Mother of pearl that hurt!* It was set strike and Mark had just rammed into me with the corner of a very large section of the stage. (*Likely not the actual phrase used, but this is a family blog.) I got paged (yes, this was back in the day of pagers) several hours later to see how the giant bruise was developing â€“ well, that or to see if I was ok.
Within weeks, Mark and I were fast friends. The muppets godfather, Parker, completed our trio. We were inseparable â€“ the Three Musketeers. For a while we had a fourth fiend (Hi Sarah!) but she joined the military upon graduation and bootcamp wasnâ€™t very conducive to summer antics.
Mark and Parker spent those summer nights wandering up and down the aisles of Blockbuster, waiting for me to finish my shift. From there weâ€™d go to the movies; I think we saw every movie released that year. In our free time, weâ€™d converge at Parkerâ€™s house and spend hours discussing, â€œWhat do you want to do?â€ â€œI donâ€™t know. What do you want to do?â€ Rinse and repeat. Then weâ€™d end up at the Cheesecake Factory.
At least once a week weâ€™d find ourselves with a full free day and weâ€™d trek down to Anaheim to spend long days with the Mouse. Disneyland was ours for the taking. Some days weâ€™d ride the rides, others weâ€™d people watch and take in parades. It was the happiest place on earth.
At the end of the summer, I moved up north to embark upon my collegiate career. Iâ€™ve been up here since. Over the years, the time in between visits grew further apart. Itâ€™s been just about 15 years. Son of a biscuit does time fly by (again, family blog). But whenever we were able to reconnect, weâ€™d pick up right where we left off â€“ as though the most recent update was yesterday.
This weekend Mark and his family were in town for a visit. Markâ€™s daughter, the adorable Emmarie, is two weeks older than the muppets. (Clearly they were in a big hurry to meet their new friend.) Neither of us could believe the kids were over a year old already. Thanks to the wonders of social media, we felt like we were there throughout the milestones of the first 14 months.
We decided to meet for mass in the morning. I donâ€™t go to mass very often. I try not to attend to many events where calm, quiet and decorum is required for extended periods of time â€“ especially when I (as the pleading, cajoling adult) am outnumbered. Destroy sang throughout the entire hour. And while I think Teacher Sean from Music Together would have been proud, Iâ€™m not entirely certain the rest of the congregation appreciated it. Weâ€™re not entirely sure what their reaction was since Emmarie figured out she could escape beneath the pew.
But we got distracted. There is a new shop gracing the street. Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop. Every candy and cola imaginable. The muppets have not yet experienced the amazing high of a sugar rush, but even they were reaching their little hands toward the plethora of goodies.
Good food, good friends and good fun. Itâ€™s like being a kid in a candy shopâ€¦