Michelle’s really tired today so I can’t push her too hard on this blog but I will say that my eyes are finally better. Pretty much.
Last week I gave you a story that was two years old. Because of my eyes, I have given you another one of my earliest projects. I think you’ll enjoy this one. Read it to your kids, read it to yourself, and have a great day. That’s it.
And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Felix and Fern Snotright’s Home of Javelin Tossing for Mothers and Kids Between the Ages of Nine and Twelve and Nature Walk for Elderlies with Allergies. We provide a whistle and we ask folks to pair up. Luckily for us Ben Benniticky is letting us use his mustard field. Thanks Ben, some of the folks needed the facilities. You were still in Chicago. Sorry about the window and you might want to get a plumber when you get home.
Don’t forget our motto folks: If one of you oldsters succumbs to the mustard field or gets hit by a javelin, your buddy blows the whistle. We’re easy to find on the corner of Showerdownanddropthosegatts Road and Iwillshowerbutiwontdropmygatts Crescent. Once there was and then there wasn’t. That’s it.
THE FIRST KISS—A LITTLE MAN’S TALE
Hi everybody! I’m Jonny Littleman Huggins, I’m 11, and this is my tale. Lean in you guys—this is a good one, least ways I think it is. In the summer of 1965 my friends and I ventured in to the unknown. Hold on, you’ve got to meet the boys or it wouldn’t be fun.
There’s Mrs. Brown’s boys (they are so funny!), well anyway darn it, there’s Barry n’ Larry, the twins who are 10 and Desmond who’s pushing 12. “Butterball” Orkstrom is 11, and as the grownups say, he has issues—but he can spit farther than any kid on Foster Avenue. Windy Star is 11 and is always getting bugged about his name. He just smiles and says, “My mom shouldn’t drink Jack Daniels before she thinks of baby names.” (Well what do you say to that?) And last but not least at 11½ we present Fidgety Freddy Klump. His motto is “We aims to please.” (He gets that from his older brother—sheesh we don’t even know what that means!)
We are not like any other bunch of kids—we are called—“The SLICK ONES.” (Well what do you say to that?) Okay folk,s now you know the players (ha ha I saw that on The Avengers—great show). Anyways when I think of the plan that I want to tell the guys, I almost start to “elasperate”—that’s what I’m thinking! The MEETING was set for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ‘cause my show’s on at 8 and I have to be in bed by 9 p.m. prompt.
The boys and the bugs start coming in the yard. Oh ya did I mention it was July and my shorts were always stickin’ to my butt? (Ha ha—I think I said BUTT! Holy smackeroobee. We all go into the Clubhouse (garage) and sit in a circle, you know, like when you’re camping and sitting by the fire. I know, not everyone can go camping—money, disabled, no one to take you (that sucks). So just before I starting talking to the boys I want to tell you guys who can’t sit by the fire at the lake: if you close your eyes tight, and you just feel the sound of the water, it carries over you like a mist of cold wet fairy dust. It makes you smile, don’t it? And the trees in the moonlight seem to call to you, with the help of the wind, and if you dream hard, they call your name.
There you guys, that’s it. E’cept the fire, sorry I forgot. If you look into the dark night and the stars are dancing all around and stuff—and if you’re warm—then you just sat at a fire. (Well what do you say to that?)
Okay, okay, I know—get on with it! Sheesh, I’m trying! “Now you guys want to know why I called a meeting—well…you probly don’t. So the plan…okay you guys, no laughing…this is cereal as a doughnut—I mean this is serious! All right this is it, and no nose pickin’ or farting while I tell you. We are all here because, well, most of us are going on 12 and—jeepers—we never kissed a GIRL! Whoever can get a kiss from Elsie Bowerstone gets his picture on the wall of the Clubhouse.”
So here we are in a circle, looking at each other. There’s Mrs. Brown’s boys, Barry ‘n Larry and Desmond. (He’s kind of goofy but he does the best burps I ever heard—he’s a killer!) Then there’s Windy Star—he’s got a mop of blond hair, those big blue eyes—the girls love them. (I don’t get it, I got eyes too). Butterball Orkstrom is present too. He is a real card (six of diamonds—man oh man, I’m a riot!) And as usual Fidgety Freddy Klump was telling everyone his older brother’s pick up lines, and as usual, we all laughed and still we never got it.
