: Black eyed peas, honey.
Her, tearing up: I don't want to eat them...
Me: Why not?

Fucked up one...
Laying on the couch with my youngest daughter laying on my chest, a little feverish and sickly.

Youngest Daughter: Hee hee. Daddy's heart hiccups.
Me, watching TV: Mmmm-hmmm.
Wife, reading a book: Mmmm-hmmm.

Flash forward two months: Daughters and I are dancing around the frontroom holding hands and laughing.
Me, grabbing chest:
ARRRR! ME HEART! [Above scene flashes through mind as I hit the ground and laughing daughters dog pile on daddy, tickling and laughing]

Guess I should have been paying more attention.

When my parents were still together I would ask my mother every single night before bed if she was going to be with my dad "forever and ever like you're supposed to be" and she would never give me a straight yes or no, only "well people change and who knows that the future holds". One night I got sick of her being vauge about it and said "if you were going to be together you'd say so mummy. I guess daddy just doesn't love you and that's why he goes far away to work. Try harder!"

I was 7 years old and my dad was (surprise surprise) cheating on her and she knew about it. I still feel bad about that one.

That does it for this week's Goldmine — wouldn't have been possible without the fine ladies and gentlemen of the forums. Comments are welcomed and appreciated — next fortnight I'll probably do another MSPaint thread, so I want to see evidence of some adventurous mice over the next couple of weeks!

– Tekky "Jumpman16" Andrew-Jaja

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