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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesdays with Gindy. Hot Wheels.

When I was younger, my mother would buy me gifts that would really be for her.

I would get model cars for Christmas. I would have to wait for someone to buy some model glue before I could assemble the gifts.

Later, while I was at school, my mother would buy the glue and then assemble my model for me.  I would come home and find that my model was prominently displayed on my dresser.

Once I got a model called the Visible Man.  This was a person with see-through skin where one could see the organs underneath.  

The idea was for the child to learn about the body while assembling the model.  I came home and found the model assembled on my desk.

Like I said, my mother would often buy me gifts that were really for her. The models were one thing; however, she also bought another gift that she would use on a more “practical” level.

There is something completely sadistic about a mother who would give her child a present that was intended to be used for discipline.  I am, of course, talking about those Hot Wheels Racing Sets I used to get every Christmas.

It started out innocent enough.  I saw Hot Wheels advertised on television and I just had to have some.  The next Christmas, my mother made sure there was a set under the tree.  Bless her heart.

I don’t know what gave her the idea, but one day she discovered that the orange pieces of track made a great tool to beat my little butt with. 

I don’t remember the first time she used one, but I do remember that it hurt much worse than any belt ever did.

It wasn’t that I got a lot of spankings growing up.  But I did get my fair share.  The thing about it was all but two of those spankings weren’t my fault.  I did nothing, other than be a victim, to get them. 

My sister usually did something and we both got a spanking for it.  My mother’s policy was, “You spank all the kids, that way you make sure you get the right one.”

One of the two times that I mentioned was when I was about seven or eight years old.  Several of the neighborhood kids were sitting on our family picnic table and one of the kids said she needed a little more room to sit.

I reached forward and tried to move the girl sitting in the front up a little. She fell off the table and everyone thought I pushed her off intentionally. 

The other spanking was because I did not do my homework.  For whatever reason, when I was in the fourth grade, I could not make myself do my homework.

I would sit and stare for hours at my books, but could not will myself to do it. My father was in the hospital having surgery at the time.  This little girl in my class thought that my family needed to know that I had not done my homework.  So, she told my big sister.  My sister told my mother.

My mother had spent the day at the hospital with my father and she made it home late that night.  I had gone to bed already.  She decided to wait until the next morning to whip me. 

Bright and early the next morning, she woke me up and sent me downstairs.  She told me to get woke up good so she could beat me.

When I was awake, she started in with a belt. She wore herself, and me, out.  Then, she sat down to rest.  After a few minutes of rest, she got up, found some Hot Wheels track, and lit into me again.

Years later, I was talking to my college roommate Derrek Walker.  He said, “You, too?  For years, I went around thinking I was made by Mattel.  I had their logo on my butt.”

We talked about how as soon as we got that dreaded Hot Wheels set at Christmas, we started “losing” the tracks.  They would have to be cut to make special layouts and things like that. 

Derrek told me that one day he got the bright idea to put the track in the freezer.  He said that it made it brittle. When his mother went to beat him, the track shattered into a million pieces.  I wish I had thought of that.

I never bought my kids any Hot Wheels track.  I love the little cars, but I can’t stand the sight of that bright orange roadway.

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