the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gangsta of shove

Although I could swear I've posted this particular story before, a search for it through my archives came up empty. If somehow I've missed it, and have already posted this, I apologize. But it is a great story. Suck it up, read it my love slave Wilford Brimley says, it's the right thing to do.


'Twas many years ago when my nephews and niece were tiny tots. This was, like, back when I was skinny, so you know that was a fair jaunt back on the timeline. I won't say how long, but I will tell you that they're all old enough to go buy Aunt Katy some booze if they choose.

The family used to come over to Flint when my parents lived there, and we'd all visit with each other for the whole weekend. All the adults would gather and talk ourselves hoarse, and the kids would bounce in and out of the room, quite often amusing us during their intermittent presences.

My niece, "Rachel," has grown into a much nicer young lady than her auntie ever was, but when she was very young, she was quite a handful. One minute, she could be all sweetness and light and the cutest little blondie you ever saw, and the next minute, she'd have turned into a little walking, exploding, tears-of-indignity-stained thunder cloud. I can remember her storming up the stairs and stopping to poke her face through the railing and point at me while bellowing "Don't laugh, you ugly girl! Stop laughing, I tell you!" Yes, yes, that did a lot to quell the laughter in the room. Another time, she was parading around quite proudly in a tiny bride's costume she'd been given as a present, but when she started to get tired, her enchantment with the outfit began to wane. At the zenith of her fit of pique, she stomped into the middle of the living room, held up her hands, and declared, "These gloves are too big - just look at 'em!"

I suppose she was three or four when what I like to call the Dancing Incident took place, which would make her brother "Billy" about six or seven at the time.

It was a Sunday morning, and there were adults crowded into every room on the first floor of my parents' apartment. There was so much going on conversationally that not too many people were paying the kids any mind. Rachel was all revved up and ready to go; she had that look in her eyes that little ones get when they've abandoned any pretense of behaving. Someone had made a purchase that left, in its wake, a large piece of white tissue paper, and at some point in her bopping around the living room, Rachel made a hat out of it. She wore it tied under the chin, with a large amount of paper coming to a point above her head - it looked like she was some kind of demented midget samurai warrior. As she jumped around, the point on top of the paper bobbed and danced, which was pretty fuckin' hilarious, and I do so wish I'd had a video camera then.

She tired of playing alone, so she went over to Billy and started to hop around him, asking "Wanna dance?" and then punching him. Billy knew better than to hit his little sister, so he made no move to retaliate as she continued to circle him, continuing to ask him to dance, punching harder and harder each time as she saw there would be no paybacks. At that point, I made sure I wasn't missing a thing, because I knew this would be interesting, one way or another. I don't know; maybe it's the same instinct that draws men to watch cockfights.

If you had to ask me, I'd say the punch in the stomach was the turning point of that little skirmish. Rachel socked Billy in the gut, and the look on his face changed from stoically exasperated to "ENOUGH, MOTHERFUCKER!" He whirled and gave her a decisive shove that sent her backside to meet the floor in short order. For a second, she was silent and shocked that he'd pushed her, and then she began to wail, more from indignation than anything else. Billy leaned over her and muttered, out the side of his mouth, the line that will live with me forever.

"Had enough dancin' for one day, Toots?"

He looked around to ascertain if anybody had seen what transpired. My ex and I were the only ones who witnessed the entire drama, and as he saw us start to crack up, he realized he wasn't busted or in trouble; he came to sit next to me on the couch, a sly, conspiratorial little grin forming on his lips. I was so happy that I'd actually paid attention to the kids for a while. Sometimes it pays to sit back and let them make their own theater while you remain in a neutral corner.

Billy now writes and records his own hip-hop songs. I can trace it back to his first girl-shoving incident.

12 of you felt the overwhelming need to say somethin':

Blogger eclectic said...

A bruthah can only take so much, yo. Word.

11:19 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Madame D said...

That's awesome. I do love kid interactions.

6:57 AM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Hip hop? Have you NO influence over him these days?

7:09 AM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Squirl said...

I'm so glad you told this story. Those kids were pretty funny. Poor Billy, nothing was ever fair for him. At least, it wasn't fair as far as he was concerned. :)

7:29 AM, December 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know that insuranced was a word.

1:51 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Dixie said...

I'm a big people watcher anyway, but when kids are involved, you can bet your ass that is who I'm paying attention to. I may look like I'm engrossed in whatever you are saying, but my eyes are on the kids. Way more interesting.

2:01 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Platypus said...

Love it! Kids are great fun to watch. All their embarassing moments should be witnessed by adults and posted on the internet for posterity - and for telling their boyfriends/girlfriends when they bring them home...

5:01 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger I'm not here. said...

Awesome story!
"...Lemon Curry?"
-Monty Python ref.

7:35 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

I not think I have many machines which not insuranced.

I are checking instantedly to receive insurance the machine.

Looks like their copywriter was into the Xanax.

4:54 AM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

As one with a pain-in-the-ass little sister, I appreciate this more than words can express.

5:50 PM, December 04, 2006  
Blogger Mike said...

Wow, even the spammers are outsourcing.

7:59 PM, December 04, 2006  
Blogger Susie said...

Priceless. And educational. I'm going to stop punching people when I ask them to dance. It could end badly. I see that now.

5:39 PM, December 06, 2006  

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