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They say our love won't pay the rent.

The trampoline gang gathered during those dank days of summer. Sweaty buzz cuts, green capes and plastic swords. Red, blonde, black and brown. Shoeless and shirtless.

The sheer numbers prevented them from being allowed indoors but they were given juice boxes and popsicles on their way into the back yard. They skizzled up trees and scratched big bites. They painted their faces with mulberry juice because the tree grew over the fence into their space and what else was to be done? The tough 'ol broad next door was patient and not as they ran through her flowers, threw her rocks and perused her weekly carport sale for treasures.

The Trampoline Gang invented games.

"Let's play war! Bip, bip, bip!"

Some did research so they could cast characters expertly but it's no fun to play with know it alls.

"No, I'll only play with you if we play Categories. I go first: Bazooka!"

May the best death pantomime win.

"No one wants to play that. Let's play Marvel."

Baby brothers kept trying to sneak in DC characters, soiling the integrity.

"Imma get light sabers. You go get your brother's."

Big brothers don't share well when it's light sabers.

"I don't like to fight. I'm going inside."

"Wait!...Ask your mom if we can turn on the waterhose."

She'll say no.

"Then say we want more popsicles."

Popsicles were rationed because mama didn't take the whole Gang to raise.

Collecting their imaginary machine guns and real life bicycles, they ride off to the next, unassuming mom, loyal dog in hot pursuit.

The cat snoozes, unfazed, beneath the trampoline.


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