We lived on G Street in Bellingham WA in the second story of a duplex (the same apartment where one night an angel telephoned us, and where we lived when I founded the American Tarantula Society). Bellingham is a fascinating city with countless features, resources and services, and its public library had toys you could check out. My wife Micki took advantage of this because she was a pre-school teacher, and each week we would have some large and wonderful toy in our living room. One of these was the ball.
The ball was large, almost 30" in diameter, and made of hard plastic, with a hole in it so a kid could climb inside and be rolled happily across the room. It looked like such fun, and it was tempting to try it. Could I fit inside? I wondered. I was naked when I tried it.
I stepped into the hole and knelt down, managing to squeeze my hips inside. Then I sat down and popped my left shoulder into the ball, with my head and right arm sticking out. And there I stayed. I couldn't get further in, and . . . I couldn't get out!
Micki thought it was the funniest thing. I was naked inside a big ball with a head and arm poking out, yelling and flailing, and Micki was hysterical. We discussed calling the fire department or something, but I just couldn't face the embarrassment. Even if I had clothes on, to be stuck in a ball was just silly. So, desperate, I shoved up as hard as I could and painfully scraped my left shoulder through to freedom.
I was mad. I was mad at the ball, and I was mad at Micki, but didn't show it. Micki was still giggling sporadically as I suggested she try it. After all, she was thinner and more agile than I, and it would be fun. So she did it, she slid right into the ball with no trouble. I rolled her across the room, and out the door, onto the porch, and down the long flight of steps to the ground below.
The following week we checked out a little scale with plastic numbers you could hang on it.
|Our upstairs apartment on G Street. I rolled Micki down these outside stairs.|
For the complete contents of the Butter Rum Cartoon, click here.