THERE WAS A TIME when I lived a life of reckless abandon, when I threw caution to the wind and regularly risked life and limb with no thought whatsoever for my health or safety. It was in elementary school in the Fifties. I walked a half mile to school all by myself, with no adult supervision. I rode my bicycle without a helmet. I drank water straight from a hose. Those were perilous times. I roamed a large city all by myself on weekends, even wandering downtown and going to the movies by myself. These days my parents would have been arrested and accused of child endangerment. “It has been reported,” they would write in their reports, “that this child was seen without shoes, running in the street.” Those were dangerous times. The misdeeds and mischief were rampant: making fraudulent phone calls; throwing rocks at cats; playing R and R (Ring and Run). I even chased a little girl all the way home once. I was a little ruffian, that’s for sure. Elementary school was a tough time, filled with unsupervised rascality. I even got sent to the principal’s office for throwing wild berries from a bush at another kid and, unrepentant offender that I was, standing under the fire escape looking up girls’ dresses. It’s downright amazing that I didn’t end up on the FBI Most Wanted list. Those were precarious times.
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Ostomy Memories of a Risky Life
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