Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Toy Collector by James Gunn (Bloomsbury 2000)

Our basement had a paneled corkboard ceiling. You could climb a ladder, push up the panels, and hide things in the space above them. Through the years the space housed chewing gum (my father despised the cracking sound), fireworks, smoke bombs, cigarettes, love letters from Stacey Kees, magazines with naked people, witchcraft tracts, porno videos, anarchist newsletters, condoms, a pair of handcuffs, alcohol of various grains and proofs, pills, grass, coke, a Graphix bong, a foam vagina, a .38 revolver, and many other useful items not sanctioned by the Gunn family government. The space's longest resident, though, was Scrunch 'Em, Grow 'Em Dinosaurs, known to the authorities only as The Lizard Game. Back in the early seventies my mother would probably have turned us in had we not outwitted her by hiding our contraband in the basement ceiling. She seemed all right, but after you had lived with her for four years you knew she'd turn rat if the circumstances were right. Due to renovation the space is now gone. Neither my brother nor I know what happened to the toy.