Most of my early summer days in Cochabamba were spent with Joel, because we both lived on the school grounds and neither of us had any other friends. Joel was an adventurer, and as such had plenty of GI Joes & Micro Machines, a New Zealand Passport and a 70cc raging beast of a Honda Motorbike with a peeling Rolling Stones sticker.
We continue our ‘Summers of Joel’ series. Some of the other stuff we did, back in the days when men were men… and wanted nothing to do with us:
- Shoot things. Joel had a American Daisy Pellet gun. I had some Brazilian air rifle thing that could kill a man or tiny horse at 100 paces.
With the 20/20 vision that the rose-coloured glasses of hindsight provide, history can be boiled down to more clichés and monumental confrontations for the most part. Clashes replete with victors and losers. The making and breaking of civilizations. Bush V Gore, The Romans V Everyone, Napoleon V debilitating shortness, the American Public V the chance at decent healthcare… The list goes on.
Since neither set of our parents were really into the whole ‘looking out for you’ deal, Joel & I mostly just roamed free around the countryside growing up, chatting to homeless people and playing in filthy, dark alleyways whilst child slave traders looked on with a gleam in their eye, dreaming of thumbing through reams of greenbacks.
Thursdays were always Mum & Dad’s special day to spend with the child protection lady, so as a kid I spent the afternoons at Joel’s playing with his Micro Machines™. I don’t think we ever ended up really playing with the toys at all. We only ever poured the whole collection onto the floor and came up with new and marvelous ways of divying up the spoils for everyone in attendance.