I have a funny vacation memory! Yay! Well, it’s not exactly funny. It’s something that probably should not have happened – it shouldn’t have been possible and it wasn’t technically legal – but it did teach me that my dad’s word was as good as gold.
We lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so we went to the mountains in North Carolina a couple years in a row on
holiday vacation (back then a ‘holiday’ to me was a real one like Christmas). We rented a cabin on the lower slope of a mountain, and just chilled out. I loved it – the people who ran the cabin rentals lived at the bottom and had goats and sheep and let me interact with them. There were rocks and trees and giddy little rivers, and panning for gemstones. The panning was most likely seeded with stones, but it was fun for me anyway. I still have a chunk of flaky mica I found all on my own, too.
I was, I’m going to guess, between 9 and 11. So we’ll say I was 10 when this occurred. Not sure if it was raining out or what, but we were all inside the cabin. I also don’t know who came up with the idea, but I’m assuming it was me: I bet my dad that I could hold my eyes open without blinking for one whole hour, if I could have one whole can of beer all to myself! I always did like beer…
Dad agreed and timed me and made sure I didn’t blink. I wouldn’t have cheated, either – I wanted to see if I could do it.
Of course my eyes welled up and streamed tears. But after a good while, they tapered off. They got used to it. My eyes felt dry, but I didn’t have the urge to blink anymore.
I made it the whole hour. Mom might have protested a bit, maybe, but dad didn’t hesitate and popped the top on a can just for me. I can’t remember if I managed to drink the entire can of beer, but I can guess that I was just as stubborn about finishing it as I was at winning it. I do recall a sense of satisfaction at being able to kick back with a beer of my own, with my family. Maybe I was just a happy drunk!
So here is my cartoon – and it sure did need that explanation or you wouldn’t have a clue what it is meant to be.