Well ... just thought of another one. I'm watching Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater story which is a surprisingly balanced doco about someone who changed the political campaign landscape to as bare-knuckled as they come in a modern era. I saw some footage of a man approaching a set of stairs heading up to the right. There was a basement window at the foot of the stairs. Just for a second I thought the man was going to instead of climbing clamber down onto hands and knees, crawl forward, open the basement window and slither through it.
It didn't happen.
But then I thought about all those many houses I've lived in that had the tiny door outside that led under the house because it wasn't a concrete block house but raised on brick with flooring over beams or what have you. And wouldn't it be cool if in a narrator filler and the subject is walking towards a door from outside that instead he went to the tiny door and crawled on through like the old people clambering into John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich.
I once lived in an older house in my home town that my parents pimped out with extensions. They also ripped out the raised outside central courtyard and made it a sun room. The sun room now rested on a block of concrete at ground level so there were stairs from it up into the rest of the old house that was raised off the ground.
When we played table tennis in the sun room sometimes the ball would bounce up under the wall of the older house and into under its floorboards. We'd have to pry up the inside trapdoor with a butter knife, it bending with the strain and put the door to one side, a puff of moist earth rising up and smacking you in the face. Then lower ourself into the hole and crawl along the damp dirt until you reached the balls. Yes, balls. We didn't do it every time a ball went in there. Only when the last ball went in there.
How many ping pong balls did we have? About I think 40 something.
How did we get so many? Well it was the cold-war kids ("Gather round children, Grand-Mikey is to tell us a tale from beforetheycame") and even my regional hometown protested the idea of Nuclear Armageddon. Mind you it was a uni-town so that probably helped flame the rage. Now and then the local Army Reserve unit would participate in a parade, rumbling their M113s along the main street near the council chambers and saluting as they clink-clank-clunked vibrations, past the crowd, who themselves were riven with excitations.
♪♫ Dah dah dah dah ... dahdah dah♪♫
This attracted the protesters who made the same mistake their brethren did decades before and directed their vitriol at soldiers and not the people in the decision chair. One year the peace-protesters decided to have some fun. They made up some slogan covered missiles and threw them at the armoured personnel carriers. Some of the missiles ricocheted down through open turrets and into the vehicles' bellies but most bounced off and tic-toc'ed across the road, gutters and bystanders.
♪♫ It's raining balls! Hallelujah they're painted-balls, woah oh oh!♪♫
Being at that time in our lives ping-pong players, or table-tennis depending on your nomenclature poison, balls were important. And free balls were the best of all. We scampered like merry Oliver chorus lads at free-play while the director has a private yell at the pianist, collecting as many balls as we could hold in our pudgy hands. I remember being annoyed that some older lady, bony thin with the tautness of skin that could only be achieved by careful eating and heritage, snapping a stiletto heel down to crush a ball that those foul-haired hippies had dare sully EIIR's tanks with.
What a waste of a perfectly good ball.
At home we kept our protest balls in an over-sized bread bag (2).
My favourite ball, and I may be conflating two separate balls, was the one that had artfully drawn cartoon snails on it. Along with a single word ... CUNTS.
(2) Back in my day we had to make do with our own homemade fireworks. You kids ... and your music. We'd make pleasing fire by wrapping bread bag round stick and jamming it in the bonfire. We'd pull it out good and black, see, and then let fat drops of plastic hiss off to sizzle in ground. On occasion we'd even man up, giggling and let that drop on skin. That's the trouble with you kids today. Nowt imagination ... or sado-masochistic expressions of masculinity meets juvenile expression of latent pyromania.