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Loser’s guide to winning:

You are not getting up from the table until you clean up your plate!

I don’t know about yours, but my mother was a horrible cook. Let me put it to you this way, if my mother was in charge of cooking at any prison in the world, there would be a riot of epic proportions. Her philosophy when it came to grocery shopping was the cheaper it costs the better.

My mother cooked hamburgers in an electric skillet. The burgers were soaked, and permeated in grease, and served on whichever bun was the cheapest. They were nasty tasting. Anybody who believes that nobody can screw up a burger, has never tasted my mothers homemade burgers. Even starving children in third world countries would not eat her burgers.

I remember as a child my mother told me that I should clean my plate because there are starving children in Africa. My first thought of course was that they would still be starving if all they had to eat was your cooking. I did not dare say that out loud though. I am from the shut up before I give you something to cry about generation, and everybody over 40 knows what would have happened to my butt cheeks if I did.

Now that I have painted a picture of my mothers lousy cooking let us proceed...

One night while I was staring at my dinner during one of my mothers exceptionally bad cooking attempts, I started gagging just from the smell of it. I sat there trying not to even think about it, while everybody else was already finished eating. My mother then said to me what many of us have heard many times before, “You are not getting up from the table until you clean up your plate!”

I had to think of something quick to get out of this one, so I said the first thing that came to my mind, “Woo Hoo!!! I don’t have to go to school tomorrow!” I was bouncing up, and down on my chair with a big grin on my face saying over, and over again, “No school tomorrow, No school tomorrow... Hey Mikey (my brothers name) have fun in school tomorrow, mom said that I don’t have to go. I kept on repeating, “No school tomorrow, no school tomorrow...”

My mother responded just the way as you would expect her to, “God damn it (excuse my French) you ARE going to school tomorrow!”

My immediate reply to her foolish statement was, “No I am not, you said that I can’t get up from the table until I finish eating, and I am not eating that... No school tomorrow.”

My mother then told me to go to my room, and stay there. Not only did I not have to eat that nasty crap, I also didn’t have to clean up the table, or load the dishwasher after dinner either. Score two wins for the Total Loser.

I always had chocolate milk to drink with my meal back then, so I took my glass of milk to my bedroom, and closed the door. Unknown to my mother, but now known to all of you reading this, I always kept a couple of Twinkies, or cupcakes stashed under my dresser for just such an emergency. This loser was not going to go hungry. Another win for the loser.

Also stashed under my dresser was a few Penthouse magazines for my viewing enjoyment. How does a 12 year old come into possession of a few Penthouse magazines you ask?






Buccaneers and buried gold - under the dresser doth a treasure hold!

I remember it clearly... I was roaming the hood one evening with a friend of mine after a thunderstorm, and there were a few garbage cans knocked over from the wind. It was garbage day the next day so many people had their garbage cans out by the road early that evening.

As we were walking we saw magazines laying on the ground, and reached down to pick them up. There on the front of the cover it said Penthouse. I had no idea what that was.

I seem to remember watching the sitcom Different Strokes as a kid, and they lived in the penthouse. I guess I associated penthouse with the top floor of a condo, or hotel, but why is there a pretty girl on the cover? I flipped through the magazine that I picked up, and saw... BOOBIES!

We had National Geographic magazines in our classroom in school, and back then there were photos of topless African woman in the magazine. I have not looked at a National Geographic magazine in years. Perhaps they still feature those photos today, but back in the early 80’s certain issues were quite popular with the male students. The Penthouse magazine that I found was far better than the topless women in the National Geographic magazines.

There were 6 magazines on the ground, and we each grabbed 3, and headed home with our treasure. My mother made me wear a jacket that day, so I had some place to stash my new found treasures as I walked into the house. My mother told me to take off my jacket as I walked to my room, but I told her that I was cold, and it was freezing outside.

My mother did not like that response and said, “Ahhh it aint that damn cold outside. You are done for tonight, no more outside for you.”

I thought. that is fine with me, I am content to stay in my room by myself the rest of the night. (Yet another win for the total loser.) It was really difficult keeping quiet, and not telling anybody about my find. I believe it also corrupted me for decades after that.

Did you know that you can find back issues of those types of magazines on Amazon? You can type in Penthouse 1985 into the search, and find issues for sale from that year.

I can’t for the life of me remember what month, and year the magazines I found were issued. They were long since discovered, and thrown away by my mother I assume. If you had a magazine in the past that you wish to find again, Amazon is a good place to look.



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