Monday, September 29, 2008

A Titillating Tale from the Long Winter's Idaho

Growing up in Idaho, we experienced what some would call an “extensive” winter season. As in, good luck treat-or-treating without your snow boots on, and make sure your snow shovel is in your car when you come home from Spring Break. For a kid who didn’t know any different, it was the blessed time you could fly down Apache Avenue on the Flexible Flyer Sled, build snowmen in the yard, and beg your parents to sign you up for Ski School, when you and 200 other kids got to ride the after-school bus once a week and arrive at the icy slopes of Kelly Canyon just as the sun was setting. Brrrrr!

p.s. sun is our friend in winter

By the time the fourth and final week of ski school rolled around, you cursed the unknown fashion-setters of the 80’s that determined you should try to ski in your levis at all costs. Add to that the under-layers of pantyhose, long johns, and lycra and the lack of circulation enforced a pre-emptive hypothermia attack on your lower half, not to mention making your cute Guess Jeans Butt no longer cute.

It was also the time that the season started to morph from blessed to a bore. And a chore. There was only so much a mini-Idahoan could do to keep warm throughout the sunshine drought we experienced every winter. When the constantly dewey winter coats and boots started smelling like wet dog, then you worked on keeping yourself busy in the great indoors. There was always much to do, or get into, to keep yourself active during this point in the eternal Idaho Winter Season. After hunting down all the sugar cereal in the basement food storage, snooping through your older sister’s yearbooks, watching all of the Brady Bunch re-runs, and choreographing your own version of Footloose in the basement family room, after that? There was always your parents closet.

I loved snooping around that place. Floor-to-ceiling shoe cubbies held my mother's high heeled shoes that I loved to slip onto my dirty feet. I would admire my flexed calf, and then walk along my dad's many suit jackets while checking all of his inside pockets. He always had gum at church, and so I would regularly harvest his chewy leftovers forgotten in his Sunday suits.

Afterwards I would throw the heels off, then curl my toes on the edges of the stacked cubbies and monkey up to the top shelf of the closet. With the remaining inch available to my shriveled feet, I would practice my odds at reaching my dad’s money jar, or drop to the ground while leaning towards my mom’s personal weakness, individually wrapped gumdrops.

Eventually, all of my poising, leaning, falling, and balancing paid off.

It was a shoebox. A shoebox of secrets pushed deep on the tip-top shelf and practically out of reach. I positioned myself the best I could, then lunged and grabbed the shoebox in my hands. Got it! I carefully wormed back to my safety zone, then climbed down the shoe ladder to the floor where I could more easily examine the contents.

I cracked the lid and peeked inside. Before I could even see my treasure, I could smell the jackpot I had discovered: chocolate! Oh man, and not just a little box of chocolates either. A BIG Hershey Kiss of chocolate. The foil wrapper had already been taken off, and so I immediately pulled it out of the box and examined further. The underside of the chocolate kiss showed the settled krispy crunchy gems that we all love so much in our chocolate. How could I be so lucky? The base of the “kiss” was as big as a dessert plate! I could bite into this thing like an apple and hardly make a dent. Who makes this stuff? How does chocolate get this big? And why hadn’t it already been eaten by my parents?

I sat and contemplated my next course of action. I mean, how much trouble could I get into if I just replaced my next thirteen meals with my cocoa treasure? I pulled back the lid and put the oversized kiss back in the box, only to realize that it had a twin! Whaaat!? Wooo-hoooo! Hmmmm, except why are the tips of the kisses rounded off instead of curled like the regular Hershey kisses? And why are the tops orange instead of the milky brown? Why are there two big Hershey kisses that aren’t really kisses? With rounded tops instead of curls? With orange nipples?

Why do my parents have CHOCOLATE BOOBS!??

Shock swept over me! I didn’t have a full set yet, but it was unmistakable…these were boobs. Looking back now, it reminds me of a similar process I went through a few of years ago in the Health Office. While in the waiting room, I noticed a breastfeeding campaign plastered all over the walls.

Sheesh, these nurses are taking a long time to get us into the office. Oh look, dandelions! Man I loved to blow those when I was little.

Waaait a second.........Boobs!

Sheesh, these nurses are taking a long time to get us into the office. Ear scopes? I hope the doctor doesn’t jam those into my kids ear.

Waaait a second.........Boobs!

Sheesh, these nurses are taking a long time to get us into the office. Ice cream! I love ice cream. Maybe we should get an ice cream cone if we ever get out of here.

Waaait a second.........Boobs!

