My Little Brother visited from New York again this past weekend. I think he enjoys the Coney Island hotdogs, Vernors, and Sanders Hot Fudge because, let’s face it, it’s not for the ambience of downtown Detroit. Not that you could see downtown this weekend due to the fog. Incidentally, if you ever want a good chuckle, ask Little Brother how to pronounce the word “fog.” Seriously. Aside from that for the moment, we actually had a rare chat about our parents during our early years.
The conversation was prompted by a hot fudge sundae in Sanders Saturday afternoon. I like to try and introduce visitors to products made in Detroit, and, let’s face it, Sanders hot fudge is delicious! Anyway, I started telling Eddie about how, when I was growing up, we had two Sanders locations we’d go to. The first was at Macomb Mall, and it was really just an ice cream counter with a bake shop in the front. The second was at Oakland Mall, and they had a restaurant area in the back.
It was always, always a treat to go there. The funny thing I remember most is that the only people who worked there were mean, elderly women. And let me stress MEAN and ELDERLY again. The running joke was if you were a woman who got old and felt mean, you knew you’d have a job at Sanders.
I asked Eddie what fun things he and his father used to do together. He told me his father worked almost non-stop. After all, the man had a family to provide for. He’d come home on Saturday and want to rest, which prompted Eddie to bug his father about going and buying toys. Sadly, he said they never did.
Dad and I used to play floor hockey in the basement, which evolved into those plastic suction cup dart gun battles, then going to see horror movies or spending some time at the arcade. I was never going to be on a football or baseball team, at least not willingly, so we had to find other common ground we both enjoyed. He made the effort with me growing up that his own father never made with him. Dad was determined that our relationship would be better.
Now, Eddie’s parents would take him and his sister to grandma’s and grandpa’s each Sunday. He’d play with his cousin in the hallway while everybody else played Mahjong. There’s an art to that game I’ve still never figured out. The object is to win, and when I’d use my fledgling skills to do just that, I’ve be chastised for going out too quickly with a small pot. The gweilo cannot win, and I’ve since given up trying. It’s fun to watch, but to understand? As Mrs. Brown would say, feck it.
Mom and I had our own thing too. She and I would ride our bikes around town during the summer, or drive up and see the latest Disney movie, or comedy. Disney movies were a nice change from horror films, and I loved that Mom and I enjoyed our comedies. Murder By Death? Love At First Bite? LOVE THOSE!
Those kinds of conversations with Eddie are fun. I learn more about him, his family, and his time living in Hong Kong. It’s educational.
And, if you ever meet him and get the chance, find a way to have him say the word “fog.” It’s soooooo worth it!
Kage Alan is the OA watching, Tangerine Dream listening author of the novels “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins,” and “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell,” plus short stories “Spacehunters: Master Elite and the Maternal Order of Loganites Beyond Uranus” featured in the “Butt Pirates In Space” anthology, “Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns of Fury” featured in the “Butt Ninjas From Hell” anthology, “It’s A Wonderful Lube” featured in the “Butt Babes In Boyland” anthology, “Chinchilla Chimichangas” in the “Butt Riders On The Range” anthology, the novella, Falling Awake, and “Master Malevolence in: The Tail of the Fluffy Monkey” featured in the “Butt Villains on Vacation” anthology.