When I was a kid, Sunday morning meant a grueling television schedule. We kept the volume low on all fronts, and made breakfast quietly. If parents waked up, we were on a one-way trip to Lutheransville -- a day spent in Sunday School with blunt scissors and paperdoll wiseguys.
Breakfast entree of choice was magically delicious. I ate only the marshmallow charms, and left whatever was remotely nutritious (or at least not dangerous) to dissolve in a bowl of red dye#3 milk.
To refresh the palate was Euell Gibbons, an itinerant vagrant. Gibbons pitched for Grape Nuts cereal. We liked him quite as much as the cartoons. Euell Gibbons lived off native plants and grasses, hopping freight trains to travel around America. At least, that's how we saw it. "These are waaaald hikry nuts," he'd say gleefully. At an age where we'd sample our own mudpies, any nut sounded ok.
Actually, we took all our TV Gods at face value -- Sheriff John, Chuckles the birthday clown, Hobo Kelly. Serial or cereal box, hand-covered ski sock with plastic lips, we were pretty easy. Kids are way too sophisticated for that stuff today.
There are a couple of boys who live down the street from me, ages 2 and 4. Oh, and their daddy adores them; the three form an inseparable alliance. Hartwell and his brother loves them some garbage trucks. They tried to explain the fascination one day, but words failed to capture the monumental thrill of seeing that robot arm pop out the side of the truck and grab and lift the containers. Hartwell delves into his own private vocabulary when attempting to communicate something really important.
But no matter, I understood. And so does their father. If you're ever on my street on trash day at 7 a.m., you'll see the three of them, sitting on the curb, waiting for the show to begin.