Christmas Memoirs Of An 80’s Kid

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I really like it when readers email me their stories to post here on The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog, I like reading them all. I especially like the stories that I can relate well to, such as the following story, because I was an 80’s kid. Being born in 1968 I can remember most of the 70’s, how things really started improving in the 80’s, and as a young adult when the 90’s started. But, I remember being the kid who “caught” my parents pretending to be Santa Claus red handed. I had always wondered how an old fat bastard got around down here in southeast Texas, the humidity had to make him sweat something fierce. Plus, having a fireplace was more like a decoration, it wasn’t meant to be functional, it was meant to be the eyesore in the corner where all the junk collected. As a kid I grew up and lived in the same house for 16 years, never once was the fire place used. My mother installed lights in it to accent the seasonal array of plants she would put in it to fill the void. Our winters are mild here to say the very least. But, this isn’t my story to tell, I turn y’all over to read the story of another disappointed 80’s kid.

​Fortunately, I’m guessing, I don’t have a horrific Christmas tale of woe to share really, Scorpion Sting. Let’s just call it the “God-awful, just heinously suck-fucking-tastic family Christmas story”, okay? What I do have, however, is a tale of complete parental letdown, a tale of epic Santa denied disaster, and ostensibly the end to ever seeing the world of gift giving the same forever.

Do you see this here? That Tabletop Pac-Man circa 1983? Yeah, well, that’s all a young Spirit Fingers wanted for Christmas. And how could anyone not want this wonderrific arcade game styled in true arcade fashion making for the unique opportunity to eat ghosts, cherries, and power pellets right at their frigging fingertips? This was THE quintessential gift item. Yah, Cabbage Patch dolls were for over exuberant baby-lovers, Freezy Freakies gloves were for nerd-junkies and future Fox 5 weathermen, naw, the Tabletop Pac-Man, that, my friends was for cool kids with skillz, the ones who wore Jordache not Wrangler, had crimped hair not crispy bangs, who prided themselves on acquiring over 50 Garbage Pail Kids, not those who played Uno with their cousins on Friday nights. Yah, knowledge of the T.T.P.M meant you’d actually been in the mall arcade with real high-school kids, if only for a few seconds before your mother grabbed you and said you’re too young and they probably smoke “reefer” in there.

So, I’d dropped hints about this thing. Showed everybody the picture in the Toys R. US (parental nightmare) catalog. Put it as the NUMBER ONE gift on my Santa letter, which was stamped, mailed, and shipped directly to the North Pole of course. I even confirmed this fact during my phone call to the man himself. (In the 80’s parents calling taped phone recordings of “Santa” so their kids could “talk” to him were popular) and felt I had done all I could to secure the gift. I stopped smacking the ever-living dog shit out of my brother for breathing. I washed dishes for two weeks straight without an increase in allowance, AND smiled graciously when my Nana mentioned some lameitude about pink and blue Barbie themed legwarmers. (which I actually received to my shame)

Everything was all set. Cookies were set out. PJs were on, off to bed I went, secure that Santa would bring me the toy that I could play, but was also excitingly portable so you could bring it to taunt all your friends who just got LEGOs or some other “thinking child’s” toy. Now, every parent knows no kid goes directly to sleep on Christmas eve. They all just lay wiggling in their beds in a ball of hope and Santa magic straining to hear reindeer or the jingle of bells until sleep forcibly takes them. So instead of bells or a distant “Ho, Ho, Ho.” I hear a battery operated whirring, and a chorus of whines and staccato electronic bleats and bleeps…very odd for a house built in the 1950’s to make. I creep downstairs to the kitchen to find my father and mother bending over a TABLETOP PAC-MAN game blustering and cursing AND fucking playing the shit out of my Christmas gift like they’ve been doing so for frigging weeks! I’m appalled, I’m mesmerized, I’m thrilled…I’m really fucking angry. Their excuse, “Well uh, we had to know if what Santa brought you…um, earlier, actually worked, because how could Santa really check everything that leaves the shop, right?” Bullshit, fuckers.

In twenty seconds I’ve learned there’s no Santa Claus (assholes), parents lie (assholes), and videogames are way cooler than anything ever if one can lead you to being an asshole in front of your child, and then of course, send them to bed and expect unadulterated joy when they open their NUMBER ONE Christmas gift in six hours that has already been sullied by the hands of Santa Claus thiever of Jesus Christ day veritable joy hijackers…i.e. the people who created and birthed you.

