Cot: (n) a light portable bed, especially one of canvas on a folding frame.
Possessing a plethora of stories and examples of how the phrase “one size fits all” does not apply in real life, I will now turn my attention to the common cot.
When I was a boy I was never little, so therefore, I was never a “little boy.” I had a man-sized weight for a child’s number of birthdays. Yet when
I visited relatives—since I was supposed to be a kid—they tried to fit me into child situations, spaces and even leftover pajamas from their beloved children who were now grown but were once obviously skinny and attractive.
All of these experiences are worthy of the horror genre. I have broken toys, disabled bicycles, split out pants and—oh, yes—destroyed a cot or two in my journey through childhood obesity. This was long before anybody talked about it—when you were considered “big-boned” so parents wouldn’t be embarrassed because their child was a fatty.
Aunt Wilma had a cot which she supplied each and every summer during a week-long visit, always insisting I had used it the year before, even though I explained that it was not only too narrow for me to lie on, but also not sturdy enough to withstand my bountiful booty. She pooh-poohed me, as grown-ups often do.
Each year I faced the same dilemma. Knowing that the cot was not going to work (because I had already broken it the year before) I assembled it every night while she was in the room giving her good-night kisses and hugs, and then, upon her departure, folded it up, removing the bedding, to sleep on the floor, trying to make sure I woke up early enough to arise and reassemble the cot to its former haphazard position before she came in to bring us all to the breakfast table.
It was exhausting.
It was a farce.
And what made it worse was that my aunt patted me on the head every single new day and said, “You see? You were wrong. The cot works just fine.”