A hole to China

            I am reminded of a time back on Hall Street in Amarillo. I don’t recall just what it was that got me going on it, but for some odd reason, I determined that I was going to dig a hole in my back yard that would allow me to go to China. God only knows why I would want to leave the great state of Texas for China, but I did. It is not the unsuccessful subterranean attempt to reach China that is the story here. The aftermath is much more colorful.

            After careful study which consisted of locating a spot that seemed about right to me, I started digging. I dug wholeheartedly for about two or three feet until something dawned on me that halted the project cold in its tracks. Two items of great import occurred to me. First, I did not speak Chinese so when I did get there, nobody would understand me and I would probably be arrested. Second, I did not know anybody there. Those two considerations led me to decide that maybe I would just travel there when I got to be an adult. Besides, Gary had just come by to announce that there was a clod fight about to start at the field. So…I left the unfinished hole in my backyard and went off to the field for a clod fight with the fellows.

            At supper that evening, my dad looked square at me. “There is a hole in the backyard. Do you know anything about it?”

            “Uh, yes. I do.” (My own integrity condemned me here).

            “Want to tell me what in hades you were doing digging a hole in my back yard?” Dad’s voice betrayed a growing anger.

            “Sure, I was digging a hole to China.”

            Dad made no attempt to explain to me the reality of digging a hole from the Texas Panhandle to parts unknown in China. “After supper, you march yourself out there and fill that hole in.”

            Mom piped up. “You can do the dinner dishes first.” Dad thought that a fine idea and added that job to moving dirt. 

            I was incredulous and announced at that very moment that I was running away, never to return.

            “ Not until you do the dishes and fill in that hole,” Dad announced.

            “I’ll do it!” I said as I stomped off in a rage. “When I’m done, you’re never going to see me again!”

            Two hours later found the dinner dishes done and the hole to China filled in. I went into the garage and grabbed an overnight bag to pack my important stuff in. I stomped out the back door and sat down on the porch to plan my departure. I had all my most important stuff (toys) packed and it was only left for me to decide where I wanted to move to. I decided that Borger would be as good a place as any.

Just as I was getting ready to leave my Mom popped her head out the back door. “Ya’ll come in and get ready for bed.”

            Sheesh. A man can’t even run away in peace. True story.


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