My family is weird, and so my childhood was weird too. It’s the kind of childhood where you might stay up all night raking leaves to spell out an expletive or something gross across the yard for your parents to see when they get up in the morning.
We were the weird kids on our block. The kids the other kids would not cross the street to talk to.
“Who are those kids?” I remember one kid asking a neighbor kid across the street.
“Don’t go over there,” said the neighbor kid. “It’s those weird Rodabaughs.”
We were the kids that hollowed out a Barbie’s chest in order to fill it with ketchup to make a Barbie horror movie.
We were rowdy. Everywhere we went, people called us the rowdy Rodabaughs. Of course, some of this has to do with the fact that we were high energy and girls. I don’t think if we were boys people would have really noticed.
But it also has to do with the fact that we were weird, obnoxious dorks.
We spent time on roofs. A significant portion of my childhood was spent cutting up on roofs. We dismembered and burned way too many toys. We smoked paper towels unironically. We were the Marcel Duchamp of children.
And I want to share some of our weirder childhood memories with you. Behold!
Weird, Obnoxious Ways You Entertain Yourself When You Are the Marcel Duchamp of Children
- You pretend to get drunk on huge quantities of 2% milk, which you refer to as “white beer” while drinking it out of vaguely beer-stein looking coffee mugs while slurring your words and singing made-up sea shanties until you almost make yourself sick. Then when your parents ask you the next day about who drunk all the milk, you lie about where it went.
- You reenact the deeply gristly thumping of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in Jurassic Park by shaking the china cabinet or by lifting and dropping furniture when you are without supervision.
- You throw everything from suitcases to rolls of toilet paper to trash cans into the yard from the second story bathroom window to see how far you can throw them.
- You painstakingly cut out a center hole in a large dictionary-like book using a number of different X-ACTO knives only to fill it with a bag of Doritos.
- You sculpt a row of mud boobs on the incline of that one creek, including the uniboob, which took all day and was giant.
- You place a dead mouse with its head still crushed in a mousetrap on a plate of food somewhere in the fridge for your mother to find, and jump out to take pictures when she does.
- You play “Hide The Dog” with your family’s bichon frise, which involves wrapping him in a gift, putting him in a giant pot, putting him in the cold oven, hiding him in the drier, hiding him behind furniture, and other horrific things to do to a dog when unsupervised, like secrete him into a tiny piece of luggage with his head sticking out, bungee that luggage to a sled, affix that sled to your bike with ropes you knitted out of yarn, and bike around the neighborhood as if you are a taxi and you are driving him to a party.
- You chase your sister around with the fire ax until your other sister calls your parents at work to complain that “Hannah is chasing Julia around with the fire ax again.”
- You play ax-ball, which involves hacking into purloined food with the selfsame ax, or throwing food as if it is a ball and swinging at it with the ax.
- You make up your own sport, which has very few rules except absurdity and, eventually, behaving so obnoxiously in your yard that your parents, who kicked you outside in the first place after you were doing shots of food coloring because it makes you hyperactive, kicked you back inside out of embarrassment.
- You chop up a heavy sheet of ice in the yard created by multiple thawings and freezings using a hoe and the fire ax while dressed in black, sequined outfits like Michael Jackson.
- You fake a hit and run accident by covering your sister in ketchup and having her lay in the street with her limbs at sharp angles while you stand over her wringing your hands in grief while waiting for hapless cars stop and offer assistance.
How did your weird childhood compare to ours?
Do you want to find out? Please take this absurd, Marcel Duchamp-worthy survey I concocted: How Weird Was Your Childhood? A word of warning, it makes no sense.