The seven of us sat around and I started. “All right you guys, this is it. How ‘bout we all go to Else one at a time and find out what it would take to get a kiss.” (I think I’m blushing).
Butterball Orkstrom says, “I could spit for her.”
Fidgety Freddy Klump says, “Don’t use your best stuff right away. At least that’s what my brother keeps telling me. I’m going to use his lines on Elsie. She’ll melt—you boogers.”
Windy Star says, “I’ll dazzle her with my eyes.” (Again I’m thinking, what’s up with the eyes? We all got eyes. E’cept Barry Brown’s—his glasses are so thick we can hardly find them).
The Brown Boys stick together, you know like some brothers do. So Desmond Brown speaks up and says, “The three of us are going to ask Elsie to dinner.”
(Great, I say, laughing to myself. THEY don’t have no money. None of us do). Well if I’m not Jonny Littleman Huggins, I tell you guys and you too, I’ll get that kiss. I got my own plan—shh, it’s a secret.
The next day we all meet at the Clubhouse. (You know it’s my dad’s garage, but I’m going to stop saying that. It takes away from the magic—no, that not it—MYSTIQUE—that’s it. So anyway, we pick straws to see who goes first, and of course who is first but Fidgety Freddy Klump. Next are the Brown boys, Barry n’ Larry and Desmond. After them, the sunshine boy Windy Star, with oh ya, his mop of hair, and don’t get me started on the eyes again. He says he’s going to smile and wink a lot. I’ll tell you, I liked this girl named Betty and so one day I was at the park and she was there. So I started winking (more bad advice from Freddy’s older brother), ‘cause Betty came over to me and said, “Why Jonny Littleman Huggins—have you got dirt in your eye? Cause you keep moving it up and down.” (So you see folks, ha ha—Windy doesn’t have a chance ‘cause winking don’t work!) Windy is followed by (oh boy, this is a laugh), you guessed it, Butterball Orkstrom. I don’t know what he is up to, but I’m almost peeing myself thinking about it. (Oops I said ‘peeing’! Yipe! Yukka rukka flatsky. Well what do you say to that?)
All right, it’s on. Elsie Bowerston—remember folks, she’s almost a grownup–she’s 13.
Fidgety Freddie Klump wipes off his shoes and goes over his lines. I wish I could hear him, what a dope. So off he goes and we’re, of course, mocking him all the way. (That was the way you did it in 1965 if you were 11 or something).
Elsie Bowerstone was a delight. (That’s what we say). She was tall, about 5 feet, maybe 5’2”. Long brown hair and oh boy, here we go again, “nice eyes”—sheesh. Yup I’d say she was a delight. Fidgety Freddy sidles up to her. (I heard that on Gunsmoke—that show is a zinger).
Anyway he walks up to her (we’re not mocking him now, we’re just staring) and he says, (so we heard later from Elsie), “Hey babe, what do you say we mellow for awhile and then…heh heh—(now what did my brother say?)–Oh ya, we could lock lips.”
Elsie Bowerstone looks at Freddy, kinda shuffles and says, “Freddy Klump, I don’t lock lip,s as you say, with a fast talker like you. Nice try, but I won’t be kissing you. Thank you though.” (I told you she was a delight).
Fidgety Freddy turns to Elsie and says (of course trying to save face), “I like my women a little older, don’t you know?” And with that he smiles and struts away. We decide that we would all meet up later on Foster Avenue and see if anybody got that wonderful, all-fulfilling (I got that from Mannix—he’s cool, man)—KISS. (My God, she’s in grade 8 and we’re only in grade 6 ‘cept for Desmond—he’s happily failing grade 7).
Next we have Mrs. Brown’s boys heading down the street towards the Zero Ice Cream Store. (Their first plan didn’t turn out so good—they wanted to take her to dinner, but as I told you guys they don’t have any money! Lunkheads). Their new plan is to buy Elsie a banana split ‘cause they borrowed $1.85 from their dad, Mr. Brown. As they get close, they all three see Elsie with her friend Heather. Heather is nice—she is East Indian. When her parents were waiting for her to be born they wanted to give her a North American name. Their only close neighbour was a drunken Scotsman named Angus who said to her parents, “I counted six rocks in the garden—and it’s Saturday—so I’m sure it’s got to be a little lassie. I’d call that new’un Heather.”
