Downhome Magazine

You're a Stinker!

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I have a good friend from the Rock who recently passed along to me his November issue of Downhome. I read with great delight "Making a Stink" on page 24. It brought back almost forgotten memory from many years ago. I would be in my mid-teens at the time and lived near Owen Sound, Ontario.

It was the eve of Halloween and I had joined three of my buddies. Two were a minister's sons so I was under the mistaken belief that I was in good company. We had a small conference and decided that we were too old for collecting candy but not for a prank or two. I related to my friends something my father had told me earlier - when he was about the age we were, the morning after Halloween many of the streets in Owen Sound were impassable because everyone's outhouse had been moved from their backyards to the centre of the street!

Unfortunately we were living in modern times and everyone had indoor plumbing. Sad for us, until one of us remembered a family who lived on the outskirts of Owen Sound and still had such a facility.

We made our way to their residence and down the driveway to the backyard that was very dark. With a little light from the stars, we could make out the outline of the parliament building. We tiptoed to the back of the wee house and on a prearranged signal, we pushed it over on its front side which also contained the door. The screaming and bellowing that emitted from it scared us half to death. We had no idea that it was occupied by the lady of the manor! We were also amazed at how fast we could run. We never stopped until we reached the cemetery a little further down the street where we sat on tombstones until all the yelling and sirens quieted down, then made our way home quite satisfied with our devilment.

The following year our gang met again but could not think of anything to top the previous year's caper. Our unanimous agreement was to do it again. Once more we ventured into their backyard, mildly surprised that the place was not all lit up like Times Square on New Year's Eve. This time our youngest partner in crime, Gerry, was in the lead. (I am using his correct name because he is now a lawyer and can plead his own defence.) As Gerry stepped around the back of the building with us in hot pursuit we discovered that the old gentleman was more astute than we gave him credit. He had moved the building forward the width of itself. Down went Gerry up to his waist in, well, here you may fill in the blank with your own favourite name for it.

Naturally, having great loyalty for each other, we left poor Gerry to fend for himself. Gerry told us later (when again he started to speak to us), that he had gone down to the river and swam in the cold, cold water (it was late October) until he could present himself at home. His parents were still not impressed with his condition. His father was overheard to mutter, "You were a little stinker last year with that trick you pulled, and a bigger one this year!"

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