I took a little trip this last week and was not around to pester Emily with practice tests, and when she only missed a single word on the early week test I was overjoyed for her, Still, with the fourth grade words being so challenging, there were no guarantees that her Wednesday success would transfer to the big test on Friday, yet there was my little girl getting a perfect score! A+ Emily was 35-for-35! I am so proud of her.
But there is no rest for the weary or triumphant, so we venture onward into a new week of words and of course a new study story. Enjoy.
The Tale of Jackie McCoy
The old man had to be sniffing glue, right? How else could you explain him rising at 4 AM to play his flute as a means of rediscovering his youth? His neighbors were quick to accuse him of being eccentric or perhaps just a plain old weirdo, but Jackie McCoy was anything but flamboyant, and the purple bruise on his forehead proved that he was willing to suffer some pain for his art.
It would seem that one of the neighbors had tossed a shoe at him for his early morning flute concert.
But Jackie didn’t care. Instead of being mad at Mrs. Thomas for the shoe toss he instead made her a nice stew. If given the choice Jackie would always choose kindness over revenge, and because of that quality many folks assumed that he had a screw loose, but that really wasn’t the case. In fact, if you were betting money on his sanity, you would certainly lose your money if you wagered that he was crazy. But it was certainly understandable that so many held that view, for early morning flute playing, stew-making and other oddities were a lot like Jackie’s signature: Loopy and messy.
Consider if you will the time he tried to confuse passengers that were waiting for a train, as he ran into the station and told them that their tickets were now to be used for a cruise. Or how about the time that he sent the entire town on a wild search for a missing jewel that was allegedly worth a fortune. Then there was the time that he went to the Waffle House to dilute the famous maple syrup. With mustard.
Okay, so perhaps Jackie McCoy was a bit odd, and maybe slightly off-center. He was still a very nice fellow who wanted to contribute to society.
And so what if this 77-year-old man’s idea of contributing to society was taking a paper route!
You see, Jackie was a huge fan of the “Macho Duck” cartoon that was printed in the daily newspaper and he figured the best way to see the new cartoon each day was to be the guy getting the newspaper first. And then as he made his deliveries he made it a point to let his subscribers know what Macho Duck was up to on this particular day. He would slowly pedal his bike up and down the avenue and just as he was ready to throw a paper to a house he would say something like, “Macho Duck is driving a tank today Mrs. Blevens!” He might even include his prediction on what was going to happen the next day just so that the readers wouldn’t assume that the adventures were going to get dull.
Jackie’s newspaper subscribers were not great tippers, in fact they liked to hide behind their curtains if they saw or heard him coming, so in lieu of tips Jackie McCoy was apt to taking himself a souvenir from their front yard, but it was never something that they would miss. Sometimes he’d take a nice piece of fruit to eat, or if there was a group of cats gathered on a porch he might take a kitty for a joy ride on his bike. And who were cats to refuse a ride on Jackie’s bike? Despite their howls of protest the cats really couldn’t argue with the strange, perhaps foolish man who would take them around the block only to return them to their porch having used one of their nine lives.
It was safe to conclude that Jackie was a crazy man, what with the flute, the mustard, the paper route and the cats, but no one could deny his passionate pursuit of life, and nobody would dare intrude upon his dreamlike state, or presume to understand his mind, where he would subdue the dragon, save the damsel in distress and help his niece with her algebra homework.
Yes sir, that Jackie McCoy was quite the fellow, and if given the option of playing life conservative with completely safe outcomes or taking lots of chances knowing that a certain percentage of them would turn out rotten, well let’s just say that a particular ratio of neighborhood cats, newspaper subscribers, train passengers and those who cherished their sleep likely know that Jackie McCoy would always do things his own unique way.
Like the time he made his own hot air balloon and….
Or the time he dropped the toaster in the bathtub….
And that one time that he pretended that he was a barber….
There were going to be plenty more of those stories for Jackie. And that’s just the way he liked it.