Walkie Talkies

I come from a family of police. Let’s just say they can be quite protective. Growing up I remember countless occasions where my mother was a bit over-protective. For example, in grade school she made me carry a pager around with me everywhere. As if I was an on-call doctor. Imagine me as child riding his bike around wearing a white lab coat. The name on the coat says MALLEN. A typo. I’m holding a clip board. I’ve got a stethoscope around my neck. I’m making house calls. I was literally Doogie Howser. Day and night I carried that pager around. Whenever it would vibrate, I knew it was time to come home. Did I get picked on? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I DID. The kids were relentless. I might as well have walked into school and said “hey guys, school is so much fun, can we get extra home work tonight?” At least they put the title Dr. in front of every heinous nickname you can imagine.

As technology advanced so would the level of protectiveness. I would be upgraded to a walkie talkie. That’s right. A walkie talkie. It was graphite gray and the size of a phone from the late 80’s. Of course, the sound was muffled because the speaker was  damaged (who knows why) so every time someone chirped me and talked it sounded like the bad guy from Joy Ride. “Candy cane.” If you don’t know who that is, it’s the same actor who played Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. It’s a deep raspy voice alright!? Walkie talkies were a real pain in the ass because you could never say you were busy. When that thing chirped, I had a good 30 second window to respond. If not, my mom had an APB put out, watchdogs, helicopters, uncover agents, CIA, FBI, NASA…everyone. Imagine me searching through my backpack for the walkie talkie. It’s chirping like crazy. “Hello….hello…” I finally pull it out of the deepest confines of the bag. With it in my hand, we hear through the speakers  in the deepest raspiest voice, “Dr. Ratshit. Are you there?”


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