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Trying to find Childhood memories

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 under Life | No comments

Note: If you have ever wanted a glimpse into the off-kilter and corrugated psyche that leads to all of the illustrations you see here, never has there been more of an opportunity. I hope you enjoy.

Recently I have been doing a lot of reading, which has included the fair share of books on technology (i.e. Ruby, AJAX, CSS, etc.), classic literature (Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist) and even some of my childhood favorites (Maniac Magee, A Wrinkle in Time, etc.).

Of all of these, the ones I have enjoyed the most are most definitely the latter, which bring back so many memories and emotions of when I first turned their pages. The only real problem of going back and reading these, I am finding, is that with their literary reminiscings, I have begun to feel a longing for other books from my childhood. Books, quite frankly, that I can no longer remember any distinguishing details of. All I have are faint recollections of themes and minute details.

If you are asking, yes, I have tried using the glorious macrocosm that is the Google search database to help me, but it can only do so much to piece together the unravelling threads that currently occupy my head (though, I was able to recently find one childhood book, but I want more!).

This is where you and your brain come in. No, no … I have no need to harvest your smarty cerebral flesh like a zombie; I simply want to toss some inklings and ideas at YOUR memories and see if anything emerges. If I am really really lucky, you might just remember the book/short story I am searching for. Exciting, I know!

Ok … ready?

Book 1 - The Magic Bicycle (Jessica found this one. Nice Work!)
Details (Though this seems like a mis-leading title .. more like 'fuzzy'-tails):
* A young boy finds or is given a bicycle that has magical powers.
* The bicycle can fly (he wins a race because the bike floats off the ground just enough for him to barely need to pedal, but nobody notices).
* The bicycle can repair itself (I think he has an encounter with a snake and the tires are deflated, but then are re-inflated on their own).
* There is a magical dial mounted onto the handlebars.
* An evil corporation (possibly with the name of Cobra or something snake-related) is trying to steal/buy the bike from him.
* There are lot of good vs. evil metaphors, especially as I remember it having a Christian/Christ underlying theme.

Short Story 1
* The time is a future where those physically/mentally gifted/talented are hindered so they are no more special/better than anyone else (i.e. fast runners are forced to wear leg bindings, artists wear eye-guards, etc.).
* There is a play that happens and one or two ballerinas decide to forgot the government required restraints and simply dance the best they can.
* They are killed by a government official/officer at the end of their routine (I remember a shotgun).
* For some reason, frogs also come to mind.

Short Story 2
* It is a future where thugs/gang members carry around guitars (and possibly other musical instruments) as weapons ... I guess giving literal meaning to the vernacular term "axe".
* When they attack/strike/defend themselves, it is through ripping solos and such (Sounds fun, right?)

Short Story 3
* Two men are locked (underground ?) at an undisclosed location, guarding two control panels, each with a key hole and a button.
* The control panels are each on opposite sides of a room.
* They play checkers or chess (maybe ?) and they are forced to eat lots of frozen burritos (don't remember why, but the expected reason is probably true).
* Over the course of the story, it becomes apparent that the two men are in place to launch/deploy a nuclear device, in the event that it is needed.
* It also becomes apparent that they are both slowly going mad with boredom and each is thinking of ways to end their stay (i.e. keeping track of where the other keeps his key, stretching to see if one person can turn both keys at the same time, etc.)
* I do not remember how this one ends.

Short Story 4
* A new ice cream store (or some other dairy dessert product) opens in the town and it quickly becomes popular.
* More and more people start eating there and becoming fatter.
* As a way of counter-acting the weight gain, mysterious phone booth-sized units are placed near the store and upon entering and being surrounded in a light (I think), you lose weight.
* Everyone starts eating as much of the delicious dessert as they want and simply entering the booth again to remove the poundage.
* After you have gone into the booth a certain amount of times, a small ink spot/dot/tattoo shows up on your forearm.
* It becomes the fashion to have whole rings of these dots on your arm (indicating the many many trips to dessert shop and fat-removal booth).
* The main characters in the story are an sister and her younger brother.
* The younger brother is the only one that suspects any foul-play ... I believe he thinks the units are being run by a conglomeration of government and alien representatives, using it as a way to harness energy.

Note: I believe quite a few of these short stories came from the same book I read in middle school, but I can't be sure ... of course.

Okay. That is all for now ... you can rest your brain. Did any of that click?

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