Five things you (probably*) don't know about me.
1. My name, when I was born, wasn't "Collin Burton". That name originally belonged to a vagabond who was passing through our town when I was a wee child. He traded it to me for a bottle of whiskey and one of my dad's guns. It has served me very well in my long and torturous climb to fame and glory. Thank you, now-nameless vagabond.
2. I remember when I was 10 telling one of my cousins not to eat the paint chips on her windowsill. She just laughed and ate more. When I told her mother she got a spanking. Yes, they were actually lead paint chips. They were bendy. I haven't seen her in many, many years. She has children of her own. I hope they're okay in the head. I had a argument with this same cousin around the same age about smoking. All of our parents smoked and she told me that I would smoke too when I got older. I told her I never would. She laughed and said, "Just you wait." So far I've never smoked. I can be quite stubborn. I hear she smokes though. I'm pretty sure she's laid off the paint chips though.
3. The first time my mom and dad broke up, he took the distributor cap out of her car so she couldn't leave. It was a huge screaming match. She waited until after midnight when he was asleep then we snuck out of the house to her sister's car waiting down the street. We went to my grandmother's house. I stayed in one of my aunt's rooms. I have two aunts younger than me. They were out of town. The next day mym mom, grandma and older aunt wanted to go out for breakfast. The only clothes I had were the pajamas I'd been sleeping in when we made a run for it. I was given some of my younger aunt's clothes to put on. I was told nobody would notice. Shorts with frills and a girly t-shirt. And panties, because the pajama bottoms didn't go with the shorts and something was needed to contain my "junk". I was mortified. We went to a brunch buffet. I did not feel pretty.
4. I spent my early teen years surrounded by drugs. Reefer mainly. Weed. Mary Jane. Not "on" drugs though. Just surrounded by them. I probably did get a fair number of contact highs though. I was once tasked by a relative to pick all the seeds out of big pile of ganja that was on the coffee table. I was told that I'd better be thorough because nobody likes to be smoking a joint and have a seed pop. Someone I didn't know who was sporting muttonchops and a pornstar mustache was told to go out into the hall and keep an eye out for the cops. There were a few guns about as well. I also recall riding in the back seat of a car with two of my relatives in the front seat on a trip from Denver to Colorado Springs. It was a big old car. Like a 70's cadillac. The driver had the speedometer pegged at 110 mph. He and the passenger were passing a joint back and forth. When I expressed concern I was told by the driver to shut the fuck up and enjoy the ride. There were no seat belts in back. I thought I was going to die.
5. I used to shoplift with a friend who I'll call "Bob" when I was very, very young. Like (wait for it Heather) 9. "Bob" had a lazy eye. You could never really be sure of what he was looking at. But he was a good guy. He wasn't allowed to eat sugar. His mom said it made him hyper. Seeing as he was normally hyped up anyhow I often wondered what would happen if I fed him some. "Here boy, have some sugar!" I never did though. Shoplifting was a compulsion that I couldn't shake. I didn't need the stuff, but I couldn't resist snagging it. It was the devil that started me stealing, but that's a story for another time. My shoplifting days ended with me being busted in J.C. Penney's during a solo job near Christmas with a coat full of toys. One of them was a 14" Darth Vader-esque knock off toy. "Lord Klung" or something. I knew it was too big for the coat, but I couldn't resist his dark charm. I realized after he was in the coat that the store dick was on to me, but I couldn't shuck my loot before being nabbed. My dad was called in and I was expecting a serious beating because he was a strong believer in hands on parenting. However, after we were out of the store he just looked at me like he was horribly disappointed and told me he could never trust me again. That actually shook me to my core and I convinced myself that any time I stole anything, something bad would happen. That actually worked. The compulsion was gone and has never returned. I was banned from ever going into J.C. Penney's again. I have gone back in a couple times as an adult, but I always feel nervous and try to avoid it whenever possible. If I have to shop there I remind myself that they would be looking for someone shorter than me with a different name. Thanks again, now-nameless vagabond.
Some of what I've said is true, and some isn't. That's just how I roll here at Fizzle & Pop.
Now I'm supposed to pass this along to five other bloggers. You'll no doubt thank me later.
Have fun. Blame Mark.
* If you are either Heather, Derek or a member of my family you may know some of these.