Have you ever punched a random name into Google just to see what would come up? This happened to me with a kid in my fifth grade class named Tim Falladay. I don’t think I remember any other kids from that grade because we were bussed to a different school that year, but Tim Falladay stuck out in my mind. I punched in his name. Couldn’t be that many of that particular name around. Guess what? Tim Falladay from Peterborough, with the big black nerd glasses and the home-style bowl cut was living in Greenland! What kind of person lives in Greenland, and what do they do there?
Let’s back up and talk about school lunches and then you will understand why I still remember Tim Falladay. Back in grade five, lunch came in a brown paper bag and it was always a variation on a theme. There was none of the stuff available for kids today, in fact lunch centred around something that is now forbidden. Peanut butter. Virtually every kid in that class would get peanut butter mixed with something plus an apple. Except for Tim Falladay.
Peanut butter is an amazing ingredient. The best thing about it, is that it can put it with anything. You could go for some of the old standards like peanut butter and banana, peanut butter and jam, peanut butter and honey, or you could go for something a little more exotic like peanut butter and onions, or peanut butter and sardines. This spawned a culture of trading. Bottom of the list was peanut butter and banana, or what we called mouse meat sandwiches because the banana turned brown and that is what it looked like all mushed up. Top of the list if you had a really nice mother, was fluffenutter. That was marshmallow spread, plus peanut butter. You could trade half a fluffenutter sandwich for a whole sandwich of another kind, or maybe for two of the mouse meat. So lunch was not what you took for the day, it was a mental game of what you would trade up for, something like the paper clip challenge.
We were all happy in our world of variations on a theme. And then there was Tim Falladay. Tim Falladay was an iconoclast. He did something one day that stopped us dead in our tracks, and created a phenomenon called Falladay Fleas, that forever marked him out. Tim Falladay you see, dared to be different. He dared to boldly go where no man had gone before. Tim Falladay brought in a tupperware container full of baby shrimp. Let me put this into context of Peterborough, 1972. We had one pizza parlour and one Chinese restaurant. The first time I went to a restaurant I was maybe twelve years old. So home fare in Canada of that era, was roast beef and potatoes, salt and pepper, nothing fancy. And no shrimp.
We didn’t even know what they were. We looked on in horror, imagining that Tim Falladay had lost his mind, and was sitting there daintily eating fat, white grubs like the ones we found in the garden. As if to add salt in the wound, he ate one at a time with great flair and deliberation, putting on a show. We gathered around in morbid fascination, watching the Falladay phenomenon march on. What bothered us most was that even though we loudly voiced our collective disgust, Tim Falladay did not care…. at all.
So he has always stuck in my mind even though I’ve forgotten all those other kids. After almost fifty years, Tim Falladay, I salute you. You were a maverick and one of a kind. Whatever you have done with your life, I am sure it is out of the ordinary. Tim Falladay. You knew your own mind. You weren’t satisfied with Wonder bread and variations on peanut butter.
What kind of person lives in Greenland and what do they do there? Tim Falladay lives in Greenland and although I am not one hundred percent certain of what he is doing there, I only know it must be something very, very interesting.