Storytime with Daniel
After I woke up, I had a habit of harassing my dad for him to take me to the Preston Safeway store down the street from my old house to get a new bag. The employees over there must have thought I was crazy. Or that I was cute and adorable, but that my dad was using me as a front to hide his own paper bag fetish. But he wasn't. The fetish was all mine. When we got home, dad and I would have a paper bag taping "party." This consisted of my handing him a grocery bag, and he would help me put layers of tape over it. Most cultures would consider me to have had an obsession or maybe a defect. However, dad didn't seem to think anything was wrong with me. Oh, how wrong he was.
My favorite store of all was also down the street. It was called Big E, which was a coincidence considering my favorite letter was E. (The letter W was pretty good, too, but E was No. 1 in my heart. I was also a big fan of the number 8, the color blue, Sesame Street, Huey Lewis and the News, Australia and 1940 Ford Woody's.) Tying all this together was that my favorite paper bag of all came from Big E. Seeing as I was a pretty unoriginal child, I named it Big E, and he came along with me everywhere. Big E got extra-special layers of tape, some of which were necessary to hide the deadly pathogens it collected in its adventures.
God, I loved that bag. And yes, it went through some battles. Among other things, it got run over by a car, thrown in a trash can at Chuck E. Cheese, nearly misplaced at home and put somewhere where it never would have been found, lost at another restaurant and found at said restaurant when dad went back to get it hours later after it had been thrown in the trash. It also had an unfortunate incident involving a toilet, but we won't discuss that here tonight. When out, I'd show off Big E to people, and usually they didn't know what to say to me. Sometimes, revulsion was their reaction. But what would you say if a three-year old brought to you a folded-over paper bag covered with layers of tape?
This paper bag was my pal. While most kids sleep with teddy bears, Big E kept the night monsters away. That's not to say I didn't have a favorite stuffed animal. I had a stuffed dog named Fluffy. I loved that dog, too. My left hand was my Big E hand, and my right hand was my Fluffy hand. That's how I learned my right and left, and it's how I carried them around. I was probably a year old when I got Fluffy. He's falling apart now. One of his legs is hanging by a thread.
That last part answers a question and poses a few more. Yes, I still have Fluffy and Big E. No, I don't sleep with them. Yes, I know where they are. No, you can't have them. Yes, I was a strange child. No, I don't still ask for an extra grocery bag "for my collection" at Kroger.
For some reason, I have a suspicion that someone will use this post against me someday.