Wednesday, July 25, 2007the allure of evil...
(if you don't know what this is... check out the other Time Travel Expeditions in the menu bar)
We named it Snake Tower. If memory serves, the name was inspired by an evil stronghold in the cartoon series He-Man. It was a decrepit, old wooden barn and silo, long abandoned by its owners. The silo was the tower; the "Snake" epithet was added due to the abundance of garter snakes which slithered all over the place in and around the abandoned farm. We would run through fields, doing our best to avoid detection (farmers were quite leery of having kids fooling around on their property), and then hang out at Snake Tower.
Why we spent so much time there was a mystery to me then, and it remains one today. Perhaps it was the excitement of being in a place that was prohibited, or perhaps it was the fun of playing in and around a deserted structure, but we were there. It was our hangout. We were chased away from our beloved tower often, but that was a poor deterrent. If anything, being chased off one day, only made going back the next day all the more fun.
I can still clearly remember our first venture to Snake Tower. My friends were in a heated competition: they were trying to catch a longest snake. This is a competition I gladly opted out of due to my fear of anything that slithers and hisses. A short time later, Daniel, my best friend's brother yelled out:
"Hey guys! look what I found!"
Daniel had found a handful of pornographic magazines. Like flies to dung, we gathered around and feasted our eyes on every ungodly page. I was, at that time, learning about God and the Bible through my mother, so I totally knew that what I was doing there was 100% wicked, but the allure was too strong. Besides, at that age, it was so important for me to fit in with my friends, that there was no way I was going to protest or walk away.
After half an hour of that nonsense, we started to make our way back to town. We had crossed one field when my friend David pointed to a tall hill of muddy clay and yelled:
"Last one up is a loser!"
All my friends ran up the muddy hill, making me the loser of the group. It's not that I couldn't outrun my friends; the problem was, I had my good pair of shoes on, and there was no way I was going to suffer my mother's wrath over a mud hill. So I watched, from the bottom, all my friends having a grand old time, throwing and kicking up mud to one another. I eventually got fed up of being the outcast, so I knelt down, picked some of the mud up, and aimed to hit my best friend with it. It was then that I had a good look at the mud my friends were playing in...
"IT'S MANURE!!!" I yelled out, laughing hysterically.
You should have seen the look of horror on my friends' faces as they ran down the hill, doing their best to wipe off the dirt off their faces and hands. After my brief moment of laughter, I too frantically started wiping my hands. Now to be honest, I don't believe it was pure manure, since, it was pretty earthy, and you could only smell a stench if you brought your nose right up to it. Perhaps it was old manure, I don't know, but it certainly didn't look or feel like plain dirt that's for sure.
Looking back on this whole episode now, I guess it was only fitting that after rolling our spirits in immoral filth, that we should do the same with our bodies. Shame on us.