Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yesterday's Hide and Seek Turned Ugly

Little Lloyd Finker lives on Bluebird Street in Coverdale. Yesterday he was playing hide and seek with his pals. The rules for the game are simple. Someone counts to 100 while the others hide. When the counter reaches 100 he or she begins to search out the hidden players. If a hidden player is seen both the hider and hunter race to the counting spot. Those are the basic rules of the game. Of course, they are subject to debate at any time, which is usually the case when Lloyd and his friends play. They are all notoriously sore losers and fierce competitors.

Tubby Larson was it. He is usually it most of the time because of his size. He is a good counter and can count to 100 faster than anyone on the block. He knows his numbers so well because, as I said earlier, he is usually it. He is a good hunter as well. He has a keen sense of smell and can sniff out a hidden boy or girl from yards out. Unfortunately because of his rather large girth, Tubby isn’t very fast. The found easily get back to the counting spot before Tubby, thus - according to the rules of play - Tubby continues to be it.

“98, 99, 100. Ready or Not, Here I Come!” Tubby shouted so all could hear within a six house radius. Tubby started seeking. Today Tubby wore the Safari Hat his uncle brought back from Africa for him two years ago. He also brought his air soft pistol to the game as well. He was determined not to be it for the entire afternoon. With one hand on the trigger and the other free to move branches, leaves, bushes and other visual obstacles out of the way, Tubby was on the prowl. He stopped to sniff the air - nothing. He changed directions and sniffed again. Still nothing. One more turn and a smell into the wind brought an interesting odor. Tubby recognized the smell of a trash bin but there was something else...... something recognizable. If Tubby wasn’t mistaken it was the smell of AXE deodorant. Only Lloyd Finker wore AXE. Tubby’s eyes watered with delight. both corners of his mouth turn upward into an evil sneer. He was the hunter and Lloyd the hunted. Finally, after all these months he was going to get his number one tormentor.

Tubby cocked his hat, pulled up his tan safari shorts, and crept forward in super stealth mode. He shuffled down the sidewalk until he reached the Widow Wilson’s place. The smell was to his left. He turned and proceeded across her front lawn. A moment later a gated fence stopped him. He slowly opened the gate’s latch and tiptoed through the tulip bed toward a rusty old trash can.

“Yuck.......,” he heard Lloyd whisper from the inside of the can. That statement was followed by several others. “Gross........ disgusting........sick.....I’m going to hurl,” Tubby started to laugh but stopped himself. He wasn’t ready to give himself away. He wanted to get Lloyd real good. He crept forward then froze.

Up from the top of the can Tubby saw a tuff of over gelled hair. Lloyd had had enough. He was getting out of the can to find a new hiding place. Tubby brought his air soft pistol to the ready. He took aim and waited. Just as Lloyd swung one leg over the top of the can and exposed his backside Tubby fired several rounds of pellets. Lloyd’s rear end was pelted. He screamed several cuss words, lost his balance, and fell back into the mucky can.

Tubby ran as fast as his fat stubby legs would carry him. His pistol bought him time and time he needed to get back to the old oak tree on the corner of Bluebird and 5th before Lloyd.

He heard Lloyd screaming at him from behind. Tubby’s heart was beating so fast he couldn’t make out everything Lloyd was saying, but he knew it had to do something with all the ways Lloyd was going to kill him at the game’s conclusion.

They both rounded the corner of the Tolman’s yard at the same time. The Oak tree was still yards ahead. Lloyd sprinted and pulled ahead. Tubby knew he couldn’t keep up. He stopped and drew his pistol. He took a careful aim, which was hard to do because of his labored breathing, and fired several more rounds. Lloyd took the pellets in the back and fell to the ground. Tubby’s legs engaged, moving his large mass forward. Lloyd pulled himself to his feet using a rope of well shouted ‘R’ rated words.

Lloyd reached Tubby just as Tubby reached for the tree. Tubby’s outstretched finger touch the bark a second before Lloyd’s. Tubby won. He wasn’t going to be it again for the rest of the day. He jumped up and down shouting for joy. A moment later all other hiders emerged and gathered by the Oak tree.

“Foul, Foul!” Lloyd shouted. “He shot me with an air soft gun. That’s cheating!”. Lloyd ran towards Tubby. A moment later two world’s collided. Both boys hit the lawn, Tubby landed first on his back, Lloyd came down on top of him.

“Fight, Fight, Fight!” the other boys and girls shouted. Fists flew, hair was pulled and noses bloodied. It ended when Mr. Holdem hosed the entire gathering down with his garden hose.
“I’m calling the cops,” Mr. Holdem shouted. Everyone ran for the safety of home. Tubby was crying. Lloyd was crying. The day was over for everyone.

Tomorrow the gang will gather again for another game. New rules will be instituted. Weapons of all kinds will be outlawed and Tubby will be it again.

Life continues in Cloverdale.

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