Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Preface To Same Old Thing II: Dead Pet Rock Guy
Here's a bonus blog entry for you today.
The fellow who invented the "pet rock" died today. Unfortunately his name was Gary. Also unfortunately, he wasn't pummeled to death by the very rocks he made a fortune selling to people.
If I seem bitter, it's because I was hoodwinked by a "pet rock" when I was a kid. I wanted a dog or a cat so badly. I talked about it all the time. I was just a child so of course the responsibility for taking care of the animal would go to my mother or my sister Karin, who was still living with us. My mother never punished us for anything, & barely made us (at least the boys) do our chores, so of course we wouldn't be held responsible for taking care of a tiny life, as better parents do, to help their children grow. As well, we lived in apartments, & we were poor, so there were pet deposits that my mother could scarcely afford.
Would anyone tell this to me at the age of eight or nine or ten? Would anyone try to explain to a child why me having a puppy was a terrible idea? Nah. They chose instead to fuck with me.
As Christmas approached - this had to be 1977 or maybe 1978 - I was told I would be getting a pet. This was hyped up. I got so fucking excited. A dog or cat! I would dream about it at night. & my family - mainly my older sister Pat - kept telling me over & over I was getting a pet. Lost to the ravages of time somewhere is a piece of paper where I wrote several dozen names I would give it - to be narrowed down when I knew whether it was a girl or a boy.
On Christmas Eve, which was when my family opened presents, I was given a little box. I immediately had that sense you get when you know something is wrong. But I soldiered on - & opened it. Inside was a "pet rock." It was smooth, it smelled like women's perfume. I'm sure everyone in my family had a big laugh, but I was just hurt. I was stunned, my little brain couldn't quite make sense of the event. It seemed cruel to me. It seemed like I had been deliberately fucked with. At some point, I think someone realized how crestfallen I was & tried to polish this turd, by telling me that everyone had one, that it was cool, whatever utter rubbish they could spout, but I knew it was no puppy, no kitty, not something that I could be the owner of. I loved Peanuts cartoons, I wanted a dog like Snoopy. But like Charlie Brown on Halloween, all I got was a rock.
I know many of the folks who bought the pet rock were stoners who thought it was "cute." But for all the kids who were given this novelty piece of shit because their parents & older siblings & other relatives thought it was funny, I say a hearty "fuck you" to Gary Fucking Dahl & his bullshit invention.
What an asshole.