Shag Me


I’m nine. I come home from playing dolls at Kelly Flaid’s*.

“Ma,” I say. “Kelly has carpets all in her house.”

“Tha’ right?” says Ma. “Well bully for them –  get out of your good dress. I hate those people.” Ma turns back to her Louis L’Amour novel.  “Its called wall to wall.”

“Can we get some of that?” I ask.

I’m nine.

Kelly Flaid is my idol – she has voluptuous hair, mauve velvet drapes (they drape!) and a doll display case.  I have early pattern male baldness, share a room with Granny and my dolls consist of Old Pete and a one -eyed melted creep my brother blew up to experiment.

That’s okay – I’m going to be like Kelly – we’re going to get wall to wall carpeting. The idea thrills me.

The next day Ma tells me she thought about it and I can go to the carpeting store and pick out something and she’ll pay for it later.

Did I mention? I’m nine.

I walk two miles, to Taschereau Boulevard and go through the samples in the carpet store. This is the seventies – they don’t question me as I swipe and squish and smell (!) the colored squares and flippy books.

After a long time I decide yellow because I like Big Bird.  I get the order number from the salesman, walk home, and give the number to Ma.

A month later every square inch of floor in the house is covered in long, Big Bird yellow shag carpeting.

I loved it.

Missed you, friend, a lot more than I miss that yellow carpeting.


*names have been changed to protect the innocent.










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