On the Fringes of the Underworld

Real children do not go hoppity-skip unless they are on drugs. ~ Terry Pratchett

There was a time when a young Sister Madly ventured to the fringes of the underworld and lived to tell the tale- which is what she’s doing now, in fact.

By the time she was 7, Sister Madly had been exposed to a variety of anti-drug campaigns, including the famous Just Say No movement, which had led Sister Madly to believe that she would be pressured into experimenting with drugs more often than she actually was- that is to say, at all. In fact, all she really knew about drugs was that they were bad for one’s well-being which, by this definition, included the cancer, nuclear war, and the guillotine.


One warning she frequently encountered was the poster of an egg in a frying pan, but this Sister Madly did not understand. Eggs were those things she dyed for Easter, or sometimes threw at a target in Serafina’s garage* or that strange families ate for breakfast. Eggs were also used in anti-smoking ads, where some dirty cigarette was violently snuffed out in the yolk. This could only mean one thing: eggs were as bad for her as drugs, smoking and the guillotine. Her brain might even turn into an egg while on drugs, albeit temporarily, and that was something Sister Madly could do without.

*Sister Madly never threw eggs at passing cars or at other people; that is why nature gave us crab apples.

Then one day, her curiosity broke. You see, any magazine that dared to portray the graphic nature of drugs often depicted these things as brightly-colored candy pills. If this was society‘s way of protecting Sister Madly from the evils of narcotics, they were going about it entirely the wrong way. Sister Madly liked candy as long it didn’t tasted like red.


She remembered once hearing something about shoes hanging from the power lines, and that was about all she had to go on. So Sister Madly and Serafina went about this the only way they knew how, roaming the neighborhood until they found a pair of sneakers dangling overhead. They had a whole system worked out: sandals to score acid; for coke, a pair of stilettos, because all fashion models were on coke; sneakers, being generally nondescript, were the source of the nondescript candy-colored pills. As for heroin… probably a pair of nurse’s regulations, Serafina said, since it involved needles- which scared Sister Madly so it was decided to avoid those at all costs.

It wasn’t that Sister Madly necessarily wanted to try any of these things- she just wanted to see them; she just wanted to hold, perhaps even own, one little candy-colored pill. Something she could hide in the water pipes in her closet and play with every now and then, and be happy that she owned something that no one else did.

Thanks to her parents, Sister Madly learned at an early age that one did not often get something for nothing, so Sister Madly brought along a handful of gumdrops. She did not like gumdrops (she must have a discussion with Serafina about the candy the girl kept around her house) so this wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. Still, she knew better than to admit this, because if the gumdrops did not seem all that valuable to Sister Madly, the dealer might demand something else. Like money.


Of course, for their own protection, the girls were accompanied by Serafina’s imaginary dog, Sambo.

And so Sister Madly spent the next few hours standing, twirling or hopscotching in the middle of the street under a pair of sneakers, running to the curb every time a car passed by (even Sambo couldn’t save her from the oncoming cars and mopeds.) She went over what her parents had said about playing in the street and wondered if she was violating this order (she was) but it was the only way she knew how to contact the local demimonde. Obviously, her parents didn‘t want her to play in the street for fear that Sister Madly might be mistaken for an addict and give all her gumdrops away.

It wasn’t long before the girls abandoned this particular venture and made their way down to the liquor store on the corner, where Sister Madly bought some candy cigarettes. No doubt the local demimonde had been frighten away by Serafina’s imaginary dog, Sambo.

Next time, they will leave Sambo at home.


POST’S THEME SONG: Sugar Town, Nancy Sinatra


13 responses

  1. hocuspocus13

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    November 6, 2014 at 7:13 AM

  2. LOL, ah the glory days of misspent youth, smoking candy cigarettes and chewing on lead paint. I was usually busy tempting fate by trying to stay put in the back of a pick up truck. Tail gates are for sissies and weird people who…worry about things falling out of the back of their trucks.

    It’s a bit funny, but I completely missed the lesson of the fried egg and thought it had something to do with falling out of trucks. This is your brain on the pavement, oh and here is breakfast…We should call it, when memes go wrong and simply serve to confuse children.


    November 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    • Sister Madly

      I only care about tail gates when I’m the one driving behind the truck. Other than that, tail gates are for the birds!

      That whole egg thing- never made sense to me back then:
      “This is your brain.”
      “This is your brain on drugs.”
      “Any questions?” (It went something like that, and yes, there were questions- I just didn’t ask them.)


      November 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

  3. Different, provocative and begging the question are there questions still unanswered.

    How would you like your brain? Poached, fried or scrambled? We know absolutely it isn’t fried. Jury is still out on poached and/or scrambled.

    Take 2 white rabbits and some matrix then call me in the morning, we’ll talk.


    November 6, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    • Sister Madly

      I’m a little short on white rabbits- I used the last of them to make the rug.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 7, 2014 at 7:07 PM

  4. Lol! I remember those days! Nostalgic as I also bought those candy ciggies! Are these still available as our govt has banned anything that remotely resembles ciggies for kids! I am happy for this policy though. As for those tiny colored beads in capsule….I remember Contac 500 for flu. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    November 7, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    • Sister Madly

      They are still available here and there, usually in some tourist gift shop as a novelty- and a much smaller packet than what they use to be. Certainly a nostalgic treat, as I don’t remember them ever tasting very good…

      And I remember Contac- the most fun one ever got out of a cold. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      November 7, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    • I’m guessing you’re in the great white north as I am. I saw the candy cigs in the popeye box in a dollar store in Toronto. They were called candy sticks not candy cigs. Packaging is the same except for the name.


      November 8, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      • Hi there! I am in Singapore. LOL! We had those here once upon a time. Packaged as cigarettes though! Thanks for the information. I am too far away to get to Toronto 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        November 8, 2014 at 11:47 PM

        • You send me slings and I’ll send you candy cigs … seems like a fair fare exchange to me!


          November 9, 2014 at 7:42 AM

  5. Hilarious. Reminds me of the time we thought we were getting drunk on root beer. Ah youth.


    November 22, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    • Sister Madly

      HA! Love it! If I had been around root beer more, no doubt I would have thought the same thing.

      Ah youth, indeed…


      November 22, 2014 at 8:55 PM

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