Many, many, many years ago I saw a film titled “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” and I remember thinking at the time, what a dumb movie. Of course I was only 10 or 11, and I couldn’t really relate to the plot or subject matter. It was about a character named “Littlechap” trying to improve his lot in the circus world by marrying the boss’ daughter (Evie). That’s about all I really recall from the 1966 movie, other than it had a lot of singing and it wasn’t the science fiction film that the title had led me to believe. That was $1.25 I was never getting back!
After an emotional late night telephone conversation with my intended (brought on by frustration and disappointment over new developments with KK’s struggle) that title resonates in my brain. Not so much for myself, but more so with her. It’s sobering discovering how quickly a balloon can deflate, how instantly a mood can swing, and how harmful it can be avoiding confrontation in the name of harmonious compromise. It’s like ignoring the pebble in your shoe because it’s only a minor irritation. Of course we know that over time, that minor irritation can and likely will grow into something more, something more irritating, more painful, and more serious. How silly we feel when that happens, especially when all that we had to do was remove that pebble when we first noticed it. The same goes for pebbles in a relationship.
She had reached that moment in her life where she must have been thinking those words…”Stop the world, I want to get off!” I didn’t notice I was asleep at the wheel; I was caught up in life’s day to day realities. I missed all the signs, and all the signals. Basically I messed up! And so we had one of those couple’s conversations, the kind that stirs up all the ingredients of the relationship soup before they stick to the bottom of the pot and ruin it. That was a good thing, but hard, and more importantly, totally avoidable had we only taken care of those pebbles straight away instead of waiting for the blister to form and burst. I hope I’ve learned from this, I know that she has forgiven me, and I hope I prove myself worthy of her compassion in the future. I’ll do my best…
Okay, on with chapter six of:
“KK Undercover…The Cookie Caper…”
School Bus Stop: You’re going down Bandito!
Question: “How long does a note hang in the air?”
Answer: “Until the next one is played!”
That’s sorta our process for coming up with a really cool plan. Winifred, Claire, and me toss ideas around until we come up with something that we all agree on. But, you have to be pretty close friends though. Otherwise, you just fight with each other. Fortunately the three of us are tight as a drum! As usual, we finished the plan long after our parents thought we were asleep in our beds. Cell phones are way cool! You don’t even need a flashlight under the covers anymore cause the darn things come with one built in. All you do is roll over, pull the blankets over your head and text yourself into the next dimension, silent communications, I love it! Of course this wouldn’t have been possible I were still on that stupid feeding tube. Fortunately they removed the button and I can eat like a normal person and sleep BY MYSELF again, WOO HOO! Hello Mr. Cheeseburger and curly fries, good-bye forever yucky formula. Seriously, I don’t know what babies see in that stuff.
I wolfed down my yummy scrambled eggs (made them own self thank you) and then waddled out the door on my crutches to catch the bus at the corner. I’m still a little wobbly on these crutches but they’re way better than that darn chair and the stupid walker! I won’t let anybody help me, not even Mom and Dad. Well, that’s not totally true, I let Claire help me onto the bus sometimes, but only when my legs hurt after chemo.
The bus is on time as usual, and there are several kids getting on, laughing and messing around. I can hear Mr. Beadle hollering at them, that always makes me smile, he’s so funny!
“SIT your little behinds in the closet seat you munchkins!”
Claire waives to me from the first step, “Hurry up slow poke, you’re gonna make us late,” she yells.
“I’m coming; I’m coming, keep your shirt on!”
“You need help?”
“No, I’m okay, go sit down. Where’s Winifred?”
“She’s in back finishing her math homework, she says she overslept.”
“NICE,” I say as I reach the bus and hand Mr. Beadle my crutches. He puts them behind his driver’s seat clears a path for me.
“Climb on board Miss Britches, we need to get a move on now,” he says, offering me his hand as I climb into the bus. I smile and take his hand as I pass by him and then use the backs of the seats to steady myself as I walk down the aisle to my seat beside Claire in the back of the bus. Last one on, last one off, as usual.
Claire scoots over so I can sit beside her and Winnie grunts a hello without looking up from her notebook.
“Hi,” I say to both of them
“Hi,” they reply in unison.
I turn in my seat and give Winifred a sideways glance, “Almost done,” I ask?
“Yeah, just one more problem. Stupid word problems, I hate em,” she replies!
“Me too,” I say.
“Me three,” Claire adds.
Mr. Beadle closes the door with a bang and the bus lurches forward away from the curb. We’re off to good ole Deer Canyon now. Claire puts her arm around me to keep me from bouncing out of my seat on the bumpy ride to school, and I shout over the engine and other kids on the noisy ride.
