From Chapter 1 - Memories of Childhood
When I was a young boy of nine, I would from time to time visit my friend, Danny Dank. He was a few years older, a genius and an albino, of all things. I was convinced that he knew pretty much everything. We lived near a forest and sometimes Danny would lead me there on a walk and explain its mysteries to me. I remember being in awe at these experiences. Anything he said was truth as far as I was concerned. Danny had a chemistry set in his basement and would show me the wonders to be experienced by combining different colored and textured substances. We used to experiment with making small “stink bombs.” We would wrap a bit of sulfur in paper, twist it up and light it. Profuse smoke would then billow around us, releasing a most obnoxious odor. If you don’t know about sulfur, it is a yellowish rock which can be obtained in powder form. It is sold in hardware stores in the form of a candle, which when lit will rid the house of insects and rodents. Spiritualists use it to rid an area of spirits. Actually, the smell is so obnoxious it will rid any area of anything.
Years later, a close friend made me breathe it in to cure the flu. That turned out to be a bad idea. One day, Danny devised a plan to play a trick on his parents. We would light a large stink bomb in the basement. The whole house would fill up with the nauseating thick smoke. While that was happening, we would escape from the house unseen. We would climb up the duct work into the crawl space above the first floor, which was high enough to stand in. From there, we would make our way onto the roof and then escape. Returning later, we would pretend we had nothing to do with the incident. And, of course, his parents would have no idea that we had done the foul deed. The plan seemed foolproof (after all, they would assume that we were not in the house at the time of the event). Everything was going according to plan. We lit the stink bomb in the basement, made our way into the crawlspace and began walking from rafter to rafter. We had to keep absolutely silent because the parents were right under us. Nervous and in too much of a hurry, I slipped off one of the rafters. The ceiling caved in and I tumbled down, landing on my back on the floor in the hallway, along with a cascade of plaster and dust. Surprisingly, I wasn’t hurt at all. I think children must be made out of rubber. I looked up to see Danny’s father standing right over me. Scrambling to my feet, I ran out of the house without saying a word. After that, I was totally embarrassed and put the incident out of my mind as soon as I could and never went back there again. Danny’s father was a kindly person and never told my dad. Anyway he probably realized Danny was the responsible one in this case.