— Just Another 80’s Kid

Talk About A Ghost From Christmas Past

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I really hate the fact that I have begun to think in the terms of my elders, but at times they have it too right to ignore. It takes a certain kind of lowlife douchebag to steal property which belongs to others, no matter their reasoning or justifications. There’s something broken within their morality meter which allows them to cross the forbidden line between right and wrong. Yesterday I was reminded that many laws are designed to better protect the criminal than the victims. Yesterday I received a letter from the state of Texas which informed me that Mr. Lowlife Douchebag III (his real name will never be spoken by my lips here) is scheduled for release from state incarceration in November 2014 after successfully meeting state parole requirements. Why is this information important to me personally? I will explain that in a minute since the incident happened back in this blogs literal infancy and I have never mentioned it here before in any kind of detail.

Late in the evening seven years, nine months, and three days or 2,834 days ago, we were settling down after just returning from a get together with my in-laws. After looking at the time, we had realized it will be Christmas Day in a few short hours. When we came in the house for the first time our hands were full, so after setting down all the food and bags, I returned to the truck to get the everything else. It was at this time I first noticed wet foot prints on the driveway and an out of place shadow where they ended at just the edge of where the light reached. I continued to the driver’s side of the truck, opened the door, reached into the center console, and retrieved my pistol. I remained bent across the seat, looking out behind me, waiting for movement. After a very long couple of minutes, I climbed back out of the truck and walked to the edge of the drive, and then I saw the shadow blink. Before I knew what was happening I had this man pinned to the ground with a pistol pointed at his forehead. Many moments passed while I stared into the eyes of this man, many thoughts passed in my mind, and then my wife’s voice broke the silence. Hearing the noise she came out, thinking I had dropped something or tripped. I will never forget the look of fear on her face as she looked in our direction. She went back inside swiftly and called 911.

It was thirteen minutes from the time she made the call before I saw the flashing lights come blazing up the driveway. The two cars pulled very close to where I was standing, four officers emerged and stood behind their open doors with weapons drawn, demanding I relinquish my weapon. I froze, I am the one who is making sure the douchebag does not run. I was confused. Moments later I was on the ground, I was rushed from behind, I can hear my wife screaming at them in terror. All I can think is it is Christmas Eve. We were both arrested. I was released early Christmas morning after being cleared of any criminal activity and establishing myself as home and property owner. After processing, my pistol was released back into my custody. Months later he was convicted of attempted armed robbery, armed trespassing after dark with intent to cause harm to persons and property, and finally with the possession of a stolen firearm.

The number one question I have been asked is why I did not shoot and kill this man because the right to do so with my actions protected by Texas laws. Why? Why is a powerful question. My answer has always been simple and has always remained unchanged. Shooting him to kill him never crossed my mind, never even close. It’s not my nature, no matter what, a human life is more valuable to me than things or property, and, eventhough I felt threatened, there was other options which I executed which defused the threat. In the end, I have a conscience which seems to always guide my actions. Yes, I was and remain to this day, mad. The lessons I have learned in my life have served me well and they have taught me that I am not the judge or jury, but just a human being on planet dirt trying to scratch out some kind of a life, like everyone else I can only assume. As far as his release, it isn’t my place to know if he is rehabilitated or not in the allotted time prescribed by the state of Texas. I do know, this experience was a part of the reason I have the security system I still use this very day. I may have lost faith along the way in my fellow humans, but at the same time the safety and security of myself and my family remains very high on my personal list if priorities. Its hard to say live and let live when the idea is more often than not, one sided. Below is a general look at the laws here in Texas, it should not be looked at or taken as any form of legal advice as I put it here for informational purposes only.

Texas law allows a person to use force in the protection of property to prevent or terminate another’s trespass or other unlawful interference with the possession of real or personal property. Deadly force can be used in Texas when the crime against property is classified as arson, burglary, robbery, criminal mischief at night or theft at night. Deadly force may also be used to prevent a person from fleeing with property immediately after the commission of a burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime if the actor believes that the property cannot be recovered by any other means or the use of force other than deadly force would expose the person to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Texas also allows a person to use force and deadly force to protect the personal property of a third party. The use of force is permissible if the person believes that the force or deadly force is necessary to prevent the commission of theft or criminal mischief, or if the person believes that the third party has asked them to protect the property, the person has a legal duty to protect the property, or the third party is the spouse, parent, child or under the care of the person using force.

Born, raised, and protected by guns, guts, and glory.