249 word Character Sketch
“Here,” I say, smiling, “I’m pretty good with kids.”
I’m at church, trying to impress Holly. She is in the corner, talking quietly. I’ve known her for about two weeks, and she still hasn’t agreed to marry me. I can’t figure it out.
The child I’ve proffered to take, her niece Emma, is four months old, pink, and registering her dissatisfaction with the world in general in a volume heard by a very large portion of the world in particular. The frazzled mother of six hands the wee pink one to me.
When attempting to impress a girl, quieting an infant is a solid move. And this is not actually all that difficult. Just keep moving. In the early stages of rage, a rapid succession of bug, toy, thud, clacking tongue, unsuspecting cat (watch the paws) and contorted face will often distract mewling infant from screaming until you pass it off to some other victim. I start singing quietly and bouncing Emma while walking in a circle. She ignores a toy, and attempts to detach and eat a fistful of my hair.The screaming stops.
Holly looks over curiously.
I see her watching, so I smile and coo at the little brat that’s now discovering that yes, ears are attached. Holly is coming.
I extract Emma's fist from my nostril and pass her off to the nearest female. “Start screaming,” I silently pray. God answers in decibels.
Holly grins at me. “So,” she says, “you’re pretty good with kids?”
January 15, 2008
I first met him after she told me she liked him. The first thing I knew about him? I would have to say I learned that he could grow a full beard in a day. Immediately, the grotesque image of a hairy beast serving coffee at Bucer’s popped into my head. I figured he would have to wear a full body hair net in order to avoid getting hair in the caramel mochas he was so good at making. But, she liked him. “Drat, I thought, “now, I have to get to know him.”
So, I did. The second thing I learned was that he never finished his sent… He would have the best thing to sa--- Then he would change and start talking about this one time in the freezing rain out on the--- “Look at that!!!” He would suddenly say. Only to point off in a completely different direction the next half second. He is the only person I know who can interrupt himself. But, she liked him. “Sigh…” I thought again to myself, “I’ll try and figure him out even if he single handedly started the whole ADD fad.”
Then it happened, I saw it. In the most bizarre circumstance possible, he stood against the grain of what was happening. Intrigued, I watched. He stood up to the rushing water and successfully changed its course. Here was one man standing up against the seeming world and winning. She loved him. ”I’m so glad,” I thought, “He is the right man for the job.”
January 16, 2008
Word Count: 246
My Oral Final
I will tell you what I did in Lordship, going into my oral final. I sit down. Mr. Appel pulls out his chair. He sits down.
I start with “Umm…” All of a sudden I am in a world of “Umm’s” and that is all I can think of. Not baptism. Not the sacraments. Not even Augustine.
“Let me tell you about my dream.”
The corner of his lip slowly begins to rise.
“Well, you see, I was pregnant.”
One sinister eyebrow rises a quarter of an inch. Thinking about how lucky I am to get such a response from the man of stone, I continue.
“I was pregnant, and then I realized I didn’t remember getting pregnant. So I asked my mother. ‘Hey Mom, how did I get pregnant? I just don’t remember…’ She looked concerned. ‘Well, Rosalie, honey, recently you’ve been eating a lot of pork. And you are going to have a baby pig.’ ”
Mr. Appel’s other eyebrow goes up, making his forehead look like the Arch of Triumph.
I wish I had stopped there. But I didn’t.
“Mr. Appel, just thinking about giving birth to a pig made me burn with righteous anger. So obviously, the only thing to do was to kill it. I chased the pig around the house with a butcher knife and screamed to my family, “We’re gonna have pork tonight!”
I finished my final telling Mr. Appel, “Dreams have consequences.” His jaw dropped.
Single? Why Wait? Grab a Snickers!
Awkward conversations are like fireworks. Even when you’re not a part of them, you can hear them coming, and when they explode, it is impossible to ignore them. I was in Bucer’s reading some book like it was a sleeping pill, but the conversation next to me was making it extremely hard to read or sleep. I don’t know what these two guys were hoping to accomplish by making the environment awkward for everyone, but they were clearly desperate for the same girl. I don’t pretend to know much about this stuff—she didn’t look to me like she was worth the trouble, but these two guys kept on wrapping themselves around her finger like she was the last woman on earth. I’m not sure how much progress either of them actually made with her, but in a split-second all the work that had scandalized me for an hour went to waste. A third guy walked in, and handed her a snickers bar, clearly stealing her heart. And then he walked right out again. To the jealous and confused looks of her original admirers, she said, “He ate all the snickers bars and didn’t leave any for me, but he just brought me one. Aww.” One of the guys, either getting desperate or knowing the battle was lost and going kamikaze, said, “Snickers is love.” The poor guys just got dumped for a snickers bar, and she looked at them with no sympathy and replied, “This snickers bar is everything to me.”