Sometimes crap turns into gold

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In the summer of 1984, when I was 12 and my brother David was 14, we took a big cross-country trip to California.

It was easily the grandest journey of my young life, and it included (among other things), Universal Studios, the Gaslamp Quarter, a Mets-Giants game at Candlestick, a couple of hours in Tijuana and, of course, a journey to San Francisco’s touristy-yet-necessary Fisherman’s Wharf.

It’s funny, the things you remember. That day we took a ferry to visit Alcatraz, and while I was leaving the boat a stranger pinched my ass. Which was nearly as weird as the above illustration, commissioned that day along the Wharf for, I believe, $5.

In case you’re wondering—that’s a 12-year-old Jeff Pearlman, looking nothing like a 12-year-old Jeff Pearlman. I actually found the picture last night, buried under our spare bed between my University of Delaware diploma and some yellowed newspapers. And the funny thing (and something I never would have predicted 34 years ago) is I’m actually happy Nancy did such a piss-poor job. I mean, it’s funny. I’m pretty sure (if memory serves) there was a pronounced awkwardness as Dad handed her the five note. Along the lines of … “Oh. Oh.”

Do you like it?

“Oh … it’s … um, great.”

I’m guessing Nancy pretty much drew the same face for every kid, adding only the requisite mole, scar or zit to add authenticity.

I love it.

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