It was undeniable. All the chocolate in the world couldn’t dissuade me from the fact that my parents harbored oversized edible boobs in their closet. The implications were deep, as chocolate boobs likely included an attached infidelity. I mean just look at my dad! He’s always been the funniest, coolest, handsomest, smartest, and toughest guy I knew. Why wouldn’t other women think so too! (pssst: see handsome cowboy at the top of this post)

There was only one course of action I could take! It was a risk, and it would require courage only found in Back to the Future Movies, but it was the only way to get my questions answered. I took a deep breath and rose up with my secret treasure in hand, then walked into the kitchen.

MoooOom? I found this in your closet!

Wiping off her hands, my mom came over to examine my find.

Aargh! she huffed. We got those at the Archibald’s Christmas party.

When she took them from my hands I was elated and shocked at the same time. No sexy secretaries trying to pick up my handsome dad, phew! But the Archibald’s? Was it from them or from someone at the party? Either way, linking the Archibald’s as the source of my shoebox treasure blew a gasket in my little kid brain. I mean, the Archibald kids couldn’t say fart without getting their mouths filled with paprika!

What a double life these adults lead! And unnatural. Come on and eat them already! Chocolate boobs are still undeniably…..deliciously…delightfully……chocolate!


Wendy said...

HA! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. Seriously. I'm definitely sending this link to my mom . . .

paula said...

HILARIOUS! I bet your Mom and Dad aren't appreciating these posts about the skeletons in their closet. Although they always end up being innocent, they really get me thinking, "maybe they weren't as straight-laced and strict as I thought they were." Straight and strict aside, your parents ROCKED! I always remember your dad and the "Oh vatana sIam"....something like that.

Amy and Chad Larson Family said...

I have not laughed this hard in years! I am so glad you have preserved this memory for the generations of Andersons and Olsens to come.

Monica said...

You describe Idaho winter perfectly. And I loved your story! Why don't I remember these traumatic experiences you had? And, more importantly, why didn't I get to eat any of the chocolate?

Jeff Thurgood said...

You are a hoot! I am sitting here at work trying to muffle my laughter.

Lee Family said...

r u going to get in trouble?

Mrs. Olsen said...

First of all, as my sisters can attest, I had a distrubingly normal childhood (we all did). That was thanks to some awesome and (yes) straight-laced parents who taught us to pray and have fun together. And Paula, reach up to the sky, we're rotating in 3 stretches... "O-WA" (stretch one) "TUH-NAW" (stretch two) "SIAM" (final stretch).

Why would I be in trouble Niki? It was the Archibald's fault. ;)

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious Amber, a realy great read to start my day, thanks!

- Ian

Lee Family said...

Of course it was the Archibalds fault, the family that doesn't say the word "fart." Sure.

paula said...

I was so captivated with the chocolate boobs in my first comment that I forgot to mention the description of Idaho winters. Spot on. Remember the midnight snowmobile ride in the field on Barney Dairy Road? Racing Rich Lee and Stephanie-suddenly we are souring through the air-off the snowmachine. Snot all over-that story is a post in itself.

Vegas Anderson Clan said...

I saw a post on Niki's that you had a blog and just wanted to see how you were. I haven't laughed so hard at a blog post. And it brought back great memories of making up dances while trying to roller skate on the shag carpet to "The Final Countdown," from Top Gun. And early morning jumping on your family trampoline. Thanks for bringing back the memories of Apache Ave.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Paula, Let's not forget the time that we were dropped off at your house after a "Victory Dance" and the front door was locked. It was winter of course, and you didn't want to wake up your dad so we (me, you, Shelley and Stacie? i think) tried to sleep in the cab of your truck. That was a night in hell!

Mrs. Olsen said...

Wendy, I'm anxious to know if your folks are mad at me. Mr. and Mrs. Archibald, it's okay. I'm grown up now. I'm over it. It can be funny now.

My mom wanted me to add the fact that the chocolate boobs were a "boobie prize" for winning last place in a game.

Niki, you're sarcasm on: "Of course it was the Archibalds fault, the family that doesn't say the word "fart." Sure."

Let me put this into context. I was ten years old.

Anonymous said...

Amber forgot to say that we were playing games at the party, and because Wade lost the game, he got the BOOBY prize. Amber's Mom

Stephanie said...

Okay Paula and Mrs. Olsen, I was in cab of the pick up and we borrowed Dana's blankets from their car. What time was it when you realized the garage door was unlocked. How did we finally get in? We had some cold winters back in those days.

I love the chocolate boobs. I want to know what happened to them?

Mrs. Olsen said... kindof looked familiar to Stacie. Sorry my brain froze that night so I subbed your twin. I have lots and lots of other memories where I got it straight.

It was light outside when we walked into the UNLOCKED garage door. I think around 7 a.m. We should have just walked to my house to keep warm...we would have crashed the same time.

The chocolate boobs? I know I sure didn't eat them. They disappeared from the closet and were never peeked at again.