Today, I'm participating in Mark Koopman's, Got Green Blogfest. From what I gathered, I can talk about anything Irish--real or imagined. This is a fun way to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, so I'm all for it. I think I'll share a childhood memory--one that still makes me giggle.
Flash back to kindergarten, St. Paddy's day. Green filled the room--on the walls and on the kids. Except me, I didn't wear green. God love my mother, but she didn't dress me for the holiday. For most kids, that would've been no problem, but I shared a class with the two snarkiest leg climbers on the planet. To protect their innocent children, we'll call the little divas, Rita and Roxy.
Whoever coined the phrase, children are cruel, must have done so after babysitting Rita and Roxy because I'm certain those little darlings were on Satan's payroll. And I suppose their first assignment was to give me nine kinds of hell for not wearing green.
During story time, while perched on her stool, Rita twirled her blond pigtail and poked me on the arm. "Where's your green?"
Roxy's blue eyes flickered at her BFF's query. She scooted close to me and breathed down my neck. "Yeah, people without green get pinched."
I snarled my nose and crossed my arms. "Shut up, stupids. Everybody knows that."
At the front of the room, Mrs. Beaty snapped her shriveled fingers. "Girls, be quiet."
The warning silenced the devil's prodigies for a few minutes--long enough for our elderly teacher to settle her thoughts back inside the world of Dr. Seuss.
Rita slid off her bench. She brushed Roxy's copper hair over her shoulder to whisper in her ear. Then the two sandwiched me between them. I elbowed each of them in the ribs and dodged their pincers, which were snapping at my body.
In a whisper-scream, I said the only thing I thought might save me, "My panties are green."
"Liar." Roxy rubbed her side and groaned. "Prove it."
Rita's head jerked to attention, her pigtails bouncing with the sharp motion. "So what. Even if you are, that doesn't count." She gazed at the clock. "When the bell rings, if I were you, I'd run."
At that moment, as if her words willed it, the bell chimed to dismiss us, and Mrs. Beaty closed her book. I scurried to my desk, snatched up my backpack, and got on my mark to race out the door.
As soon as the teacher waved us on, I dashed out the double doors, down the ramp. Kids flooded the sidewalk, but I pumped my arms, weaving through the crowd.
Two buses down from my own, somebody grabbed my backpack and yanked me backward. Rita and Roxy stood with smirks on their pale faces. There was no warning--no intervention. Tiny fingers twisted into my skin, pinching my legs, arms, and back. Their stealth attack was ten steps ahead of my brain. By the time my mind chose between fight or flight, buses were pulling away from the curb.
Rita and Roxy raced away from me, toward their rides home.
Tears pouring down my face, I stepped onto my bus and poked my head out in their direction. "Big mistake. I'm wearing green. Now, you'll pay."
Both girls froze, colliding into each other. They spun around, their expressions twisted into question marks.
Rita laughed, but it was a shaky, forced noise that sounded more like fear. "Ooh, we're real scared. Run to Mommy and Daddy."
My bus lurched forward, and the driver tugged on my arm, but I clenched onto the hand rail and had my final say. "Tonight...The Vengeful Leprechaun will put his curse on you. He'll punish you for pinching me while I wore green."
Satisfied to see them both trembling, I trotted up the steps, slid into a seat, and rode home in silence. Those girls may have got to me physically, but I invaded their brains, which is much worse. Victory was mine as I pictured the two lying in their beds with their blankets pulled to their chins, waiting for The Vengeful Leprechaun.
The funniest thing about the whole story: That evening when I stripped down for my bath, I spotted a tiny speck of green on my undies. And the next day, or actually the rest of the week, I didn't have to deal with Satan's helpers. It turns out, they both caught an extra bad case of the chickenpox.
In a way, that St. Paddy's Day changed my life. Even though I know a leprechaun didn't curse Rita and Roxy, I'm not convinced they didn't know. Heck, maybe they thought I put a hex on them. Whichever the case, they never messed with me again. Later, we even sort of became friends. If I didn't make up that crazy story, we probably would've remained mortal enemies. Who knows? I'd like to think a good imagination can sometimes save lives, or at least provide a rescue from childhood bullies.
Until next time, happy writing, or whatever makes you smile. :)