It’s been a while, but here’s a silly little story based on events from my childhood.  This week, Trifecta called for using the third definition of the word ‘whatever’ – “3.   (adverb) Used to show that something is not important” in a piece of writing between 33 – 333 words in length.  Here it is.

Jeffrey Magoo had more hats than a church lady.  Hats shaped like animals.  Hats with faces and googly eyes. Hats topped with pom-pom, feathers and spinners.  Naturally, Jeffrey was shunned and called ‘Doo-Doo Magoo’  – the zenith of grade-school creativity.  I pitied Jeffrey, but what could I do?  If they stopped taunting him they might notice my K-Mart jeans and Payless shoes.  Then I’d be the kid with chocolate pudding smeared on my backpack and spitwads in my hair.

But Jeffrey lived next door to me, and he had Jurassic Park dinosaurs – the expensive kind with sound effects and chunks of removable rubber flesh!

So although I questioned his sanity, I secretly played with him.

“Why do you wear those stupid things?” I finally asked one afternoon.

Jeffrey shrugged his shoulders, averting his dark, almond-shaped eyes.  “My mom likes them.”

“Yea, but everyone at school hates them!  Don’t you want them to stop picking on you?”

“Well, my dad left us in Thailand while I was still in my mom’s tummy.  She says I’m all she has.”  He shrugged again, “These hats make her happy, so I wear them.”

My desire to eviscerate his triceratops somehow lost some of its zest after that.

The next day at school, Shanna was rubbing Jeffrey’s jester hat in the gravel as he looked on, tears staining his round cheeks.

After hesitating, I crept timidly over to Shanna and murmured, “L-l-leave him alone.”

Surely I was about to die in a blaze of pelted gravel and mockery.

“What? He your boyfriend or something? You love Doo Doo Magoo!” she called out.

Fuming, I snatched Jeffrey’s hat, dusted it off and handed it to him.  Then, mustering all my contempt, I delivered the nastiest insult in my second-grade repertoire.  Forming my fingers into a W, I placed them on my forehead and snarled, “Whatever!”

Shanna’s mouth formed an O of shock, I grinned and Jefferey’s face lit up like the sun under the tinkling bells of that dopey hat.


10 responses »

  1. Awesome! What courage to take a stand for a friend! Loved the back story of why J. wore the hats despite the tormenting he received. That added layers of meaning that gave your story depth.

  2. Fantastic. You write the most delicious descriptions and the tone is always spot on with your characters’ personality. Couldn’t post till now, my Kindle couldn’t conked out while trying to download your blog. I thing the graphics take too much memory?

  3. This is fantastic! I also enjoy that it’s based on a true story. It’s tough to stick up for someone, especially at that age. My favorite part, though, was his reason for wearing the hats. Broke my heart in a lovely way.

  4. I love that the dinosaurs drew you in, but you also took the time to understand the motivation behind Jeffrey’s hats, which gave you all the courage you needed to stand up for him.

  5. zomg I had those dinosaurs as a kid!
    It was so much easier to be brave back in elementary school when the worse insult was ‘whatever’.

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