Tuesday, July 18

Hans Eric was a weird kid. Molly used to tell me that she'd had his baby when she went to Florida for summer vacation. The fact that we were all nine years old and didn't actually know how babies were made didn't deter her at all. He was a baby boy named Jareth Luke, or Master Puke, or Dastard Mook, or something. Whatever the name was, it was suspiciously similar to Molly's Cabbage Patch Kid's name. She was obsessed with Hans Eric and especially obsessed with the thought of having his baby. I think it was a by-product of their mothers' friendship, itself a little weird, possibly because their mothers were two of the strangest people I've ever met.
Hans Eric's mom's name was Effi, and she was a solid, ruddy Austrian with a deep voice and an even deeper tan. She used to call him home for dinner by standing at the end of her driveway and bellowing, "Haaaans Ehhhhhhrrrrrrric!" in her guttural Bavarian growl. Her perpetual summer outfit consisted of a tube top or bikini top and terrycloth hot pants. I remember this uniform well. Effi spent Saturdays and Sundays weeding and planting her garden, her butt rising ostentatiously into the air whenever she sensed the presence of a male, like a cat in heat. I’m pretty sure it operated of its own accord, like it was equipped with testosterone-sensing radar. You could be in the middle of a conversation with her, and she’d suddenly bend down, forcing you to crouch to continue speaking to her. 30 seconds later, the guy across the street would come out of his house to get his mail. It was amazing. The ass never went up if it was a woman or a kid heading for the mailbox. It was the same with cars. She lived on the corner of a major neighborhood intersection, and the butt could sense a male driving a vehicle from at least a block away. The intersection she lived on was so busy, however, that on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays she basically had to spend the whole day bent over. I don’t know how it didn’t kill her back.

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