Maybe it was my Moshishi doll? In any case, my mom asked me at age six WHATIWANTEDTOBEWHENIGREWUP. Without having to think about it too hard, I pronounced that my life's ambition was to be hired as the warm body that dressed as a Gorilla and waved to drivers while wearing a sandwich board advertising a tire company. Now that is a job description.
I didn't want to be a teacher, or a movie star. Not even a CEO. I simply wanted to dress in a furry polyester ape suit and sell rubber. I am sad to report that this degree program is not offered at any Canadian university, and so, the dream has died.
I'm trying to think what it was about that particular vocation that appealed to me. All I remember is a sort of morbid curiousity taking hold of me as I gazed at THE GORILLA from the backseat window as we drove by. I remember the top of my spine and the creases behind my knees sticking to vinyl upholstery in the muggy Regina summer; the heat rising off the pavement like the breathe of a thousand snakes. And there he was on the corner, just waving and waving. My mind's eye still sees that primate as clear as a fishbowl.
Six was a strange age for me. Call it "6X".
That same year I also requested that upon cremation, my ashes be spread over the midway at the Regina Exhibition. Because I loved the Tilt-a-Whirl. And, apparently, lonely and vacant parking lots, since that's what it was 51 weeks of the year. Anyway, who wouldn't want one-eyed carnies trodding upon them for all eternity? Who, I ask you?! Sheesh.