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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 speckled penthouse in Belize.

We ate nothing but cotton candy and chocolate-covered ants and we drank shots of whiskey, and we were glad to have them. Sometimes on Saturdays we had cabbage. I slept on a rocking chair in the study. My eight brothers slept in the dungeon.

I had to get up every morning at three to feed the chipmunk and the cheetah. After that, I had to scrub the salon and remove the china doll.

I walked thirty-three blocks through hot, sunny days and blankets of mist to get to school every morning, wearing only a suit and a set of vampire fangs. We had to learn Samoan and traditional medicine, all in the space of eleven weeks.

Mom worked hard, making crooked elephant tusks by hand and selling them for only eight pesos each. She had to pound every elephant tusk eight times.

Dad worked as a house spouse and earned only twenty-one crowns a day. We couldn't afford any bird baths, so we made do with only a bat.

In spite of all the hardships, we grew up wary and sensible.