Sunday, April 28, 2013

back when laughter was cheap and easy

It came as a great discovery
Jeffrey Kingery brought his dog to school
It was for show and tell
His dog had a black spot over one eye
I sat in my straight back chair
uncertain why this dog mattered so much
why he deserved to be at the front of the class
Secretly it shocked me that Mrs Hoeness
put up with the dog at all
seeing as how she threw fits if someone threw away half an apple
Jeffrey introduced the dog as if it was a person
“This is Fitzmasterson” he said
Fitzmasterson? Someone laughed
Then another kid laughed
Mrs Hoeness told the class to stop laughing
Laughter is something you cannot shove down
Soon laughter had erupted over the room
Like shaving cream coming out of a broken can
Jeffrey stood at the front of the class with his dog
mouth agape as if in surprise
he felt the front of his pants
I knew he thought he was unzipped
Mrs Kingery scowled at the class
She came up and took the dog away
“Good Fitzmasterson good dog good boy”
she kept saying as her gait made that swish sound
where her nylon stockings rubbed between her thighs
Jeffrey Kingery went back to his seat
The laughter burst out a couple more times
Mrs Hoeness told the class we were forbidden to say
the word Fitzmasterson in the room
There were popping and sputtering sounds
Lisa Kelsey’s face turned red then her laughter exploded
it was like rainbow confetti you put on white frosting
Altogether this is my favorite memory from first grade
I went home and said “Fitzmasterson” to my little sisters
they were too young for school
They laughed until they peed their panties
What I would have given for a dog
whose name could be as explosive as a soda bottle too

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