This is the result of a quick writing assignment at a recent writers’ conference I spoke at. Virtually unedited.
When my mom brought home a candy called “Toffifay” and said I couldn’t have any because it’s “too good for kids,” I was outraged! Candy was made for kids. Candy was invented for kids. I’m sure there’s somewhere in the Bible that says, “Let the children come unto candy, and do not hinder them.” Mom wasn’t hearing any of it. “It says on the TV commercials it’s too good for kids, and if you can’t trust TV commercials, life is but an empty shell.”
I knew about TV commercials, and how much you can trust them, which is about as far as I can throw my Teddy Ruxpin bear that can only say “Please insert new batteries” no matter how many times I insert new batteries. And then there’s those annoying ads that say “Tonka Toys are made for boys.” Well, I know that’s not true because when my brother was at Bible camp I played with his Tonka Toys and they worked just fine for me. So yeah, TV commercials are not my idea of the most trustable things ever.
“What if I clean my room?” I asked.
“You haven’t cleaned your room yet?” Mom said.
“What if I clean my room and your room?”
“You wouldn’t know where to put stuff away.”
“Oh, I know what’s in all your drawers,” I said without thinking.
“You what?” Mom almost yelled.
She looked at me kinda funny.
“Fine,” I said. “I’ll just go eat that package of Tiger Tails Uncle Darren gave me.” Tiger Tails are Mom’s favorite snack, so if there’s any in the house, they’re usually all gone before I get any. So Uncle Darren sneaks me a 2-pack from time to time.
“You have Tiger Tails?” Mom asked.
“They’re too good for grown-ups, you know,” I said.
“What TV commercial said that?”
“It was in the Girl Scout magazine,” I said. Maybe not truthfully, a little.
“Maybe we could trade,” Mom suggested.
“I dunno. I’d hate to eat something that’s too good for kids. I might explode or something.”
“Well, maybe those commercials kinda overstated their case.”
Just then Dad came home. “Hi, girls,” he said. “What’s new?”
I had to get in first. “Mom won’t give me one of those Fluffytay candies ’cos they’re too good for kids.”
“She won’t give me a Tiger Tail,” said Mom.
Dad looked back and forth between the two of us, then said, “Oh, look at the time. I promised your brother I’d, um, check the air in his bike tires when I got home.”
Mom gave his back a dirty look as he left he room walking quicker than he usually does.
Just then my snot-nosed big brother came in. He saw Mom’s Toffeewhatsit on the arm of the sofa, and my Tiger Tails where I had set them down.
There was a moment’s silence.
“Dad sent me in to grab a snack for the two of us,” he said. Mom and I both saw what was about to happen, but didn’t move quickly enough.
“Thanks bye!” that stinker of a brother yelled over his shoulder as he ran from the room with our snacks.
Mom and I looked at each other for a minute, but it seemed like an hour.
“I made some cookies,” she said finally.
Copyright © 2013 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.