June 11th, 2006

I’ve worn many hats in my life. I’ve been a daughter, sister, writer, tutor, advisor, girl scout, first out, Nutrition Nazi, New Age Mama, jackass, sassafrass, weirdo and WILF—(that’s, “Wife I’d Like To F-“), all at various points throughout the years.

Of all these plethora of hats, the one I liked least—the one I don’t talk about—was a purple hand-knit, hand-me-down I wore when I was 9.

In Florida around September, you can buy warm fleece mittens, scarves and hats from Gap bins for nearly nothing. That’s because the kids who live here have no use for them. Florida kids grow up learning to surf and use sunscreen. They know *nothing* about donning twelve layers—long johns, wool socks, wool hats, snow pants, whatever—just so you can step out your front door on a cold, winter morning.

In deed, the only blizzards Florida kids are ever exposed to come in paper cups and are sold at the DQ for two bucks a pop.

But Alaskan kids, they are hardcore. Growing up, I can’t tell you the number of times I had to walk five miles to school in a snowstorm.

… Mostly because I never did—have to walk five miles in a snowstorm, that is.

Contrary to popular belief folks, I’M NOT CRAZY!

But yeah, I did have to walk like 50 feet to the bus stop on more than one brisk-ass occasion.

And that was hell.

… But of course actually riding the bus, once it got to the stop, was worse.

And it was on the bus that the purple hat shit went down (when my lunch came up).

It was a clear, cold day, probably in the 20s. Like all the other kids on Bus 13, I was wrapped tight in my winter clothes like a Vienna sausage in a Pillsbury cresent roll. On top of my head was the lilac hat, entirely too conical, but warm nonetheless.

Five minutes from home I started feeling it. My stomach rumbled and the chunks began rising in my throat. Eyes wide with horror, I realized I was about to become that kid.

I was about to become The Kid Who Barfed On The Bus.

Panicked, I nudged my seatmate who only gave a cursory glance, being as she was otherwise engaged in showing off her stickerbook collection to the seat behind us.

No matter though, in a matter of seconds I had her full attention.

Like a 21-gun salute, I omitted a series of burps that erupted from my mouth just moments before the spew did.

In retrospect, I should’ve vomited on my seatmate. After all, in my later years—aided and abetted by such wonderful concoctions as candy + keg beer—I became very good at puking on people. (Just ask Bliss, Justin, Michiel, Anne, Andy, Blake, Tony, Eric, Smug, etc.)

But no, inexplicably, on Bus 13, in the interim between belch and barf, I’d ripped the purple hat from my head and was using it as a receptacle.

… And then I gave the hat full of yack to my mom.

And then she understood why I never got into the gifted program at school.

The end.

7 Haus Calls for “Asshat”

  1. Cze-Johnson Carrie Says:

    strange. I had purple knit bootie-slash-slippers that I wore to kindergarden for a few weeks when I had no big toenail. a boy named Kenneth threw up on my purple knit bootie-slash-slipper after eating too much paste one morning.

    perhaps there is some magnetic power of purple yarn to school-kid vomit. Just to be safe, I’m going to avoid dressing rhena (and the future monster, for that matter) in any forms of purple knits. (they’re on their own when it comes to the bus.)

  2. spanky Says:

    i bet ma appreciated the hat full-o-vomit. i can just see her face. LOL
    that’s classic hans. i remember when i got sick at school and ma came to pick me up, when we walked upto the car i noticed that the inside was entirely draped in garbage bags, i’m not sure if ma thought i had that kind of aim to reach the back window but alas. :-)
    love ya hans, it’s goooood.

  3. gary Says:

    I’ve heard that Canadians do that a lot. I think they call it a “hat trick”.

  4. Dima Says:

    I don’t know why you didn’t make the gifted program. What child has that kind of quick thinking?

    Ah, waiting in the snow for the school bus. I once did that freshman year of high school, waited for a bus that never came for half an hour in a snow storm with a temperature of about -30 with wind chill, only to wakl back home and discover that school was cancelled.

  5. Cody Says:

    Not only are Alaska kids hardcore in general, but Alaska teenage girls are like 2 x infinity hardcore. They’re so hardcore, they’ll brave freezing temperatures in mini-skirts and sweaters on their trek to the bus stop all for the sake of looking absolutely fabulous.

    By the way, all crazy people deny being crazy. Crazy.

  6. Paddymick Says:

    I had a very similar and also totally alaskan experience. When I was eleven, my dad chartered a float plane to fly us out to a lake on Admiralty Island (Lake Kathleen if memory serves). On the way back, it got a little “bumpy”–the pilot’s words. Truthfully, it felt like the wings had just popped off the plane and we were plummetting towards our watery death. Well, not wanting to be part of the whole plane crash experience, my last supper of campfire-charred hot dogs decided to abandon ship. After a panicked search of the seat pocket in front of me, I too grabbed my hat and filled that Union 76 (as in gas station–yeah, I was one of those “rural” kids) knit hat with a god-awful mess that had to sit in my lap for the duration of the flight.

    I don’t think we even cleaned the hat. I think my dad just dropped it in the garbage at the airport.

  7. DaReaVeRoFBiTs Says:

    So time to share my experience with ralph… It was a muggy night, labor day! And a party at a friends house with the, what was the, misses. We had a cook out and I like my red meat cooked near raw, also like my newkie brown in large quantities. Well we had planned for an all nighter so I think there was a case. Well after people left and I was good and drunk I went back to the fridge to make a cold hamburger right before bed, figuring they went right into the fridge from the grill. Silly me, they sat out all day, and werent anywhere near cooked. So I had a hamburger and probably about 2 hours into sleeping I went into violent fights with my friend ralph. Being as drunk as I was I got it all over the place. And the dear misses held my hair back, HA, and cleaned it all up! She took care of me that night, one of the very few! Needless to say for weeks my friend was finding chunks of raw beef scattered throughout the walk way from the bed to the bathroom. I just sat back and laughed!!

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