I’m sitting here in my big, manly, comfortable, black leather papa chair in my living room after a very satisfying day. I went to get my driver’s license renewed yesterday. They take your picture. It didn’t do me justice. It really looks like me. Well at least my teeth aren’t wrinkled. I brought along a picture of George Clooney, and I asked the woman in charge to use that on my license. I said, “Who’d notice the difference.” She looked at me as if one more word and she was going to put me on the terrorist no fly list. And they make you sign your name. They printed my grown up name on the license…¦Richard Summer. But I signed it with my real name Dick Summer. I like to be called Dick. In today’s politically correct world, the word Dick gets a little attention. I like attention.
I’m a little put off when people call me Richard. Sister Mary Knuckelbuster used to call me Richard in grammar school. And when my Lady Wonder Wench is angry with me she calls me Richard. She had a little parrot who didn’t like me, and he came to understand that when she said Richard it was because she didn’t like something. So he started calling everything he didn’t like Richard, including the cat. And telemarketers usually ask for Richard because that’s the name on the phone bill. So I tend to think of Richard as some guy I don’t really want to know.
Mr. Summer is way out of line for me. I am as you know, a Louie Louie Lad, whose calendar years have substantially out numbered my maturity level. And I’ve always taken to heart the words of Big Louie His Own Bad Self the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie Louie generation. Louie says, “The more seriously you take yourself, the funnier you look.” So I think of myself as Dick and that’s how I usually sign my name. The word Dick is short, to the point, and it gets attention.
I was “Dickie” when I was a kid, because my father’s name was also Dick. Mom and Dad still called me Dickie when I became a grand father. My brothers and a couple of my cousins still call me Dickie sometimes and to be honest I get a kick out of being Dickie. I liked being a kid. When I had kids of my own, I liked to kid with my kids. And with their kids.
I like kid things like pulling the paper off crayons because they smell nice, pushing a straw through a very thick chocolate milkshake, and building a snow fort the way we built them in the Holy City of Brooklyn when I was a kid. When the snow plow came down the block in those days, it pushed big piles of snow over to the curb, so we just dug down in the middle of the snow pile. When the bad guys from up the street rammed the fort, all they got for it was a mouth full of snow…and it wasn’t always completely white snow, because there were lots of dogs in the neighborhood.
I always loved the smell of flowers drifting through a screen door in an August thunderstorm when I was a kid, and sliding back and forth in a bath tub to mix the hot water with the cooler water in the back, and tinker toys, and erector sets and popcorn and stick ball, and kick the can. I had a great kid hood.
I really loved the sixties when we all acted like kids. For no particular reason, I made up a little ditty about them. It went like this: It was the Beatles and the Stones, JFK, Bobby and Teddy.It was mini skirts, and ice cream cones, Louie-Louie and going steady.
I think mini skirts were one of the best things that happened in the sixties. They were short, to the point, and they got your attention. Like the name Dick. Â But the nicest skirt I ever saw in the 60s, was a pleated wool plaid skirt that my Lady Wonder Wench wore when I first met her. Maybe it wasn’t actually the skirt that got my attention. And I liked it even more when she wore spaghetti straps too. It was un-believable. It turned my testosterone spigot to the flood position.
The Politically Correct Forces For Good In The Community huff and puff, and call that kind of thinking sexist. I hereby give those folks the words of Big Louie who quite reasonably always says “If the lord hadn’t meant for us to be sexist, how come he gave us sex ?
Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.
1- What kind of balls drop on New Year’s not far from me in Pennsylvania ?
2- Why did the smart guys in the white lab coats cross human cells with carrot cells ?
3- What statement do both astronauts and strippers say a lot?
Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
I liked being a kid. And I liked kidding around with my kids. And their kids. That’s part of why I like being called Dick instead of Richard. I was a lucky little kid. I grew up in a family that worked hard, played hard, loved hard, and respected dreams. I was around 8 when I started dreaming about being the guy talking on the radio. Not too much later, I started dreaming about a beautiful woman…the kind who wore spaghetti straps because she knew I liked them. I dreamed of writing books, and hypnotizing people, and flying my own airplane. And all those dreams came true. I sometimes wonder if I’d have gotten to do those things if I hadn’t dreamed about them first. I think dreams are magic.
Years before I met her, I saw my lady in a dream. She was on her knees, working in a garden, smiling up at me with a little dirt on her face, wearing a muddy apron, with a little trowel in one hand. I looked out our back window one day last May and she was doing…exactly that. Exactly like I saw her doing in that dream I had of her long before we met.
If It Weren’t For Dreams is from the Lovin Touch Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast, or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Lovin Touch icon on the home page.
There’s just no question that a Louie-Louie Generation gentleman like me needs to keep the little kid inside under control. In my case, it would probably be best to disguise my little Dickie in a wig, fake nose and sunglasses, and try to get him into the Federal Problem Kid Relocation program. He’s forever going around the tables at the diner and turning those Heinz catsup bottles upside down because he thinks that’s one of the great ideas of the new century. Have you seen those bottles? They have a big round pouring spout so you can store them upside down, so you don’t have to pound the bottom to get the last bit out. Brilliant. Â Not as brilliant as mini skirts. But brilliant.
Leave little Dickie alone, and he’d be inclined to buy a can of whipped cream and squirt it into his mouth till it came out his nose. He would play all day with the Lionel Train his Lady Wonder Wench got him for Christmas…or with his Red Ryder BB gun…or his little four seat airplane. This is not how a Louie-Louie Generation grandfather is supposed to act.
But actually, when I have to I can put on a pair of cufflinks, and go to a business lunch to answer a client’s objection to my latest commercial, while I adroitly make a perfect spaghetti ball by twirling it on my fork with a spoon behind it. I can even answer when the license woman calls me Richard. But there are limits. I can’t fake it and act like Richard for too long because I know what’s going to happen. My little Dickie is just going to pop up and laugh out loud.