What Does Summertime, Road Tar,
And A Doghouse Have In Common?
And A Doghouse Have In Common?
By Eric R, Nielsen
Let's just say that the first two will put you in the doghouse in a New York minute.
It was the late 1950's or early 1960s when my best friend's older brother, came across a dilemma that was more challenging than first expected, while walking home one day.
Back in New Jersey, during the heat of summer, repairing the roads was all the rage. Not like today where they just get their asphalt and lay it down as they progress down the road until done. No... this road repair was a project and a half. One worth a young boy's valueable time to watch get done.
Tar went down over the old road. Then came the stones, and finally the big steam roller to press it all down. It looked great when done, but the rest of the summer you had to deal with mom each time you wanted to run into the house to use the bathroom.
You see the tar was always sticking to your sneakers. And it wasn't long before mom caught the culprit who kept bringing that sticky stuff onto her floors. A couple of swats with a belt or a wooden spoon was all it took to teach you to learn how to take off your sneakers before entering the house.
Now let me ask you: Did you think that a little tar on your sneakers was all it took to get in the doghouse? Hell no, that title goes to my to my best friend's brother Jimmie. You see he did what any smart guy would do when coming across a barrier keeping him from getting home on time. Like a good boy, you ask for an adults opinion before you do anything, right?
And that's exactly what Jimmie did. You see he was heading home when he came across a section of road that just got a serious coating of hot tar. And like a stream where the water is running maybe a little bit quicker than you think might make it impossible for you to cross. You decide to chance the risky crossing rather than find a better area to cross.
As a youngster Jimmie asked the men if it was ok to cross here and they gave him the OK. Carefully trying to make it to the other side. The very thing you're thinking right now happened. Yup, Jimmie took a tumble. And to make things worse, a roll or two.
Damn, I wish I had a lemonade stand on the side of the road or something, so I could have seen it happen. Anyway that wasn't the bad part of his day. No, not even close.
It was trying to take himself into his mom's house to clean up, when he got snagged and dragged back out of the house by the ear. Once outside his mom gave him a serious rub down with gasoline and she made sure to make the rub down one he would never forget.
Living next door I heard the moaning and groaning, came to the door and watched this sad event take place. Wow, that boy was in for a very long clean up, not to mentiona good beat'n, and a very long stay in the doghouse. Never the less. When we finally did see Jimmie again that summer, you can tell he was more than ready for the school year to start.
Moral of the story: Never listen to a stranger when they tell you it's ok to cross a freshly tarred road in the middle of summer. And save your breath, rather than try to convince your mom that it was the road crew's fault for you taking a tumble in the tar. She just remembers the tar you just dragged onto her clean floors and all the time she'll spend cleaning up after you.
Oh yeah... the best use for gasoline is cutting the grass on Saturday.
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