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Showing posts with label trouble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trouble. Show all posts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Price of a Laugh: A Dog House Story

About ten years ago, I gave my students a writing assignment that looked like fun; so, I wrote along side of them. I enjoyed the prompt so much that I decided I wanted to write a
novel. As of now, I've written five novels, but none are published. In all honesty, I haven't had a lot of time for novel writing or querying recently. Not having a book contract is probably for the best since teaching is so demanding. But I still dream of publication of more than just a magazine story.


Just this week, I wrote another story with my kids. They are working on a Dog Unit so the assignment was to write about one of those wonderful dog expressions such as, a dog-eat-dog world, raining cats and dogs, dog eared, dog tired or the one I chose, in the doghouse.

Here's my fiction story. It hasn't had much editing and I didn't spend a lot of time writing it, but I'll share it any way.



The Price of a Laugh: A Dog House Story

     "I'll only be gone a moment," Mom said as she scooted out the door. She'd left us may times before, but something told me today would be different.

     My little brother, Patrick, tugged on my sleeve. His face gave that I'm-bored-expression, even though Mom had only been gone for four minutes. One of my favorite past times was making Patrick laugh. He had one of those goofy snort giggles that seemed to bring the entire house into his party.

     Without giving it too much thought, I grabbed Mom's Japanese bud vase off the marble end table and balanced it on top of my head.

     "Snor-or-ort!" Patrick fell on the floor and rolled into my leg. Not expecting his body to crash into me, I jerked back causing the vase to crash on the floor.

     "Uh-oh," Patrick giggled.

     A meer uh-oh was not going to solve this problem. Mom had bought that vase back in college when she studied in Japan. She had always talked about what a rare find it was and how she'd never seen one just like it. Now her treasure lay on the floor in 1,652 pieces.

     I reached for the broom and swept up the mess all the while thinking of the trouble I'd be in when Mom came home. I'm in the doghouse for the price of one snort laugh.

    

Thursday, June 20, 2013

#GBE2: Siblings

I was told I was part of the family because of a trade with the Indians. The tribe received beads, while my family got a little papoose with a red spot on her forehead. That birthmark was the true coloring of an Indian girl, me. It might have been okay if my brother and sisters had told me they were teasing; however, this stunt continued for years with little me believing it all. Okay, so I was gullible, but isn't that part of being tiny among the mighty sibs? 

They had an 8½, 6½, and 4 year jump on me, and they used it to their advantage. I was their trained mouthpiece in acquiring what Mom and Dad would have never agreed to. As the Chevrolet ventured down the road, with the three of them shoulder-to-shoulder in the backseat while I sat wedged between the adults in the front, he-who-must-not-be-named would point out the window and say, "Look, Joycie. What do you see?"

Next came my hopping dance, "McDonalds! McDonalds! Let's go to McDonalds!" Sure enough the car would slide into the lot for hamburgers, fries, and chocolate shakes, which no one would have gotten if one who wasn't so stinkin' cute had asked.

I was also subjected to constant bouts of tickling from He-who-must-not-be-named and TV high jacking, too. I don't know which was worse: being held by the arms and tortured or forced to watch Bonanza. Tickling is a definite form of abuse, especially when Gilligan's Island is on, but I was too little to stop it. 

Then there were the other set ups. 

"If you tear your blanket, 
you'll have many." 

"Why don't you go ask Mr. Slatkin,
the famous conductor neighbor, 
for his autograph early in the morning?"

Laughter as a piece of liver is shoved in my mouth 

or 

hearing fart sounds as I bite into a chicken butt.

He-who-must-not-be-named gets angry when I write about him, but he was by far the most lethal sibling. I wonder if he would have subjected me to constant torture if he knew that one day I'd have a blog.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lessons From the Playground

Back in the early seventies, I was another dumb kid just trying to fit in when I learned a powerful lesson on how to treat people. As a reward for all of our hard work, the school took us on a field trip to one of the best playgrounds in the world–Six Flags.

Being middle schoolers, we radiated cool as we weaved from ride to ride with a large group of boys and girls. All was wonderful until the lead nasty girl huddled us in a group and whispered, "Let's ditch Dan."

Well, okay. Gee, I had no mind of my own, so if she says we're going to do this, I went along with it. At her signal, all of us darted away from poor Dan.

Next, she chose a second victim, and a third. The group continually grew smaller as we ditched one kid after another. Being that this nasty girl was my good friend, it never dawned on me that eventually I would be the one ditched. They ditched me.

Alone and terrified, I shook in the middle of that huge amusement park. Strangers surrounded me as I wandered up and down the paths looking for one, just one familiar face. Why had I gone along with the pack earlier? Why hadn't I had the courage to speak up and say, "Stop! This is wrong" or  "No! I'm not ditching anyone." I'd never even thought about how cruel our stunt was, and if I hadn't gotten ditched myself, maybe I never would have. So I'm glad they left me. And as for my nasty friend... that was the END of that friendship.

Okay, I confess, she is a current Facebook friend; so, do I paste a link to this post in a private message to her? After that day, she didn't seem to understand why I didn't want to be her friend anymore. Would she understand as an adult? Has she ever thought of Six Flags since or is my horrible memory a faded smudge on her bridge. I have found the ability to forgive her, but I will NEVER forget. It was too painful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Keep Your Pants Dry --CONTROL #GBE2



Control
For wee-little tots control means keeping your pants dry all day long, holding your temper when someone grabs your Tinker Toys, and not throwing the dishes into the bin just because that's what we do every day. I didn't mean to upset anyone. I was following rules. We put the plastic dishes in the toy chest at the end of the day. How was I supposed to know the girls had "special" permission to set them up in the case? I went on auto pilot pulling the plates off the shelf and putting them away until the teacher yelled at me and made me sit in the corner because I'd lost "control." At least I didn't wet my pants.

A few years after that, I lost control when the zoo lady skipped me when it was time to pet the snake. Everyone else got to touch it accept me, so I did what any little kid does: I cried. The teacher brought me into the office to touch the snake and I even got to see its cage. Then I got scared and wet my pants. (Just kidding)

Skipping a lot of years, I entered middle school where I could never control my mouth. How does anyone expect twelve-year-olds not to talk? Of course the only time I really got in trouble for talking was the time when it wasn't exactly my fault. I was honestly trying to get my work done in study hall, but Julie insisted on talking to me. She said, "I think Miss Fillipone is a good teacher."

I gave her a simple, "Ya."

Next Miss Fillipone yelled at me for talking! I laughed. I shouldn't have laughed, but it was funny. I got in stay-after-school kind of trouble while Julie, who laughed too, went unnoticed. Though angry at the unfairness of it all, I kept control in front of the teacher's desk. Didn't defend myself, didn't argue with her, didn't even look her in the eyes. At least I didn't wet my pants.

That sort of control,  not telling someone what you really think of them, has gone MIA in my adult life. In fact, it's my biggest problem. I tend to lose control and state exactly what's on my mind. It's the sort of thing that has gotten me in trouble with authority figures and makes my kids' boyfriends and girlfriends fear me. Really, I'm not a scary person--just an overly honest one who will blurt out the truth when everyone else is trying to hide it . . . but at least I don't wet my pants . . . unless on a roller coaster.