HELP INDEED

Hello everyone, everywhere,
This past week I have been in need of help, and I’m not very good at asking for it. Never have been. I’ve always done everything on my own. Saturday I was shoveling, and there was so much snow, and I was tired. And then I looked up and there was this young guy from across the street. His mother had sent him. She knows who I am.

So he says, “I’m here to help you.”

And I said, “I don’t have any money.”

And he said, “I’m going to do it for free.”

So he helped me, and he was brilliant. I couldn’t have done it without him. He’s a good kid. I asked him where his dad was, and he said to me, “I don’t know my dad.”

So I just looked at him and I said, “Well the snow’s not going to shovel itself.” And he laughed, and we just kept shoveling.

He did so much, and I was overwhelmed by it all because I didn’t realize how much snow there was. So when I was done I said to him, “What’s your favourite chips and pop?” He couldn’t think of one, so I told him that I had to go the store and to ask his mom if he could go with me. She said he could, so off we went. I got his mom a little plant for sending him, and I got him a bag of chips that he liked, and a big 7-Up for his mom and him. It was nice to spend some time with him, and I think he liked that too. I took him home with all his stuff and told him to thank his mom and that if they need me they know where I am. That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. Until we meet again at Wendy and Wendell Seeper’s Algae Farm and Fine Skin Products Emporium on the corner of Heywatchit Road and WellIOughta Lane, close to where Dewey dropped his watch.

THE BIG GAME

Hockey

It’s on. Remember me? I’m Arnie, with a capital A, and Flamm with a capital F.

Tonight is the night I bin waitin’ for. I mean, oh crumblydunk, the championship for the world, wait for it. Yeah, you’ve got it. The road hockey game.

Now you see that this is not something to be fooled with. Of course you know. (I got that line from my dumpy dad Roger).

Then my dad says the words that can almost break your heart. The wrong way.  He says, “Boys, you’ll be needing a coach.”

Don’t get me wrong, thanks dumpy dad Roger. But in my head I’m thinking, the family relatives are coming for dinner. Who’s coming? Well let’s see. Grandpa Dick for sure. He farts funny. And that of course means Aunt Frieda is right behind. She’s fun. She cackles when she laughs. I seem to be the only one who thinks that’s funny.

Now you know who’s going to be at my house for supper. Who cares!

The mirror in my room says, “You are a great road hockey player.” I agree, I think, as I check myself out. Buffed up and ready to go. And then the great bubble buster walked into my room. Yep, it’s my mom, Eunice.

She smiles, and says the words that would break any young teenage boy playing…road hockey. Eunice says, “We are all coming to your game Arnie. Won’t that be fun?” Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Great! Nice to have the family with you. Right?

NO, NO, NO! Arnie thinks to himself. Because why, okay. Just listen.

My mom says I decided your dad can’t possibly coach without me. Roger…Roger, are you listening? Then my mom looks at me with a look of joy. Now I know it’s bad.

“Arnie,” she bellowed (that means at least pretend to listen). “Aunt Frieda is going to blow the whistle for every play. What luck we only had one! Frieda, blow your whistle!”

I and all the guys heard Aunt Frieda all right. Oh. I forgot to mention…it was my dumpy dad’s duck call. Not at a whistle but a duck.

It’s Canada, it’s winter–4:30 p.m. in January means night time. Already a blanket of stars, dark sky, cold. Just perfect for the championship game of 1963. And then it started.

My mom, (dumpy Eunice in case you forgot), yelled at me, “Arnie Flamm, you are not using those good tennis balls I inherited from Cousin Myrna!”

I look at my dumpy dad Roger and say, “What do you think about that, Dad?”

My dad Roger looks at me, rubs his chin, squints his eyes, and says, “Do what your mother says. That’s all I got,”

Well we played finally and we stuck to our name, Squirrel Creepers. The other guys were called Boogers, (at least by us). A quarter to six, we had scrimmaged for over an hour and a half. Tie game 3-3.

My mom Eunice screams across the road to my aunt Frieda, “Frieda hon, supper in 5 minutes, okay? Roger…Roger did you hear me?”

My father sighs and replies, “My dear, I’m sure they heard you in Saskatchewan.”

So dying moments of the game. I got my game face on. Face off on their end. Puck drops, Aunt Frieda blows the duck call, Grandpa Dick farts, Aunt Frieda starts to cackle. The Boogers and most of my team stops playing. And just looks at them.

I, of course, had seen and heard it all before, so I kept playing. Shot the puck. Goalie was still laughing at Grandpa Dick’s fart, so I scored.

Then Eunice announced to, I would say, most of the neighbourhood, “It’s supper! Arnie get off the street. Now!”

That ended what should have been a great game. But who cares, we won. Go Squirrels! And especially thanks to Grandpa Dick.

I would like to think things will get better in time. Wait and see. Till later, Arnie Flamm out. That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

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By jamesghutcheson

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