The Corrections

The surety I have when writing about my parents is that there is always a moment when their lack of sound judgment takes centre stage.

Recently, I wrote about a mental patient who’d tried to get a friend of mine to follow him into the woods when we were kids. Later, the patient succeeded in using the same tactic to lure and kill someone.

When I mentioned this tale to my younger sister recently, she didn’t recall any of the story and decided to ask my dad about it. I’d like to go on record by saying I’m against fact checking. How much good can come out of other people mucking about in my memories? I mean, really!

My father remembered the incident of the murdering patient quite clearly although he disagreed with my recall on why mad Jack had been a guest of the hospital to begin with. I’d thought it was for murdering his parents but it was worse even than that. He'd had a penchant for capturing and torturing small animals and had gone so far (or was so far gone) that he’d joined The Kindness Club, an organization dedicated to teaching kids to be kind to animals, so he'd have easier access to his prey.

My sister said it was lucky I’d been there to point out to my friend that following a mental patient into the woods wasn’t the best life decision. My dad agreed but added ‘he was always doing that because he liked boys’. My mother then piped up nonchalantly about my friend saying ‘he was a good sized kid, he probably could’ve taken care of himself anyway’.

My sister was aghast and wondered why this nut had been allowed to hang around the buffet grounds of the hospital at all and my father didn’t know why either.

Over the years, my mother has proudly declared that all of her children graduated high school and none of them ended up in jail. More than ever, I’m convinced that my folks had nothing at all to do with the way things turned out.


Tanya Espanya said...

Who're the real mental patients in all this?

I vote for your parents.

Kindness club indeed....shiver...

Johnny Yen said...

I'm still floored by your story of being shipped off to live with a strange family in a place where hardly anyone spoke English. From what I've read, I heartily concur with your conclusion.

justacoolcat said...

After all the drugs and shock therapy I'm suprised you have a memory at all.

Whoops, I thought this was Britney's blog.

X. Dell said...

I remember the mental hospital story well. I would guess there should be some disagreement about the details over a period of time. After all, that's how memory works.

But if your memory is correct, you said that your dad told you, "he [i.e. the murderer]was always doing that because he liked boys."

In other words, he's shared a few bears with minors before coming across you, and he continued the behavior afterward. Maybe he rarely assaulted anyone (which , in that case, meant that you were in no real danger), or maybe there are more bones in those woods.

Actually, I'd guess that he was kinda working up to killing a human. He probably got tired of killing furry little things. His actions with the beer suggest that he was trying to perfect his method.

Bluez628 said...

Well hell, I missed that post! I was in the hospital when you wrote that, though not a mental patient, some of the drugs they had me on made me feel a bit mental. I'm sorry I missed that post, twas a good one! Had me memorized like a good story should. Thank god yer lovely bones are here with us, not buried next to furry animals in the woods.

Coaster Punchman said...

Ok, that was hi-larious! I've had a dry spell blogging lately, so I'm going to be a parasite on you yet again. Thanks for the tip.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wow Dale, how the hell did you end up staying out of jail? Although you should warn your mother that you still have ample opportunity for that.
You broke my heart with your being given away story, and I'm kinda really impressed that you aren't totally fucked up.

Geeti Das said...

Well, you know, a good sized kid is totally equipped to defend himself against someone suddenly bludgeoning him to death. Really, Dale, I don't know what you were worried about.

By the way I think you should write a memoir. I would totally buy it, and wouldn't even use my Barnes and Noble discount card which is expiring in a couple of weeks. To renew or do nothing? Questions, questions...

Writeprocrastinator said...


You say to-may-toe-psy-co, your father says toe-ma-toe-si-cho...let's call the whole thing off.

Cool Cat,


Barbara Bruederlin said...

"out of the Freying pan" - I just got it, hehe.

BeckEye said...

Ok, you need to get a screenwriter to pen the story of your life, stat.

Bubs said...

Dale, you are a great storyteller.

Now I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend obsessing whether there will still be blogs in 20 or 30 years and worrying about how my kids will describe my manias for the amusement of their friends...

deadspot said...

*blinks* wow.

just... wow.

Chris said...

Parents sure are god's gift to blogging, aren't they?

Tenacious S said...

Dale, you would have made a nice probability study for my Statistics class. We could calculate the probability of how you somehow managed to survive all of this.

Flannery Alden said...

It looks like I'm going to need to dig into your archives, Dale...your childhood sounds remarkable.

Chancelucky said...

I'm honestly not sure what any of the adults might be able to say at this point. It strikes me that they realize that it was a near miss as well, but just can't go there with what might have happened and what role they might played in it by not keeping you away from the crazy guy.

Dale said...

Isn't that creepy? The thing about me having parents I mean! Shivery and weird. Like my love for you Tanya.

Yep, well nigh irrefutable Johnny Yen.

I was thinking about a haircut Justacoolcat but maybe I'll settle for more drugs first and see how that goes.

You're a reasoning machine X. Dell. I guess he was perfecting things. Creepy.

You're sweet Bluez. And yes, my bones are very lovely, haha.

My pleasure CP, your stories generally turn out more hi-larious than mine do.

Not totally Barbara, it takes way too much energy to be altogether fucked up. I prefer flashes of madness tempered with spurts of creativity and then long periods of what's on tv tonight?

The best parts would probably fit on the back of your card Geeti Das! I'm not worried about it though. :-)

Let's call it off, way off WP! Uh oh, are you encouraging Coolcat?

I hoped someone would mention that, I rather liked it Barbara!

Beckeye, I'm still working on what to put on the soundtrack but I'll keep that in mind.

Thanks Bubs. Where there's a will, there's a kid who's going to find a way to rat out his parents!

Welcome to my brand of crazy Deadspot.

Without them Chris, I might be just some guy. :-)

Graphs and charts can be pretty sexy Ten. S. Not a bad idea!

It was a little weird in spots Flannery.

Trust me Chancelucky, it's more of a 'hmmm, never thought of that' sort of thing.