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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Aardvarks on steroids

"How much can I git for a dolla?" Man, if I had a dime for every time I heard that one! I was just thinking about the summer I spent with Uncle Travis. He was a strange man, physically and socially. However, I had six weeks I'll never forget. Uncle Travis was born with one leg six inches shorter than the other. Now that was no big deal in most cases, but when he got excited or angry he tended to go in circles. He was an ice cream truck driver. Travis' Treats - Frozen confections you love to eat! That was his slogan right there on the side of his truck. Now Uncle Travis was not a fancy man, nor was he wealthy. He blew all his money on the cock fights every Saturday night - but that is another story. Travis did not stand on a lot of ceremony. His ice cream truck was basically a pickup truck with a plywood building on the back. He never put in refrigeration, so he used a lot of ice and dry ice to keep things frozen. All the kids knew Uncle Travis would start going in circles if they made him mad. So, being kids they would do their best to infuriate him every chance they would get. Almost every day, some kid would be elected by the others to not pay for his ice cream. That was sure to get Travis riled up. He would start sputtering and wobbling on that longer leg and the fun would begin. The kid would run, and Uncle Travis would head after him. If the kid timed it right and waited until he was seeing red, Uncle Travis would have trouble even getting out of the truck. Soon he would be spinning like a top on that short leg with us all splitting our sides watching. Good times. Now Uncle Travis did help me with one of my first pets. After the loss of Steve, the monkey, to the freak skiing accident; I had wanted another pet. (for the Steve saga, see here - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2008/04/even-more-memories.html) Uncle Travis helped me pick out one. We went to the flea market and got a Brazilian hedgehog. At least that is what the guy at the flea market said. I always thought it was just a hairy rat. I called him Grover. Grover was pretty cool, whether he was a real Brazilian hedgehog or not. I kept him for the rest of the summer. He was my going away meal. Grover roasted up real good. I will leave you with this thought - Do concert musicians get pianist envy?