Trampolines + Boys
If you recall, I stumbled onto the amazing idea of the Hecto-Gram while writing the intro to last week’s story, and ever since then the imaginary fans in my head have been leaving comments that they want to hear more about the Hecto-Granny multiverse, but there’s a problem. The idea is short, I might have already used up the whole thing.
My solution was to use a short story I wrote about my grandma’s passing in 2009 as the intro to stretch the idea, but as I was searching I came across another short story I wrote on the way to my friend Jill’s house. It was raining lightly, somewhere between wiper settings where you can’t quite turn them off, but the lowest setting is still to frequent, and the wipers chatter and screech across your windshield like a bare-skin on a metal slide. Just as I was turning off of the main road and heading up the hill, I noticed three 7-8 year old boys half-jumping half-wrestling on a slippery trampoline out in the rain. Pure joy radiated off them. I caught some of the beams and it still makes me smile to remember them.
Jill died this week. She was like a sister to my mother and like aunt to me. Without Jill’s assertion that I would make a good teacher, my life would be undeniably different.
I’d like to post this story I wrote in March 2010 in memory of all the time her boys and I spend roaming the woods playing make-believe, and to the beauty of her, and the beautiful, joyful, greif-filled living of life.
Trampolines + Boys
(original title: Wrestle Mania 3,000)
"This Sunday! Sunday! SUNDAY! In the DEATH CAGE ARENA. Forget the ring. ForGET the octagon! Forget cage matches with the razor wire along the top, 'cause these wrestlers are taking it to the next level in the only round ring in the federation. THIS IS WRESTLE MANIA 3,000!!
"Here comes Jonathan the Bouncinator stepping into the ring. Tonight’s battle is going to be a three-way fight to the death—"
"…But if anyone says time out’, you have to stop."
"Yeah, I know. A four-way fight to the death where time-outs are okay if it’s an emergency!"
"Cause remember last week when Cameron—"
"Cameron the Head-butter, stepping into the ring!"
"—Yeah, when Cameron the Head-butter used his signature butt-to-face move and knocked out your loose tooth and you called ‘time-out’?!"
"Yeah Andy I remember. Wait, Cam don’t introduce yourself, that’s the announcer’s job. In the only cage match—"
"This is only a net. I wish we had a REAL cage."
"Yeah what is this? Wrestle Mania for fish?"
"Guys stop it. You’re ruining the announcer’s speech! Wait, don't fight yet!"
"How come you get to be the announcer?"
"What did you get from the tooth fairy?"
"Because it’s my trampoline. Five bucks."
"SO? We should take turns."
"The tooth fairy isn’t real."
"Oh those are fighting words! ...and it looks like the Bouncinator is lining up for a… wait hang on… lining up for a… dude stop, I can’t rocket-bounce you if you keep moving around."
<Skreek... Skreek... Skreek...>
"No Duh! Andy the Tripper doesn’t let himself get caught in a rocket-bounce!"
"The Tripper? I thought you were The Leg Jam."
"I was, but then you kept calling me ‘Toe Jam’."
"That wasn’t me. That was THE BOUNCINATOR!"
"HA HA! That’s right! And right now Toe Jam looks like he’s about to get a… FACE JAM!!"
"OW! GET OFF!"
"Oh no, now the Head-butter is coming in for the coup d’état."
"Stop using the announcer voice. Guys, I'm the only announcer!"
"Woah, what’s that?"
"It’s the secret move the Head-butter learned while he was away training in China!"
"Oh is this the one your cousin taught you?"
<Skreek... Skreek... CRUNCH!>
"OW! NO JUMP MOVES! AHHHHHHH! MOOOOOOM!"
"I didn’t MEAN to; the trampoline is slippery! I SLIPPED!"
"Slipped like THIS? OOH, that looked like it hurt!"
"OW! Dude, its time-out!"
"NO! No one CALLED it!"
"The Bouncenator’s Mom called it."
"I didn’t hear—"
"BOOOOOOYS! It’s freezing and raining out here!"
"We’re not cold!"
"Come inside please!"
"Come ON mom!"
"I don’t want your parents getting angry with me when you all catch pneumonia! COME INSIDE!"
"Dude, my mom could take your mom in Wrestle Mania 3,000."
"Ooh, look who’s talking tough now that we’ve left the ring. We’ll settle this next time Toe Jam!"
"I’m The Tripper now."
"Boys, wait by the door. You're soaking wet. Stop! You’re getting water everywhere!"
"Sorry Misses Bouncinator."
"Hey let’s make a fort!"
"Nah, let’s play hide-and-go-seek NINJA STYLE! WHAAAAA-CHOP!"