Sunday, September 27, 2009

Backtrack: The Great Matchbox Heist of '82

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for, oh, a bit longer than it takes a plastic bag to disintegrate... Thought it was better to share it than let it drop any further in the list.

I had the most bizarre day yesterday.

I went to a really old friend's parents' place for lunch - meaning, we've been friends a long, long time (24 years to be perfectly accurate), not my friend herself is really old - and it was such a spinout to go back to the home where I'd spent much of my youth, after school, on weekends, looking after their animals when they went away, etc.

And despite the fact that her 5 year old son and the LGBB were there, I could have been 10 again, just yearning for her older sister to say she was going riding on her horse and would I like to go *swoons* They have 6 acres there and the girls, frankly, were living my fantasy life - horses, parents in love, the works.

I watched as she pulled out some Matchbox cars from a container to give to her son.... and there they were. Three of my old cars. I sat up a bit straighter, unsure then if I only remembered them because I'd played with hers so often. But they were so familiar! The green VW Gold with the roofrack and prized orange-tinted windows. The convertible orange Mercedes (sans convertible roof, mind you). The cool metallic blue Mustang. Oh, surely they were mine!! I kept the conversation light and casual as I grabbed first one, then the other, then the other and deftly flipped them upside down, looking for my mother's tell-tale nail polish daub on the underside.*


Still, that didn't mean much, I mean maybe these ones had been herded from the rest of my stash before The Big Fight that caused the once-and-for-all division of cars with my little bro.

Anyway. Whomever they belonged to, they were still being well loved (she says, with a tic in her eye that won't go away because she'll never know or be able to ask if they were STOLEN from me at some point of our childhood, before we stopped playing cars, that is, and started talking about boys).

And then, to spin me right out, when I got home I flicked on the telly and they were playing reruns of Family Ties on TV1 at the very after-school time that I used to watch them as a kid. It was an absent-minded after-thought, and we never usually have these in the house, but before I plonked myself onto the couch to watch it while folding washing, I grabbed a mini packet of Doritos from the pantry.

I felt like I was sneaking them because I didn't ask mum if I could.

*My brother and I fought to face-scratching point once over who had the better cars, caravans, trailers, ambulance, fire engine, you name it. We would fight over every last little roof-dented, wheel-buckled shit box we had. So mum, fed up no doubt long before the face-scratching day, finally bellowed that she'd put an end to this once and for all. She sat like a mediator at a summit, all the cars belly-up in front of her, while Timmy and I negotiated our way through whose were really whose. And then she put a daub of pink nail polish on the underside of all mine so there were no further arguments. I was mortified that I had to have the pink brand on mine (I fought so hard against anything girly and pink for the first decade+ of my life).

A clever idea, just quietly. But don't ever tell 'er that.

Archived Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails