I am 5. I’m sitting on a waterbed in the basement of my aunt’s house, creating minor waves while watching a commercial on the TV in the bedroom. My cousin tells me it’s her favourite ad and gets excited when it comes on. On the screen, the camera is the point of view of what we assume is a man driving a car. He puts his empty beer glass in front of him and it causes his vision to blur. This continues for four more beers, the blurring deepening on each one, and after the fifth glass is laid he crashes the car. Upstairs in the living room, which will some day contain an unnecessary blown-up picture of my aunt’s first grandchild on the day she is born, my father is trying to explain to his sister why you shouldn’t leave your car running in the driveway when you visit someone.
A neighbour kid flies through the door and drags me over to his house, where I get to try Wavy Lays for the first time. I immediately believe them to be the most addictive substance ever created. We play Anticipation on his Nintendo while he tells me about Power Rangers, a television show I have never seen, mainly because my parents appropriately neglected to purchase cable. I assume their rationale for this is that we are poor, instead of the actual reason that to this day I may not have yet thanked them for, even though it has often crossed my mind.