Book Excerpt: Because At Nine I Thought I Was A Mafia Boss

Childhood is an incredibly confusing time, for both kids and adults. I, with flawed logic, see children as less sophisticated grown-ups, somewhat naive, but way more intelligent and aware than a lot of people give them credit for–except the dumb ones, they are probably just having the best time ever. I’m not entirely sure what it’s like to be a normal kid, not only because shit was kind of crazy when I was growing up, but also because I was simply different. Possibly a product of my environment but more likely my mom dropped me, causing some odd character traits. My weirdness really kicked in around age nine. Most kids my age were content being kids. They made mud-pies and hit each other with them. The boys were still picking their nose and eating it. I had slightly different goals. I was hell-bent on world domination, making money and obsessively head-over-heels for anything living from frogs, and the rainforest, to dogs and elephants. I spent a lot of time on my environmental group, and multiple business ventures. It could be genetic, I suppose, because my step-mother Jackie told me a few weeks ago that my sister has opened a lemonade stand.  “She’s making twelve bucks per day selling lemonade down the street,” she said. I should also clarify that my little sister is eight. Since I’m in my thirties, it would be normal for most people to assume that we’re in the same age group but the economy is not that bad, people. I don’t have a 30-something sister peddling cheap juice in my parents’ cul-de-sac. Anyhow, we were talking and sometimes J gets all braggy because ya know, she’s a mom, and I was all, ah lemonade, that’s cute.

My first business venture began in the late spring of like nineteen-ninety-one or something. My mother was still married to her second husband and we were living in Sunset, Utah. Oh and by the way, the name is a lie. The place doesn’t resemble a sunset at all, unless if by “sunset” you mean “poor and shitty.” During this time, I was best friends with a girl named Shelly. Actually, for the sake of accuracy, I think she was my only friend because most of the kids in our neighborhood were either Mormon or addicted to crack. The Mormons wouldn’t let their kids near me, afraid I’d give them some kind of sinning disease and in all honesty they were clearly right. And the one time I was allowed to hang out with the girl next door, I talked her into dressing up our siblings and marrying them with a Dr. Seuss book. I didn’t know that my actions would anger God, as her mother told me later that evening. And since when were Mormons so touchy about arranged, underage marriage? Shelly’s mom was a nurse and worked long hours, so we were probably allowed to be friends just because nobody was around to tell her we couldn’t. Shelly’s family lived in the house that angled from the right corner of my backyard. This is the path that we took to get to each other’s houses. I was heading there one day and I passed three coolers full of leftover alcohol from some booze-fest my mother had thrown the night before. I remember thinking so clearly that the alcohol didn’t need to go to waste. I knew someone who could steal cigarettes. If I only had a venue I could make money by opening a club. Super simple. Then it dawned on me while I was sprinting towards Shelly’s house that we didn’t need to find a venue we needed to build one. You see, there were three coolers full of leftover booze and Shelly’s backyard had no grass which is exactly what you need to open an underground establishment for children.

I’d been in a few bars when I was a toddler where I’d wait for my mom to finish her shift. I know what you’re thinking, but this was during the 80’s when nobody cared about children’s mental health. I didn’t know anything about alcohol except that it was lucrative, made adults creepy, and for whatever reason it was illegal for someone my age. If adults loved beer, obviously the only thing stopping all my peers from drinking Budweiser was the age limit and a proper venue. Totally untapped market….(Can’t post it all, but you can read the book that absolutely nobody will be drunk enough to publish)

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