Old tapes of my old self.

I found an old tape recorder in my room today. It’s a Olympus Pearlcorder S914. Curious, I popped in a couple AA batteries. Nothing happened. The tape wouldn’t move. I helped it along a little bit by sticking my finger in the mini-cassette’s grooves and turning it. I guess it loosened up the old motors, because it started playing. Nothing but static. By holding down fast forward, I discovered the static to be in fact human voices. I still couldn’t make out what they were saying. I just about gave up trying to figure out why I had this thing when I noticed a switch on the side labeled 1.2 and 2.4. I moved it over to the higher number, and sure enough, the voices finally made sense.
It’s a family eating dinner. My family, I guess. My suspicions are confirmed when my mom addresses me by name. She asks whether something will be in the afternoon or at night. I think it might be a school play, because I say whatever it is will be in the school gym. I complain that Dad is leaving for a North Carolina golf trip on Friday, while I only get to go to Columbus. Mom saw a pool cleaning service around town, but couldn’t remember the name. Something starting with a B (I suggest Bennigens, or maybe Benjamin’s). I surmise that the Christopher Club might use the service, but my brother interjects, saying they probably do it themselves. My mom then tells us we need to invite more boys over to the house this summer to swim in the pool. I remind her that we swam with Crystal a lot last summer (never mind Crystal is a girl and was staying with Judy in the basement). Dad asks if she’s my age. I respond that she’s a year older. 11? After some hesitation I say yes. So I’m 10.
Later I make some comment about not wanting to squash Harriet. We must have just brought her home.
Other topics include Cobras basketball, Andy’s (McCroson) broken eyeball, the fact that my brother and I are starting to get some BO after playing on the playground (a typical comment from Mom). Not as bad as Dad, either I or Alex say. Dad doesn’t say anything, but Mom says that we’re lucky he has such a good sense of humor. Harriet suddenly erupts in barking. Mom says sarcastically it’s a good thing we have such a good guard dog.
The conversation then turns back to the Columbus trip. My brother and I don’t really want to go because Mom just wants to go see Debbie. Some pouting later the table falls silent for a little while. We start cleaning up the dishes, which makes most of the remaining conversation unintelligible.

Who decided to tape this dinner and why? It seems like something I might have done as a kid, but if that’s so I never make any indication that I know I’m being taped. The only thing that precedes dinner is Dad saying “Testing, testing” into the recorder, followed by 5 minutes of silence, so maybe it was left on by accident. It was really weird to listen to an entire dinner conversation from 10 years ago, complete with clanking dishes and barking dogs. Some things really stood out. My mom uses a lot of the same phrases she uses today. Like, “You boy’s are so lucky you have…” I was really talkative back then. A lot different from today for some reason. I don’t really know when I stopped being so talkative. It just seems like today I can’t think of anything worth adding to a conversation. Anyway, the tape ends with us making cookies. Really.

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