“Yes for sure, you are right Angus”, said Heather’s mom Radeemah.
“Well”, spit out Angus, or so the story goes, “one more drink and I’ll be calling her Heather for sure!”
Her dad Seth said, “That is it then. It is done. I thank you Angus.”
Angus was so happy he started singing, “Johnny Where’s Yer Trrroosers?” (Well whatever that’s about). That’s Heather—she’s groovy.
Now the pressure is on Mrs. Brown’s boys. Two girls—(I’d be pukin’) but no, Barry n’ Larry and Desmond walk right up to Elsie and Say, “Me and the boys want to buy you a banana split. We heard you really like them—and we want a kiss on the cheek for doin’ it.”
Elsie smiles and says, “Okay, I will…if you buy Heather one also.” Mrs. Brown’s boys look at each other in shock and say, “We only have money for yours!”
Elsie laughs and says, “Bye boys—no kiss today.” Off go Mrs. Brown’s boys—they just couldn’t believe their bad luck.
Later that afternoon Windy Star makes his way over to Elsie’s house. She lives on Foster Avenue, number 10 or 11—what do you say to that? (Sassy, lassy, kabashi). Windy goes to the front door and rings the bell. Mrs. Bowerstone comes to the door, smiles at Windy (of course) and says, “Can I help you young man?”
Windy looks up with determination and says, “Yes ma’am, I’m here to see Elsie.”
“Oh well then I’ll call her…ELSIE..;.ELSIE…”, the lovely Mrs. Bowerstone says. Elsie comes to the door, smiles and says to Windy, “Who are you again?”
Windy looks a bit dejected and states, “I’m Windy Starr—one of the Slick boys.”
Elsie smiles and says, “Did you say the SLEEK boys?”
“No”, says Windy with some emotion behind it. “I came to ask you for a kiss. There I said it! Now whaddya say?”
Elsie, looking so cool, says to Windy, “You’re cute, so if you will go to The Cave and stay there for two hours, I will come get you and give you a big kiss on the cheek. But also—I’ll give you $8.00 for doing it.”
Windy winks and says, “You’re on Toots.”
Now The Cave is actually a big drainpipe that runs off the end of Foster Avenue, out into the field. (My goodness, could it be any worse?) Off he goes. The time in now 3 p.m. in the hot July sun. Elsie is sitting on her swing in the back yard when, oh no, here he comes—Butterball Orkstrom, strutting into the yard. He looks at Elsie and says, “Els—I came to get me a kiss.”
Elsie laughs and says, “Okay Butterball—if you climb up into my tree and act like a monkey, I’ll kiss you on the cheek.”
Butterball Okstron looks way up the tree, stands there and then starts to perform. Elsie Bowerstone shrieks and says, “Are you spitting on my flowers?”
“Well I’m sure not climbing that tree—no kiss is worth THAT. Bye Elsie.”—and he spits again right on her tree, a real horker, and Butterball leaves happy.
So it is down to me, ha ha—those numbskulls —couldn’t find their butts with both hands in the dark. (Hey I said butts again—skiddley bop bop). MY plan is the best. I walk right up to Elsie who hasn’t quite got over Butterball’s performance yet, but I don’t care. It was now or never. So I just walk over and kiss her. Yup, that’s right you guys—I just kissed her and you know what she said was, “Jonny Littleman Huggins, I guess it might have been worse, but if you ever try that again, I’ll cream ya.”
“Yes”, I say, with the boys all watching and cheering. “I won the bet, but where is Windy?”
He’s coming down Foster Avenue and he doesn’t look happy. When I get to him I say, “Where ya bin?”
Windy replies, “I’ve been sitting in The Cave, boiling for TWO hours, writing on the walls, swatting at mosquitoes, with nothin’ to eat, and starting to smell. She said she was coming for sure but she didn’t—so I finally left.”
I look at Windy and I say, “Are you having a heartbreak?”
Windy sneers and says, “Heartbreak my ass. She owes me 8 bucks.”
Well folks, that was the July of 1965 on Foster Avenue.
(NEVER EVER GIVE UP).