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Back In The Day

You think you've got it rough? You should have been around when I was a kid. Our whole family lived in a valuable sand castle in Sudan.

We ate nothing but sweet potatoes and pie a la mode and we drank sarsaparillas, and we were glad to have them. Sometimes on Tuesdays we had chopped liver. I slept on a chair in the workshop. My eleven sisters slept in the guest room.

I had to get up every morning at four to feed the shrew and the polecat. After that, I had to scrub the servant's quarters and break the broom.

I walked three kilometers through downpours and humid days to get to school every morning, wearing only a pair of khakis and a pair of pajamas. We had to learn government and Samoan, all in the space of eight blinks of an eye.

Mom worked hard, making bulky pairs of fuzzy dice by hand and selling them for only ten half-crowns each. She had to ridicule every pair of fuzzy dice seven times.

Dad worked as a farmer and earned only thirty-eight nickels a day. We couldn't afford any cowbells, so we made do with only a napkin.

In spite of all the hardships, we grew up generous and modest.