Sunday, September 7, 2014

There's a What? Day 31 of 100 Faces in 100 days.

I'm finding that the stories are just about as much fun as painting the faces. I am not looking for perfection and as with painting and time and daily practice the writing will hopefully get better. I'm excited to see the evolution of this process as I go to the very end.

Today I decided to tell you a story that has a bit of humor in it. This is as most have been a story about something that happened in childhood. When we first lived in Africa we lived in an apartment on the second floor. There was a large covered patio off of the kitchen and went off to the side of the living room. There was a concrete block wall and a balcony with railing on two sides. I don't know if  most men love to shoot a BB gun but it seems like a thing a man would like. Remember I'm a girl who has an older brother who I seemed to compete with from time to time. If he wanted to shoot a BB gun then I wanted to shoot a BB gun. And so I did. My dad would put a small can against the wall on a stool with a big cardboard box behind it and we would practice shooting the can from a great distance. The patio was very big. If the BB's didn't go into the cardboard box and it ricocheted off the wall they wouldn't go very far. My father was always careful. Most of the time we would do this out in a field far away from anything. There was something really fun to me about feeling the weight of these tiny metal balls. I liked holding them in my hands and feeling them all rolling around my small fingers. It didn't take many to fill my hand. You could even rub them between your hands and they would fall on the floor and bounce around for great distances and I would collect them.  Hear the humming of child here .. being silly and happy. For reasons I can only believe were due to my age I put one of the little beads of metal in cup of my ear. It could sit there without going into the ear canal. I could take it out with my finger. It seemed fun to me .. i liked how it felt trying to take it out. By now you know where this is going. As it likely would, a BB went falling down into my ear canal.


just that fast and I gasped .. oh no.

I bent over and wildly starting shaking my head. No parents were around but they were nearby, so there was still time to remove it before they noticed what I was doing. Hopefully, before I got into trouble. I could almost feel it there but no matter what I tried, it would not come out. I thought about telling my parents, but I was way to embarrassed to tell anyone that I did such a silly thing. I went about the rest of the day and night, bath time, bed time, morning, getting ready for school and breakfast, kind of perplexed by this conundrum I was in. I went off to school.

I think best friends must exist so that we have one person to tell our secrets too. Somewhere in the class I noticed that my hearing was being affected by this little metal bead in my ear. Sounds sort of echoed. I could hear my self talk in my head when I spoke out loud. It started to get annoying and then I worried that I might have to hear this sound in my head forever. So I leaned over to my best friend and said " I have a BB in my ear." she asked me "what?" I said it a little louder but tried not to say it too loud. I was way too embarrassed. "I have a BB in my ear!"  (this is where you look at today's face) She repeated what I said and then asked a question. "How did you get a BB in your ear?" I told her I accidentally put it there. She looked at me with very serious look and said "You better tell the teacher." Being afraid of what might happen to my ear I walked to the teachers desk and told her very matter of factly that I had a BB in my ear and she looked at me in the strangest way. I am sure that it must have been one of the oddest things she had ever heard in her life. That's how she looked at me and then, as if to remove my interuption, and with some disdain, she told me to go to the clinic. I put my books away and went to the clinic and had to tell the whole thing again to the school clinic nurse. She had no way to look into my ear and so of course she called my mother. I can tell you that at this age when I think about that event I find myself laughing hysterically about how all the adults in my life took this interesting bit of news about a BB in my ear. When my mother arrived the school nurse relayed the information to her and seemed to imply that I was telling a story. That I probably just wanted to go home. I didn't expect that. I don't really remember anything that my mother said to me on the ride to the base hospital. It was a short two blocks from the school. I don't recall her questions which I'm sure she had or any scolding or chastising me for having a BB in my ear because she was probably trying to think of how to teach me a lesson or why I was trying to tell a story so I could leave school. I do remember laying on a hospital examining table and hearing the doctor say "well yes there is a BB in there" and with a serious tone in his voice said "we have to get that out of there." I lay there feeling a wee bit vindicated for having not lied about having a BB in my ear. Then the doctors carefully put a vile of thick oily substance into my ear. I remember there being at least five adults in the room around that table looking at me. I heard my mother exclaim that oh, she could scoop the thing out with her fingernail while the doctors were being so careful to remove this floating piece of metal from my ear. Finally .. relief. There seemed to be a sigh of all the adults as if I was having a serious procedure. I couldn't understand the fuss really, but I was relieved too.

Then the best part is last. My dad must have gotten a call from my mom telling him what was happening. As I stood in the hallway with a cotton gauze pad on my head, while the oil drained out, my dad walked up to me with plain face and asked me. "How did you get that BB in your ear?"

Now, mind you, I had no intention of telling the embarrassing truth of what I did, so I thought for a long minute and said, " remember that day when you and my brother were shooting the BB gun upstairs on the patio? Well I was sitting in the Volkswagon in the back seat waiting to go with mom somewhere and I think the BB ricocheted off one of the can's and came all the way down to the car where that little tiny hole is in the window(this really existed) and it came right into my ear." He looked at me with a look that was half smiling and yet trying to remain slightly serious. With a question mark on his face he had a laugh and said "Really?" He told me that it was quite an amazing story. He may have asked if I was sure that's what happened and I said "Yes it's what happened" feeling a tiny bit of pride at saying something remarkable and relieved that he wasn't mad at me. We left and they took me to lunch and then home. And while I always knew the truth and they did too, it's always been a funny story to tell. A testament to my vivid imagination. All I can hope is that it gave you a laugh.

Today the portrait was painted with air of "you have a what in your ear?"

Thanks for stopping over and reading and following my face challenge and today's portrait is for sale for $31. If you are interested in it please email me at It is approx. 8"x10" and is painted on old letter's, envelopes, and wrapping paper that my mother saved and I have sewn together and used as a canvas. Have a great day. See you tomorrow.


  1. So so funny!! Thank you for my laugh of the day. I suppose it could have been serious, but all the same I can envision the looks that you got as you matter-of-factly told people that you had BB in your ear. (btw - I'm going to be away for a couple of days and I'm going to miss seeing/reading your stories!).

    1. awww .. well you'll just have to catch up when you come back .. but thanks for letting me know .. haha .. i will miss your comments. My faithful follower.