>The Power…


I used to have power.
My power was sought after far and wide, by many. 

When I was in my tenth summer, a pharmacy/Sundry in our town started offering a special deal for all us kids.  If you were 12 years-old or under, you could…for a dollar…reach into a huge wooden box in the store filled with the best marbles that money could buy…and grab all the glass marvels that your one fist could hold.  It was a chance of a lifetime to get so many of those precious perfectly round stones to add to your collection, in just one grab. This offer lasted two weeks I think, and went on for many summers.
Every boy…and even some girls…marked those weeks on their calenders.  To hell with a circus…to hell with TV…it was ALL about the marbles.

Well, I was big for my age.  Proportionately big.  Which meant I had huge hands for a ten-year-old.  Pharmacists feared me.  For they knew when I came strolling down the city streets and into their store, that I had many dollars in my pocket and I could practically drain their treasure trove on that end-cap with just a few deliberate dips of my enormous paw.  I got those dollars, because in school for weeks in advance, we all measured hand prints.  I always won…hands down.  No one could even come close.  Few even dared to compare their manos tracing to mine.  I was king in these few summers…because not only did I take the dollars of all wishful marble players for miles around, representing their interests in the battle for the best marbles in town; I got to keep my pick of a few from each grab that I accomplished for hire.  It was good to be the king.  It was good to have the best shooters, clearies, cat-eyes, swirlys and steelies that my brute force could win.  I owned those pharmacists and their pathetically naive assessment of my manual abilities. Ha.

I guess you could say that was my first sojourn into the dark side of usury.
But aside from that, I got all those beautiful little balls of delight.  Clicking from their bag tied to my belt as I walked down the street, everyone knew that I had the best.  We all profited…but I more than anyone…and everyone knew it.  That was the best part.
Then came my last summer.  I was 12.  I was even more determined to drain this store and two others that had fallen into line with the original offer of the “one grab for a dollar” policy, of their precious jewels.  But there were other big kids in town doing the same thing I was.  Their hands were big…not as big as mine…but big enough to enter the marble-for-hire game I had started.  We decided to work as a team in my last marble-grabbing season…we huge-clawed monsters.   We roamed from store to store in that steamy hot summer, legitimately robbing these emporiums and the smaller kids, of playing pieces of an ancient pastime. Times were good.

Then disaster struck.  I was banned.  Banned from competition from the store’s game.  I had an unfair advantage they told me.  All three stores.  The word had spread and they had had enough.  I, and my tribe of eleven and twelve year old giants had ruined their offer.  I was no longer eligible for competition in any of the stores that ran this kid’s special.  All hell broke loose.  Kids demanded their dollars back…my shooters were no longer the biggest and best.  My cat-eyes lost their shimmer to newer ones garnered by smaller fists.  I had to give up my throne and become just like any other kid and actually win my desired marbles in a legitimate field of play in which I had no real advantage.  Bummer.
I went through a short period of martyrdom.  A time when I was cool because I was banned…but that didn’t last as I saw normal and small-handed kids emerge from these stores with one or two big beautiful shooters that I could have grabbed a half-dozen of, if I were allowed to continue my dubious dipping.
But it was not meant to last, I guess.
As I grew, I grew to understand why they banned me and why my reign of terror ended.  The hundreds of smaller kids weren’t getting a chance after I strolled out of those stores with my booty.  It wasn’t fair to them not to have the round glass beauties of their little dreams.  And I understood that.  Almost always, we are banned. Those that would take from others.  Stopped from taking advantage of something meant for all.  And that is a good thing.  I didn’t think so when I was de-throned, I’m sure.  But I am sure now.


19 thoughts on “>The Power…

  1. >A beautiful bit of moral insight, Timster, and something we have all been guilty of, at one time or another, and can relate to. The sting of conscience, something the Jew is not subject to.

  2. >By the way, I watched Triumph of the Will last night. A far cry from the snippits and soundbytes of the NAZI party we've all been presented with.I though I'd be fast-forwarding through a lot, but it was far more interesting than I had expected.I'm not too familiar with all the facts surrounding the Third Reich, but I pictured these images being of a people emerging from much harder times than we have yet to encounter. If anything Hitler was too lenient on Germany's traitors.

  3. >Must disagree. God made us all different for a reason. Your reason (at the time) was to grab more marbles. The store owners were wrong for excluding you for playing by the rules they themselves made. They could have changed the rules to limit the number of marbles. They could have said once a week or something else fair to all.Should we exclude tall people from basketball, large people from football, small people from gymnastics? If your IQ is too high are you disqualified from chess?

  4. >DaveR, you have a valid point (hasbara language), but we do exclude steroid users from competitive sports, and aluminum bats from professional baseball, and other forms of unfair advantage. The handful of marbles promotion was open to all, and while the pharmacists likely excluded timster because of their own bottom line, timster's conscience told him why it was wrong, some time down the road, because it ultimately deprived the younglings.You can exploit loopholes and technically still be following the rules. It's what they call "violating the spirit" of the rules, to our own advantage and someone else's expense, and when we're mature enough, we have to decide whether we want really to behave like that.

  5. >Israel has condemned this marbletribe anti-semetic.How dare you! Have a childhood where you almost perpetrated a worse crime against humanity than they!A large handfull of marbles is worse than a handful of bodyparts, a handful of Palestinian land, a handful of assassinations, a handful of young jew boy genitalia in the guiding hand of a rabbi, a handful of congressional bitches and bi-sexual president.I'm shocked you would mention such thing. Remand thyself to the dock.You can't have your marble cake and eat it too.I'm devastated to hear this revelation. I shall pray for your soul.

  6. >Timster, the world is small… We played the same marbles game, cat eye… beautiful. We also played a card game it called twenty-one, it was a sort of a poker game: in stead of money we used little pictures who where in all of the candy bars…In our street doorsteps where crowded with card players…Those where the days.gilbert

  7. >I have been frequenting this site for some time now and all I have to say is WHY THE HELL DON'T YOU WRITE MORE PIECES LIKE THIS ONE???? Finally, an awesome, allegorical piece that makes one think. And I'm sorry but if it must be spelled out … maybe those seeking an illustrated version should move on and wait patiently in the corner for another "story" while the rest of us feast. Just sayin'. It's all fine and good to cater to one's readers … if you're concerned about being Popular … but to write something of Substance … THAT is what's needed. And it would seem such an Outlet is what you need as well … Desperately. It is utterly painful to read the Argumentative (which has strategically sunken to a tit-for-tat approach that dangerously grasps and vies for seemingly Ritalin-drunk attention … For the sake of the cause conveyed via a page such as yours, don't you think it a bit sophomoric to entertain as though this were a Pulp Serial Novel?) … Continuing on … Your Flighty, Bobble-Headed pieces sometimes sway and nod to the whims of your audience and you KNOW that just below the surface is a fount of tremendous pieces such as this waiting patiently to grace the digital page … Why don't you pepper this Page with more of your creative genius as you have done with the Marbles? Scatter 'em!! Make 'em Think!!! Use those big paws of yours to write more creatively NOT more "mundanely" (if I may be so bold as to use such a term.) I am sure your passion isn't as muted OR as simplistic as your entries have been as of late … Prove me wrong.

  8. >Anon@11:30 – I am humbled…and humiliated. I always said I needed a spanking. Ouch!For your sake…I will try. I do pander to the pedestrian at times. I admit it. It insults both the reader and myself. May I have another please? (grin)…

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