My Comedic Birth
Let me begin by saying I am a firm believer in fate and I know that God has a plan for every living thing. I was neither planned nor expected by my mom or dad. I was what you call an “accident”, although they still refer to me as their “love child.” My parents were extremely young, just barely adults, and got married 3 months into my being conceived. In those days and living in a small town, you can imagine that my creation was a bit of a scandal.
My birth story is really quite ridiculous. My mom had a best friend, Gail, who lived with her husband in the upstairs apartment from my parents of an Army base. The two of them would concoct pranks to play on my poor defenseless dad. Toward the end of her pregnancy, mom would feign labor pains to the point where dad had her in the car on the way to the hospital before she broke the news that it was all just a joke. Needless to say, when she really DID go into labor, dad didn’t believe her. She went into labor at 5am and he continued on to work, leaving his young wife to fend for herself, thinking as he went out the door, “ha, she didn’t get me this time.”
The next comedy of events cannot be made up. At this point Gail had moved across town and mom had to walk to the neighborhood market to call her from the pay phone (dad’s Army salary didn’t permit them a phone). Gail sped to my parent’s house, wearing her bedroom slippers, and drove my mom to the Fort Monmouth Army Hospital where she parked her car out front. Gail commandeered a poor young soldier standing by to carry up mom’s luggage (in 1967 you needed “luggage” because your stay was a week long and you had to bring your own diapers and formula).
In the meantime, Gail made a call to my dad at work, only to find out that his supervisor wouldn’t let him go. She called back imitating the head nurse on duty and demanded that he be released immediately. With Gail’s’ track record, it was not a surprise that it worked. Dad came rushing to the hospital, but was only allowed to stay for 20 minutes and couldn’t enter mom’s room. He had to speak to her from the doorway facing away because he wasn’t allowed to look at her either. In the meantime, Gail had to get home so her husband could use the car to get to work (do you recall the one-car family?), when she suddenly remembered that it had been left running out in front of the hospital. Naturally, when she reached it, the vehicle had run out of gas.
Yet, out of all that chaos, I entered the world at 1:23pm on Thursday, April 6, 1967. I seemed to turn out just fine, even after years of pranks from mom which included, but not limited to, her jumping out of my closet after I watched “The Exorcist” for the first time. But that’s a story for another, well… story.