1986: When the Cape met Veruska (A tale of times past)

Now the Cape had been given that nickname by his kid brother on account of his haircut. He insisted on wearing his hair like a leftover poster-child for the late ‘70s: He wore it straight and long and cut it shaped like an inverted bowl draping over his ears, and therefore Chubbs had no other choice than compare it to a mantle of some sort and to thus dub his elder sibling The Shaggy Cape after all, and the name stuck.
Or at the very least the name stuck for Chubbs and me; we were the only ones to call him the Cape. Chubbs’s on the other hand was a lot easier, he was named Chubbs for being chubby.

Anyhow. Friday nights back in ’86 were truly something, because it was when my parents would go out with their friends and drop me at grandma’s (mother of my mother) for the duration. It was the year before First Grade; I was six years old.

Chubbs (Real name: G****, age: eight) and his brother the Cape (real name: R****, age: nine) lived with their parents on the floor above my grandmother, who was friends with their mother. So it was pretty much a given that, given any Friday evening I would run upstairs to meet G**** and R**** and watch some TV.
A local network had recently bought two American series, see, Knight Rider and the A-Team, and showed them both in a row starting there around seven or eight pm. Chubbs and the Cape were all into cars and stuff, so they pretty much adored Knight Rider. I didn’t like it very much because I always thought KIT lacked some real weaponry, a thought I share to this very day (despite unproved rumors of the car having a built-in laser cannon in his sensor cluster). But we all loved the A-Team anyway: They loved it because of Mr. T’s black van, and I loved it because of Murdock’s antics.

1986 was also the year the Cape met Veruska, who was supposedly the first girl he’d ever kissed.
Chubbs and the Cape’s parents owned a small ranch not far from town and the neighborhood ranch’s owners had a daughter named Veruska, about the same age as the Cape (9).
According to Chubbs, sole source of intel on matters of the Cape’s heart, the Cape would often elope to the woods nearby on cold Sunday mornings to meet Veruska. According to Chubbs, he followed the Cape one day and caught him red-handed kissing the girl. The Cape denied everything to the sound of a song sung by me and Chubbs, which went like this: ”The Shaggy Cape… kisses Veruska… in the woods…”.
It had its own rhythm, believe me.

I used to have a photograph taken by my father back at my grandmother’s living room from sometime in early ‘87. I might have since lost it. I’m looking at it right now. It’s singed in my mind’s eye:
It’s me and Chubbs and the Cape right after that evening’s A-Team show, and we’re all wearing hats folded out of that morning’s newspapers, brandishing kitchen utensils stolen from grandma like boy-kings holding scepters and swords. The Cape is hitting Chubbs on the had with a wooden spoon because he began whistling the tune to ”The Shaggy Cape… kisses Veruska… in the woods…” shortly before my father snapped the picture.

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This post isn’t ending in some cynical “And then we grew up” manner. It is dedicated to my grandmother, a week before her 84th birthday.