At first glance, this appears to be a lovely image of young lasses enjoying a rather uncoordinated but still festive game of leapfrog. In actuality, this image was snapped at the Margaret Thatcher Correctional Facility for Undisciplined Urchins, just as the troubled felon-ettes were searching for a homemade shank that Big Martha had stupidly dropped just before the Big Rumble at the teeter-totters.
Othella, far right: “You twits need to hurry up. I can see Sister Snapcrackle over yonder, and she’s sniffin’ the air like she knows we ain’t playin’ no leapfrog.”
Learina, one of the bent-over urchins: “Then do somethin’ about it, girl. We gotta find the shank.”
Othella: “Whaddya want me to do? It’s not like I can stop her from comin’ over here.”
Learina: “Go break somethin’ in the chapel. You know she’ll be after your ass right quick.”
Othella: “I ain’t doin’ that. Last time I did, they took away my butterscotch puddin’ for a whole week. That’s the only thing that keeps me goin’ in this hole.”
Bethmac, another bent-over: “You’re such a little girl, little girl. I ain’t scared a no Snapcrackle.”
Othella: “You should be. Snapcrackle don’t play. That time I broke the head of the Margaret statue? She made me read the Bible backwards. All of it.”
Bethmac: “You sure do like bustin’ things. What’s wrong with you?”
Othella: “I grew up at a coal mine. I can’t relax unless things are gettin’ busted up all night. If I can’t sleep, I go break somethin’.”
Bethmac: “Sounds like they need to take away more than just you’re puddin.”
Tempestina, one of the leaping girls: “Could all y’all just shut up for a minute and give me the downlow on Snapcrackle? Is she headed this way? I ain’t really enjoyin’ all this fake jumpin’ and I’d just as soon stop if it ain’t worth it anymore. I done snagged myself a few times, if you smell what I’m cookin’.”
Othella: “Oh. I done forgot about her, what with Bethmac shamin’ me ‘bout bein’ a coal miner’s daughter and all. Okay, um, let’s see. Best I can tell, Snapcrackle is still on a mission, but she stopped to talk to Sister Goldenhair. She’s pointin’ over here, so she ain’t done, but at least she ain’t walkin’.”
Tempestina: “Damn. Means I gotta keep jumpin’. Okay, here goes. Whoops, sorry Ophelia. ‘Scuse my hoo-hoo.”
Ophelia: “Really? My ear? I’d best find me a river to clean up in after this.”
Bethmac, future lady: “Out, out, damn spot.”
Ophelia: “You makin’ fun of me?”
Bethmac: “No, that would be the writer makin’ me say that, with him thinkin’ he’s bein’ clever and all.”
Ophelia: “I feel ya. He’s a horrid man, with what he does to us characters. I done got a cooter upside my head.”
Othella: “Breakin’ news, girls. Sister Brisket just joined Sisters Snapcrackle and Goldenhair. They still ain’t walkin’ over here, but they’re plannin’ somethin’. We gotta find that shank!”
Romeo-Etta: “Found it! Oh, sorry, it’s just another crucifix. How many of those things do they need around here? Geezus.”
Othella: “Wait, will it do in a pinch for the rumble?”
Romeo-Etta: “Look, I ain’t usin’ this thing in a street fight. You can do what you want, but I ain’t shankin’ nobody with this, and I’m an atheist.”
Othella: “You are? Ain’t you the one who says prayers the loudest in morning chapel?”
Romeo-Etta: “Of course I am. Ain’t nobody takin’ away my puddin’ for a week.”
Othella: “Dang it, here they come. Nobody knows nuthin’, ya hear? Don’t nobody rat on nobody.”
First on the scene, Sister Goldenhair: “Surprise! We know what you’re doin’.”
Othella: “You do? Well, it wasn’t my idea. It was… it was Bethmac!”
Bethmac: “Wow, that took you one second to turn. You better be careful in the showers, Tokyo Rose.”
Sister Goldenhair, beaming righteously: “Now, now. Ain’t no need to pretend anymore and be name-callin’ and shower-threatenin’. We’re just real proud of what you’re doin’.”
Learina: “And…what is it that you think we’re doin’, exactly?”
Sister Goldenhair: “Why, workin’ on your choreography for that there Margaret Thatcher Tribute Parade next week.
Complete silence for five seconds, then:
Bethmac: “That’s it, exactly.”
Tempestina: “You done caught us.”
Romeo-Etta: “I got me the chills, how right you are.”
Sister Goldenhair: “I just have one question. Why we all talkin’ like we from Oklahoma instead a Nottingham, England where this here urchin-correction facility be?”
The Bent-Over Girls and the Leaping Girls and The Sisters, Christian and otherwise, all turned to look at The Writer.
The Writer did not look back and continued eatin’ his butterscotch puddin’.
Previously published, revised and massively extended. (The original was just the first paragraph.) And yes, I know this one is wrong on so many levels. But it felt right on many others, especially with the twisted trivia, and the balance leans in favor of me gettin’ some good sleep tonight, even if nuthin’ gets busted up over at the coal mine, daughter.
Categories: Past Imperfect