Emily managed to correctly spell 67 of 70 words on her two tests this week, but it was Wednesday’s test that still has the Fulton house abuzz.
She had completed the exam and was going over each of the words to make certain they all looked correct before turning it in when she doubted herself on how she had spelled “dialogue.” Below dialogue was the word “costumes.” Both words were in fact spelled correctly, but she was concerned about the placement of the “u” in dialogue, and opted to erase her spelling, and her reworked version was incorrect, and unfortunately in her efforts to quickly erase and rework, she had accidentally rubbed-out the “e” and the “s” in costumes, thus costing her that word as well.
She took it all in stride and as I noted did even better on the Friday exam, getting 34 of 35 correct. Now on to this week’s study story, which is loosely based on actual events…
Disgusting Ben Smiley
Ben Smiley was just plain gross, in fact he was perhaps the most disgusting person on the face of the earth. Ben had no peer when it came to his yucky acts, like all those times he would twirl his moustache with peanut butter on his fingers. Or how about the time he burnt some toast and scratched his ears with the corner of the crisp bread?
Or perhaps there was the time he decided to smear grape jelly on his hand and lick it off?
You might think that Ben, because he was so disgusting, was a horrible fellow, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He was really a nice guy and would always appear to be making an effort to clean up his act and do something worthwhile, like use a napkin or at least burp in the opposite direction so as to not strike a nerve. But there is simply no doubting that Ben Smiley was always doing something to make us squirm.
This last Saturday we were all at the pier and weary from a long week in the trenches. We had been on high alert ever since the murmur of big changes coming, so a relaxing evening by the water was something that might make our rattled nerves sturdy once again.
Unfortunately because of Ben, the outing was about to have the reverse effect. At least it seemed that way to me.
We all have something in our lives that we crave or perhaps covet, and Ben Smiley has been known on occasion to worship potato chips, in fact, if he could make a career out of being the guy who can taste chips all day long in order to help the Frito Lay company do its research I think he would sign up in heartbeat.
A bunch of us had arrived very early and were standing around waiting for the festivities to begin, and we were all very hungry. So Ben took it upon himself to volunteer to go on a food hunt. He disappeared for nearly a half hour and when he returned empty-handed someone asked him where in the world he’d gone. His face was covered in potato chip bits and dust, and then Ben used a finger to pick pieces out of his teeth and proceeded to suck the slimy residue from his fingers. Each time he did it there was a resounding slurp sound. It was, in a word, grotesque.
Given the current unsteady climate and angry feelings amongst the folks in attendance it would have been understandable if Ben Smiley were physically attacked or perhaps given a swift kick in the rear. What I wasn’t ready for was the wild cheer that arose from the crowd at the disgusting sight (and sounds) of Ben Smiley with gooey potato chip particles on his fingers. It was as if the people simply couldn’t take the stress any longer, and in a moment when we all need a little something, when we all yearn for immediate relief, Ben Smiley was somehow able to engineer it for us.
Now I was there and I have no special powers that allow me to interpret the crowd’s reaction to Ben’s horrible display of saliva-covered potato drippings, but the feeling I get was that all the collective turmoil on the inside could only be remedied by a strong external response. Was that it? Or was it the sight of Ben, clutching his abdomen and faking like one of his organs had exploded that really got the crowd going? All I know was that disgusting Ben Smiley was the star attraction at this rather bizarre encounter.
Later on in the parking lot, long after most of the crowd had disbursed from what could have been a very dreary event, a most interesting and successful gathering was over, yet there was Ben Smiley holding court. Dressed in a skeleton costume and telling stories about his nostril cartilage pain, he suddenly got a tortilla chip stuck in his esophagus and without missing a beat Ben coughed it up to the uproarious approval of his captive audience.
This was a night I shall never forget.
But I’m going to try.