Well, campers, I’m feeling pretty good tonight! So it’s time to write a happy-go-lucky story. None of this heavy crap I usually write full of angst and tribulations and… Oh, wait, I usually write goofy stuff. Hmm. Okay, well, why don’t we just compromise and write a happy-go-lucky story of angst and tribulation? Sounds like a good idea to me.
THE HAPPY-GO-LUCKY STORY OF ANGST AND TRIBULATION
Once there was a family named the Hooseburgers. They lived in a house where everyone was all worked up about everything that happened and everything was a big deal and every little question or comment was a reason to take offense. But, man, did all love it that way. You know how sometimes it seems like you meet someone who just has to complain about everything? You’d say “they aren’t happy unless they’re miserable,” right? Well, that was the literal truth with the Hooseburgers.
One bright and happy Thursday morning, June Hooseburger was making breakfast for everyone when her daughter, Tammy Hooseburger, came downstairs. “How did you sleep?” June asked.
“Awfully,” Tammy replied. “I tossed and turned all night worrying about whether or not Biff Sterling is going to ask me to the dance on Friday.”
“Gee, darling, that’s swell!” June said.
“I know,” Tammy said, putting her head in her hands and weeping, “I can’t believe how lucky I am!”
Just then, Timmy Hooseburger came in playing with a yo-yo. “Hey, sis,” he said happily, looking down at Tammy. “What’s the matter? Are you sad because your hair looks so terrible today?” He grinned sincerely and ate a piece of bacon.
“Well, I never!” Tammy cried, looking up with a smile. “You are so mean, Timmy!”
“You’re welcome,” Timmy said.
“If you eat all the bacon your father will get angry,” June said to Timmy.
“Has that ever stopped me before?” Timmy asked.
“Oh, I was just trying to encourage you,” his mother replied.
“By the way,” Timmy said, giving his mom a big hug, “you burned it today and it tastes like doo doo.”
“Aw, you say the meanest things,” she said, a sentimental tear slipping down her cheek.
Just then, Timmy and Tammy’s father, Rock Hooseburger, walked into the kitchen carrying a briefcase. Dropping the briefcase heavily on Timmy’s feet, he shouted, “who ate all the bacon?!?”
“Timmy did!” Tammy said. “And he made fun of my hair!”
Rock looked at Timmy with genuine affection and then punched him in the face. “That’s my boy,” he said as Timmy fell, bleeding, to the floor.
“Well, I drank all the orange juice,” said Tammy.
“What is this, amateur hour?” Rock asked. “I could drink all the orange juice with both hands tied behind my back. Step up your game, little lady. Step up your game.” Tammy looked at him with puppy dog eyes until, finally, he cracked an egg over her head and smooshed it into her hair.
“Aw, thanks, dad,” she said, starting to cry again. “You do still love me.”
“Of course I still love you, you badly dressed little trollop,” he said.
“Oh, Rock, you do spoil them,” June said.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
“Are you expecting company?” Rock asked June.
“Are you saying you think I’m having an affair?” June asked, dropping her cooking on the floor and knocking Timmy unconscious.
“How could you say such a thing?” Rock asked. “Sometimes I wonder if this marriage is worth saving.”
“Thanks, sweetie,” June said, blowing her nose on Rock’s sleeve. “It means a lot to hear you say that.”
Walking away from her without a backward glance, Rock went to the front door and opened it. Standing there in a rather loud Hawaiian shirt was a pleasant-looking man with gray hair and a beard. “Howdy!” the man said. “Name’s Clack Dagget! Just moved in next door and thought I’d stroll on over and say hey to the new neighbors.”
Rock reached out and shook Clack’s hand warmly. “You have bad breath and an ugly shirt,” he said cheerfully.
Clack retracted his hand from the shake and looked at Rock with a confused squint. “How’s that?” he said.
“Your shirt,” Rock said again, “it’s ugly. And I am immediately worried that you want to have an affair with my wife.” He crossed his arms and nodded at Clack, obviously very self-satisfied.
“Now, just a minute, there, chief,” Clack said, his face flushing. “I’ve never even met your wife, and I don’t appreciate your rude comments about my clothes.”
“Swell!” Rock exclaimed. “I think we’ll make great neighbors!”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Clack asked.
“Thanks!” said Rock. “Would you like to come in and meet the wife and kids?”
“No,” said Clack. “I think I better not.”
Rock gasped. “I have never been so offended in my life,” he said. “You’re a good friend.”
Just then, Timmy walked up, his face smeared with blood. “Who’s this idiot?” he asked, pointing at Clack.
“Now, see here!” Clack said, stepping forward. “I won’t have you– Hey! What happened to your face, kid?”
“My dad punched me and my mom dropped a frying pan on my face,” Timmy replied. “Aren’t they the greatest?”
“You people are sick,” Clack said. He turned to run away, but Timmy put out his foot and tripped him.
“Nice to have you in the neighborhood,” he said as Clack hit the ground face-first.
“Who’s the geezer?” Tammy asked, walking up behind her father and brother.
“New neighbor,” Timmy said.
“Oh,” Tammy replied. “Do we like him?”
“Yes, I’m afraid we do,” said Rock.
“Gee, I’m sorry to hear that,” Tammy said.
Scrambling to his feet, Clack shook his fist at the Hooseburger house. “Curse you, Hooseburgers!” he shouted and ran into the middle of the street, where he was immediately hit by a bus.
Rock and Timmy went inside and called 911 while June and Tammy cried and congratulated each other on an eventful morning. When the ambulance arrived and the paramedics asked Clack what had happened, he just kept repeating, “Hooseburger! Hooseburger!” They had no idea what he was talking about, but they stopped and bought him a hamburger on the way to the hospital, just to make sure he was happy. When they gave it to him, they said “Whose burger? YOUR burger!”
Man, they thought it was funny.
Yep, happy-go-lucky. That’s me. Still feeling pretty good, just a little confused as to what I just wrote…
See you next week,