Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rover from Dover

I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, about an hour from the Delaware shore. When my brothers were about 10, I think, my dad took them down to Southern Delaware to do some fishing. I can remember a couple fishing trips growing up, but this was the only one that anyone actually caught something.
When my dad and my brothers came home, my brother Albert was carrying something long, black and shiny. My mom asked my dad if they caught anything. "Nope, just that," he said, pointing to the oily looking black mystery that my brother was cradling like a newborn baby. My mother gasped, "What is that?!" My dad rolled his eyes, "It's a dead eel, Marjorie. We named it Rover from Dover."
For the next two days my brothers walked around with a dead eel, like it was a new pet. I remember coming home to see a crowd of neighborhood kids surrounding my brothers. My brother Owen was wearing the dead eel around his neck like a snake, and their neighborhood buddies were taking turns petting it.
Eventually my parents made them bury it in the backyard in an old Gatorade bottle.
A month later my brothers dug it back up. My mom made them rebury it. A year later my brothers dug it back up.

Barney the Burper

I remember once when my brothers were five (they're twins) and I was seven, we were riding in the car with my dad. My brothers had recently learned how to burp on command and were seeing who could burp the longest. My dad was telling them to "knock it off," but I was in the front seat giggling, and my brothers weren't going to stop if they had an audience. So my dad told them this:
"Hey, knuckleheads, you better stop that burping. Did I ever tell you what happened to my friend, Barney? Yeah, I knew a guy named Barney who was always burping. Well, guess what happened to him? One day he burped his tounge out! Yeah, you heard me. Burped his tounge out! I'm serious! So now he keeps his tounge in a glass jar in his car. And if he wants to talk, he takes his tounge out and slaps it against his knee to make noises. So you guys better watch all that burpin'!"
We believed that story for the next five years.