Precious Childhood Memories

Below is an excerpt from my book — a mostly true story about my days as a strip club bartender in Austin, Texas where I mostly broke shit, drank a ton of booze, sometimes poured drinks, and always hit on my favorite manager.

I had just hit snooze on my alarm for the fourth or ninth time when my phone started vibrating next to me. It was Thomas and I briefly panicked thinking he was calling from my driveway but it was about twenty minutes too soon for that.

“What’s up?” I cleared my throat.

“Are you still sleeping?”


“Are you still in bed?”

“No …. Maybe,” I fessed up.

He let out a groan. “Listen, I-”

“Do you want to know what I’m wearing?”


“Well, you asked me if I was in bed. I figured it was one of those calls.”

“Shut up, Forest. Will you ask your sister if she wants to work day shift today? The door girl called out.”

“I sleep in the nude, Thomas.”

“Please just ask her.” He hung up on me.

While I was still laying in bed, I called my sister’s phone. If it was anyone other than my sister, I would’ve told Thomas she worked the night before and probably wouldn’t want to work day shift after only a few hours of sleep but we were talking about my sister here and the girl was a workaholic.

“Yo,” I said into the phone. “Wanna work today?”

“Yeah. When do we have to leave?” she groggily asked me.

“In about twenty minutes.”

“Are you gonna shower or are you gonna lay in bed for the next eighteen minutes?”

“Alright cool. Good talk. I’ll meet you downstairs.”

Damn. Was I really this predictable?

The three of us sat in a comfortable silence on the way to work up until we were approaching McDonald’s.

“Thomas, can we please get McDonald’s? I miss Ernie and neither of you have even met Norma.” I asked him.

“No,” he said flatly.

“Nor-ma! Nor-ma! Nor-ma!” I started chanting and then my sister joined in and we got louder and louder.

Thomas broke out in laughter but don’t let this fool you because he drove right past McDonald’s and didn’t give a single fuck.

“God damaaaa!” my sister and I screamed in unison as we passed by the golden arches.

When I was a toddler, my twin brother and I loved to go streaking after bath time.

All of the neighborhood kids would be playing kickball in the cul-de-sac and as soon as we finished our bath we would run downstairs and out the back door.

My parents had long since started locking the front door because of our antics.

Once in the back, we would split up. One would go left and the other to the right and we would run from the backyard out into the street and go streaking for all of the neighbors to see.

I can’t even remember if everyone else thought it was as funny as my brother and I did but man, we thought it was hilarious.

The time came my parents decided it was time to build a fence to stop these acts.

My dad is not a handyman in any way shape or form. When he was building this fence, all sorts of profanity was coming out of his mouth. “God damnit,” he’d say five hundred times a day.

Finally, the fence was complete.

My brother and I had our bath time and after we finished, we routinely went running out the back door to go live the streaking life. I went one way and my brother went the other, only we ran into the newly built fence this time.

“God damaaaaaa!” my three year old brother screamed as he shook the fence. And from then on, this story would be told for years to come.

It was a legend, if you will. Way to go, Dad.

“You guys are really weird. You know that, right?” Thomas said to us.