I used to be the neighborhood rigger. You wanted someone tied up, you came to me. I was the go-to guy for all your bondage needs.

I was seven at the time. Six, seven. My career lasted several years starting in kindergarten or first grade.

How many tender pale wrists did I tie together with jumpropes in kinniegarden? Not all that many. Sherry I remember, and Tracy and a couple more in school I guess; and a few more in the neighborhood, mostly visiting cousins of friends and stuff like that.

Usually I tied them to the apple trees at recess, or to the climbing bars. A couple times kids tied Sherry and me together to the apple tree, but they weren’t very good at tieing knots and I got loose fast and knocked their heads together. It was part of the game. I was a hero of great power at that point in my life.

I was a one-trick pony when it came to knots. I was not really a knot expert, I just tied a single knot – granny knot, I guess, over and over. That was my secret: patience and persistance. No one got loose because I tied so many knots. Also, I got repeat customers because I didn’t tie you up so tight that the circulation was cut off or anything.

Times tables, I’m thinking, are what put an end to my career as a rigger. Around the third grade I started concentrating on memorizing the times tables, and then suddenly a few years had gone by and it was awkward to say to a girl, Let’s go tie you up. Plus, I did not go into Boy Scouts and after a certain age no one is impressed by granny knots anymore, no matter how many you tie.

I might buy a knot book and try to figure out a few new ones now, but I find the diagrams really hard to figure out on my own. It’s hard enough to learn a new way to tie my necktie.

Sometimes when things get boring at the office I find myself thinking about Sherry and Tracy, wondering who’s tieing them up now.

2 responses to “Rigger

  1. october is wide open, is all i’m going to say. i’ll leave the boys at home and bring my jump rope. it’s rubber.

  2. Funny! (And ominous.)