Before I left town to visit my dad, I offered another chance to play the Page 56 Game. I got distracted briefly by the untimely death of Michael Jackson and the zillions of Thriller dance videos moonwalking and crotch-grabbing through cyberspace. But I finally focused for eight-and-a-half minutes and pulled together all the sentences into a, ahem, story. Please don’t search too hard for a beginning, middle and an end. It’s more like a muddle. But it’s a BeckyLand muddle, which makes it fun …..
The sentences in red are the ones provided. Words in black I added. You know. To make the story flow effortlessly with perfect prose.
[Note: Turns out someone in BeckyLand — I’m not naming names — is a doofus and didn’t use all the sentences that were provided her him them. HERE is the Actual Page 56 Story.]
Mother’s House in Des Moines
Cast of characters:
• Moose — the monkey
• Great Basin,
• Mojave, and
• Chihuahuan — three jazz trumpeters from Arizona, known in jazz parlance as “rain-shadow deserts” because they drench their listeners with sweet melody until it seeps into the earth.
• Sticky — one of Mother’s former students who owns a monkey-sitting business
• Dave — creative writer, thinking of joining the military
• Mother — teacher, mother of Dave
“He’s looking for you,” Sticky whispered ever so quietly in Dave’s ear (as he’d been keeping a watchful eye on the little rascal since the monkey had landed with a thump on his fuzzy orange rump).
“He is cute, but I can’t have a crush on him because he’s way too old, like twenty-eight or something.” Dave said. “Plus, I’m thinking of joining the Army. And he’s a rhesus monkey.”
Dave understood that creativity was an economic force long before the twentieth century, but not as it pertained to the military. He, Sticky and Mother accepted their creative limitations, but the other three — the Great Basin, the Mojave, and the Chihuahuan — are classic rain-shadow deserts. They lifted their trumpets to their mouths, but before they could sound a note, Mother jabbed her knitting needles in the air and said, “Go on, get dressed, Moose…”
Her shoes and stockings were still downstairs by the fireplace so Moose wiggled into them.
In Des Moines, a live radio broadcast covered the progress of 600 men of the 168th Infantry from East First Street across the Grand Avenue Bridge to Union Station. Dave sighed, voicing the same old should-I-enlist arguments in his head. “Such a sweet uniform, and patches — so many patches — but little time will be left me to ponder upon my destiny!”
A commotion distracted him. The three musicians were fighting over the wii.
“Hit the mountain lion in the head, especially around the eyes and mouth.”
“No! With the spider web blaster!”
As Mother dabbed a few tears of joy from her rosy cheeks and chuckled, “Spider legs!” one of us, as a final thought, said her fondest memory had to be the one of Mom cheerfully knitting us those slippers with the big pom-poms.
Every teacher of middle age or more can count up instances of highly successful former students who, as freshmen or sophomores, even juniors or seniors, seemed silly beyond all hope of reclamation.
And today was no exception in Mother’s house in Des Moines.