“Did you call Daniel before you left,” I ask Winifred?
“NO! I over slept KK, that’s why I’m doing homework on the bus, duh!”
“Alright, alright, don’t have a cow,” I shouted!
“Daniel’s probably already there waiting for us with the cookies anyway,” I added under my breath.
Claire is already asleep again, her head softly knocking against the window with every bump we hit. That girl conks out every time she gets into a car. I think that she was seriously affected by the “Wheels on the Bus” song when she was a little kid? It’s a short distance to school but a long ride because of all the crazy parent traffic we have to navigate through. Honestly, sometimes I think that it would be faster to just walk!
Daniel is waiting for us out front with the cookies, just like I knew he would be, sweet! He’s gonna be a good addition to the team I think. He is carrying a shopping bag in each hand as well as the humongous backpack on his shoulders. Actually, if not for the two shopping bags I think Daniel might tip over from the weight of that huge backpack. The poor kid is gonna be hunchbacked if he keeps carrying so many books in there. Well, to be honest, half of that weight is his lunch, that boy can EAT! Mr. Beadle pulls into the drive and comes to a stop at the yellow curb.
“Alright boys and girls, grab your gear and exit here/” he hollers!
“Better wake up Claire KK,” Winfred says as she packs her homework into her backpack. I shove Claire, “Come on Claire, wakie wakie,” I shout, giving her arm a pinch!
“OUCH! What did you do that for,” Claire yells?
“We’re here Sleeping Beauty,” I answer.
“Oh, okay,” she replies, yawning and stretching.
“Look, there’s Daniel with the bait, he’s waiving at us,” Winnie says leaning over us as she waives back to him.
Winifred helps me up and we trod on down the aisle with Claire trailing behind slowly. Mr. Beadle is waiting for me up front.
“Here you go Miss Britches,” he says.
“Love the hair darling, you were right, Wednesday is orange day,” he adds, lifting his Padre baseball cap to show off the orange strip he painted down the center of is extremely bald head!
“You’re crazy Mr. Beadle,” I giggle, giving my orange wig a little flip as I pass by him.
Daniel met us on the sidewalk as we got off the bus. He held up the two bags.
“There are a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies and a couple dozen peanut butter cookies,” he said with a smile.
“We better taste test them before we get to class,” Claire says as she dives into each bag!
“HEY, what are you doing, we’re gonna need all of those,” I hollered, trying to stop Claire from munching down all of our cookie bait! Not that I could actually stop from eating at least a handful. Trying to get between Claire a sweet treat would be like trying to get between the ocean and the beach…IMPOSSIBLE!
“I only ate one, leave me alone,” Claire groused with a mouthful of peanut butter cookie and a chocolate chip cookie in each hand.
“That’s disgusting,” Winifred said, wincing as she watched crumbs spilling out of Claire’s mouth as she chewed and whined at the same time.
“NO IT”S NOT,” whined Claire!
“Okay, okay, get a grip people, I shouted!
“We’ve got five minutes before the bell rings, so listen up,” I said to the team.
“Here’s the plan. Daniel, you walk in first and show the cookies to Ms. Ryan. Make a big deal about it so the Lunchito Bandito (whoever it is) gets a good long whiff or chocolate chips and peanut butter. Go all Homer Simpson on her; you know, hmmmmmm, cookies,””
“Check,” Daniel replied!
“Claire, you tell Ms. Ryan the big story about Sissy wanting to share her Home Economics homework with the class.”
“Double check,” Claire replied!
“Winnie and me will watch the room for a guilty face while you guys are hamming it up with the teacher, right Winifred?”
“Triple check,” she replied!
“Then, Daniel stuffs the cookie bait into his cubby and it’ll be business as usual until recess. When the bell rings we’ll stand outside and count noses to see who stays behind to take the bait, got it?”
“Wait, what if ALL of the class comes out, what then,” asked Daniel?
“Yeah, what do we do then,” Claire added.
“Ahhhh, good question, I didn’t think about that,” I replied sheepishly.
“Did we miss something,” Winifred asked the group?
We walked to class in silence thinking about how to answer that question. We lined up to walk in the room and waited for Ms. Ryan to open the door.
“We’ll just cross that bridge when we come to it,” I said quietly without turning around and drawing attention to us.
“One way or the other the Lunchito Bandito is going down TODAY!”
From over my shoulder I heard the team answer one at a time, “Check, check, check!"
Next post: chapter seven of “KK Undercover…The Cookie Caper”