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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Communique 2-16-2021 "The Littlest Transvestite"

Sugar Mountain

Here I was minding my own business when during an online conversation about of all things determining who among us is an “old soul” I was reminded of an incident I have no direct recollection of, although some later memories would bear the original events to be 100% true.

The reason I don’t have any direct memories of the day in question is easily solved. It was the day I was born. It was several years later that my mother recounted what she considered to be quite a funny, or at least baby cute events from my actual birthday.

You see, it seems that some of the strange anomalies of my life started showing themselves at I guess what one might call a very early age. For when I was born, I came into the world with a full head of curly hair and get this, fully formed fingernails.

Other than that, I was perfect in every way, or so at least my mom thought so. But fate was to intervene on that day of days when I got my first jolt of I guess what I would describe now as myself being for most of my life, up and until today, at least somewhat misunderstood.

You see, having been born with a full head of hair, the attending nurse decided to put my hair into a bow, a girly pink one at that rather than the traditional blue cap associated with newborn boys. When my first hair stylist and fashion coach brought me back and into my mother’s arms, several additional nurses were apparently in the room and started to fawn over me, as such moments the newly minted tend to produce.

Problem was, all but the original gangster nurse, because of the pink bow, assumed I was a girl and they started for reasons unknown, started calling me “Cookie”. The lasting result being my parents thought it was again, baby cute and continued to call me “Cookie” for the next two years.

Strangely, I do recall being called “Cookie”. It didn’t mean anything to me at the time and as I liked cookies and sugar sweets of all kinds, my parents also joking at one time that I like my milk and sugar with a little cereal in it for breakfast, it seemed like a good a nickname as any.

For the record, I still love me some Sugar Frosted Flakes from time to time. I also liked Rice Krispies because although they had no sugar, it meant there was going to be some marshmallow Rice Krispy squares in my immediate future and that more than made up for the bland and unimaginative big deal puffed rice breakfast confection so enjoyed by so many I imagine bland and unimaginative children ready to grow up in their own private and ultimately bland and unimaginative little world.

Looking back, tell me I was wrong? Can’t can you and I know you are wondering right here and now which “kid” were you, aren’t you? Or, perhaps you are thinking about “that kid”, maybe a CPA or something that you know who probably ate corn flakes or heaven forbid the worse of the worst, Cheerios? Boring Sydney! Boring!

The only day of the week I did not eat cereal were Sundays as tradition dictated a day of pancakes was afoot and yes, I did love me the now looking back kind of fat, not always thoroughly cooked yet somehow always greasy pancakes my Dad would make. It’s funny what young ones will fill their mouths with that which any adult with free choice would send back to the kitchen today.

You see, neither my mother or my father were good cooks with my mom being in the couldn’t boil water category, although later in life I do remember her mastering the fine art of spaghetti sauce with more than one ingredient, as up and until that time we ate pasta with ketchup. Hey, don’t judge me, it seemed fine at the time.

Besides, one day, yes indeed we stuck it to my Dad at the dinner table for making us always eat dry, bland as all get out and always overcooked brisket every Friday night when we did what I believe should be every culinary abused child’s right. That’s right, when he walked away from the table we spiked his cola, with salt.

I grew up in what some of you might remember as the three cola, and 7-Up the un-cola, age. Coke, Pepsi and Royal Crown or RC Colas were all very popular at the time and it was very important to be able to distinguish one from the other. It was a loyalty thing I think. It was also patriotic. Europe had their wines, and we had our colas. And 7-Up, or for the “hard core” citrus soda lovers, Bubble Up, kind of like red and white wine if you know what I mean.

So, imagine my Dad’s surprise when he got a mouthful of RC Cola saturated with salt? Yup you guessed it, not good. Of course my sister and brother, who could barely talk but` could point, ratted me out immediately and I was punished accordingly, which probably meant not eating food I didn’t want to eat anyway.

BTW, in my house, go to your room was a blessing. No TV, but the chances of solitude were few and far between at the time and if you are like me, you take what opportunities you are offered. Was it worth it? Of course, and yes, given the chance I’d do it again.

Looking back, it was probably an early warning sign as how far away would moving to rat poison be from salt? Fortunately, as like how may licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world will never know. Mr. Owl, you are.

Now, the only reason I know about my first encounter with counter-culture and fashion on day one was many years later, my father came home from work and called me “Cookie”. Since he had by this time moved onto calling me “Babe” again, odd don’t you think? It sounded strange and familiar at the same time.

The next day, over cereal, by this time Lucky Charms, I asked my Mom about it, and that was when she related the hair/bow story to me. It was funny to watch her recount the events of that day. Judging from the twinkle in her eyes she hadn’t thought about the “Cookie” days in quite a while. Sometimes it’s fun to be the firstborn of the litter, isn’t it?

And so, in the final analysis, I would like to make it clear that when you are discussing who was the littlest transvestite of all times, well, that would be me, bitches. And as you may have surmised, I’m still just so damn proud of it. The moral of the story? Life is better with sugar. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

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