A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Curiosity Kid (Part 3)

Hazardous waste bottle in a chemical lab
Hazardous waste bottle in a chemical lab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        Like most kids I had a curiosity about chemistry, sometimes bordering on the potentially hazardous.  If interesting ingredients were accessible I was ready to mix them up to see what would happen.  I'm pretty sure it was inspired by something I'd seen on TV.  In one case I know it was.

         In one of the Little Rascals episodes the gang was baking a "surprise cake".  They mix up a batch of stuff in the kitchen to create a batter that eventually starts groaning and bubbling.  I wanted to do that.  So one summer afternoon while my mother was talking to a neighbor across a backyard fence, my sister Joy and I and one of the neighbor kids decided to make our own surprise cake.  Joy and I were about 4 and 5 at the time and had imaginations that were always at work.

          We climbed the counters, digging out flour, milk, spices, and whatever else we could get to and manage to get open and we started mixing in the biggest bowl we could find.  The mixture never bubbled or made noise, but we sure did make a big mess, evident by my mother's angry reaction when she came inside.    To our defense, we were in a hurry to mix things up and didn't have time to clean up.

          Then there was the time a few years later after we had moved to San Diego.   Once again it was Joy and I and some friend from down the street.   Joy and I were like the two stooges so I guess we always needed another kid to make the trio complete.   It was summer and we were exploring the garage to see what was there.   We quickly started assembling an assortment of chemical products--cleaning supplies, turpentine, and other miscellaneous containers of mystery liquids.

         We got a galvanized metal bucket in which to mix up our chemicals and the experiment was underway.  After stirring up half a pail of some nasty smelling dark liquid we waited to assess the results.  Nothing happened so we hid the bucket away in a sort of clubhouse that we had constructed out of stuff that was stored in the garage.   We then went to seek out other mischief.

        It was a few days later when a truly foul smell started permeating the garage.   When my mother inquired about the smell Joy and I looked at each other conspiratorially.   We knew what that smell was and now we were a bit concerned.  Scared even.  After my mother had gone back inside the house we immediately went to where the bucket was hidden.   The brew had a gag-inducing smell with a truly sickening appearance with unidentifiable particles floating in a film on top.  It was disturbing to say the least.

       Now I can't exactly recall what we did with this toxic mixture.  It was undoubtedly deadly or at least unsafe.  If this had been in the current age we might have called a hazardous waste clean-up crew to dispose of the substance.   Maybe we just dumped it in the backyard or maybe one of our parents disposed of the evil liquid.  As I think more on this I do believe I dumped it into a utility sink that was beside the washing machine in the garage.   I don't know what we created in that frightening chemistry experiment but I shudder to think back on it.

      It was kind of funny though--in a perverse sort of way.

      What were some of your fearful kitchen adventures?   Did you ever mix up liquids to see what you could brew?   What did you brew?



  1. Early one morning when I was very young, my Brother, Sister and I threw "a party for God".

    Ma was still asleep in her room and we went through the kitchen getting out plates, bowls, cups, and utensils. We set a place for every chair around the table and then put various types of foods on all the plates and in the bowls, and filled all the cups with something - probably milk.

    Then we left it all there as "a party for God" and went to watch TV in the living room. But every few minutes we would run back into the kitchen to see if any of the food and drink had disappeared yet.

    It was all still there maybe half an hour later when Ma woke up and came out of her bedroom. She wasn't very pleased, but how angry can you get at your kids when they "throw a party for GOD!"?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  2. Can't come close to either of those... but we did have a concoction in which we put potato chips, broken oreos, ritz crackers, and pieces of bread rolled into little balls and called it "clam chowder".

  3. I mixed up some of my mom's makeup with nail polish remover....she wasn't too happy about that. I don't recall any other experiments though. I was more into playing in the woods or doing crafts/colouring.

  4. StMC-- Kind of a Santa Claus milk and cookies on a grander scale I suppose. Fortunately it wasn't a "Last Supper" for you and your siblings. Did your Ma make you all consume the meal meant for God?

    CW-- Not sure how you got "clam chowder" out of that strange concoction. Hard to decipher the mind of a kid when you get older.

    JoJo-- Most of the time we were doing craft-like activities or playing outdoors. The experimentation probably stands out more in my memory than as an activity that we did very often.


  5. You were very lucky, or Someone was watching over you! I don't recall ever wanting to experiment with things. But I did love the smell of my Daddy's butane lighter. Mama would put lighter fluid on the diesel stains on Daddy's khaki work pants. I liked to rub Elmer's glue on the back of my hand and make "snake skin". Guess being a girl and the only child at home at the time I wasn't as adventerous.

  6. This wasn't an actual experiment but kind of. In art class we had made our parents globes with a picture inside, glitter and water. Really cute when I shook it. This was for Christmas. I was so proud of it that I made another and wrapped it and put it under the tree. Come Christmas morning, when my mom opened the second water globe. We were both a little shocked. Instead of using glitter I used beans. Eww.

  7. LEE ~
    I'd never made the "Santa's milk and cookies" connection before but, yeah, I can see that.

    I really don't recall anything about the event beyond what I wrote, except for the lingering disappointment that God didn't consume anything we left for Him.

    You'd think he could have at least left us a 'Thank You' note. I mean, heck, even Santa always did THAT.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Dear Lee, I never mixed chemicals or household products but I did try to bake persimmon quick bread when I was about eight years old. The recipe called for a cup of mashed persimmons and I thought that if 1 cup was good, two or maybe even three would be better. (I really liked persimmons.) So I made the mixture and put it in the bread pan and into the oven. Of course it never became solid. It just remained a soggy mess. Mom, when she got home from being an election judge that evening explained to me the ratio of liquid to solid ingredients! Peace.


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