July 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Da Ritzenator | Leave a comment

Apparently, a trundle is a big hoopy thing that kids rolled down a road for fun, while using a stick to keep it upright. I recently discovered this when we were cleaning out my grandparent’s house. Under a pile of moldy girlie magazines, I found my great grandfather’s copy of Dr. Flemington Davenport’s children’s book on the subject, as well as an entry about trundles in my great-great grandfather’s personal journal. He speaks about the chaos and shenanigans that trundling, (which according to him is, “the act of batting a hoop down the cobbles whilest causing a ruckus.”) creates. Here is one entry of his transcribed:

“August the Seventeenth, year of eighteen hundred and eighty. Five Forty Two in the A.M. Woke up again with the dream. Nay, nightmare. Warmed some milk, and diluted it with 3 ounces of cocaine. Hope that settles me down as the doctor said it would.

August the Seventeenth, year of eighteen hundred and eighty. Six Thirty Eight in the A.M. Fell back asleep for a few minutes but woke with an intensified version of the nightmare. Tried returning to sleep, alas, I cannot. Perhaps if I write this vivid phantasmal experience down, I will purge its presence.

The villain in this tale is ridiculous, as it is an inanimate object, one enjoyed by children at play. As it evokes a joyous spirit from the lads and lasses frolicking in the streets, I am dumbfounded as to how it might bring me the terror that it does. For my own son, Reginald, is the owner of one, and trundles at a great pace, so I have seen and been told.

In the nightmare, I am walking home from a busy day at the tailor. Suddenly, the cobbles around my path grow to insurmountable heights, blocking out the sun, casting my vision into near blackness as far as I can see.  I quicken my pace down the now-created corridor, and zig and zag along the path; my twists and turns force by the walls that now loom over.

This running can last for hours. Again and again, just as I feel the end is neigh, more barriers rise toward the horizon. At some point my wife of 10 years reaches for my back from behind. It does not look like her, yet it is known to me to be Mildred. Her horrible disfigured face looks to no match of what I see every day. She warns that we must quicken and sprint up the path. As I grow tired, I cannot keep up and she runs ahead, her voice trailing, begging for me to keep up, but she disappears.

Her warning does not leave me with much time, as I am quickly gained upon by what appears to be an enormous hoop that is normally found bolted to a barrel to maintain its structure. From here the dream, already weird, grows to unreasonable oddness. In the middle of the hoop, or trundle, (which is what my son refers to this structure as), appears the face of a monstrosity, not much unlike Mildred’s distorted face. The area where the eyes should be is replaced by pulsating mounds of flesh, where throbs replace blinking. The mouth and teeth take up the rest of the face, and blood plasma rains down from the top teeth, and up from the bottom. As the trundle rolls, the face maintains its directional hold and the size grows at a quicker rate than it should by perspective alone. All I can do is halt and observe its gaining size and shortening distance. At this point, I can now see a trundle stick, floating behind it. Alas, it is not a stick as such, but a femur fashioned to a point, also dripping plasma blood like from the mouth. This bone taps both sides of the trundle when necessary, keeping it upright and stabs the wheel on occasion, causing increased volumes of plasma to drip from the teeth. The mouth grins with increased joy, rather than misery when it is penetrated by the trundle bone.

A series of changes take place between me looking away to leg it off and my returning glances back. In each returning vision, the face changes in rotation from my boss’s face with the bone becoming a gigantic needle, to my son’s face with a normal trundle stick, to President Rutherford Hayes’s face with a bayonet rifle, and finally back to the distorted Mildred face and bone.

I maintain my distance in front at great length, but I tire and fall down in a clump. It is here when I am doomed: the trundle is about to roll me over. When at once, a second large trundle appears in my front. The face in the approaching trundle is always Reginald’s at this point, and the trundle in front of me is the face of his crony and our neighbor, Ernest Gittins.

Reg and Ernest can often be found, by the end of the day, after their lessons and chores, to be trundle racing up and down our street. They race behind the hoops, batting and giggling them as they run for the end of the block. I take pride in my boy who can trundle slightly better than Gittins, whose father bested me last year with their cheating ways at the fair. My Gooseneck squash was surely grander than their paltry yellow squash, but alas, his cousin was on the judging board…

Back in the dream, the two trundles spin sideways, facing each other; their teeth growing to take over the entire hollow area inside each hoop. At first, their anger appears to be focused toward each other, but at the pinnacle of their madness, the teeth return to their previous size, and as the flesh masses return, their aggression joins league and shifts onto my presence below,  standing at their base.

It is here that I must be too afraid to continue, and I awake in a shaking and sweating fit. I have concluded, after seeking a doctor’s advisement, that the cocaine enhances the nightmare, rather than soothes it. I must consider seeing a new doctor.”

I can see that my great-great grandfather had issues and was not a normal man. It must run in the family, cause if you’ve ever met my dad…well, I better not go on in case he reads this some day. Let’s just say, “Ouch, my back!” And now that we know about the early stages of great-great grand pappy’s cocaine use, I can sure see why I too could get so addicted to collecting baseball cards. But at least his entry shared a little bit of insight to the 1800’s, and his nightmare gave me the informational to add this entry to my guide about everything. Also, I can’t believe we had a president named Rutherford. The 1800’s must have been so stupid. – Da Ritzenator

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