Our Halloween wars were the best ever. When I got home at midnight with all that crap on me my mother could not believe, it was me walking in the door. She had that “what in the Hell did you do look” on her face. The white flour was all over me mixed in with eggs, rotten tomatoes and vegetables. I smelled pretty bad too from the battle sweat and rotten produce stuck to my body. My Mom didn’t say a word, she just pointed to the laundry basin. That was a signal for me to wash off all that stuff stuck on me. I kept quiet for the fear that she may just go for the wooden spoon and give me a few more black and blues. But I didn’t care, I had so much fun banging my friends with the flour sock and smashing rotten produce in their face. It was all worth it!
After I took off my clothes I sat in the tub to let the water splash all over me. My mother didn’t like the clean up job I was doing so she jumped into action with a bar of Octagon soap in her hand. My mother started scrubbing my head so hard, I thought my hair was going to fall out. After she thought I was clean enough she picked up my dirty clothes and just dumped them in the trash. Now that I was all cleaned up I put on a new pair underwear and I got ready for bed, I was so sleepy but I didn’t feel good. It was like I was coming down with a cold. My Mom picked up the signs and came towards me with a jar of Vicks Vapo Rub, her cure all for the sniffles. She rubbed a big wad of Vicks on my chest and then she put some in my nose. Boy does this stuff smell. The next day was Sunday and I still felt sick so I didn’t go out. I spent the whole day listening to the radio and reading comic books. I missed not going out to meet my friends and trade Halloween War stories with them. I was still feeling so sick that I put more Vicks Vapo Rub on my body hoping that this sick feeling would go away. Come Monday morning my energy was back and the sniffles were gone. My mother was right. The Vicks Vapo Rub did the trick. I don’t know what’s in it but its great stuff. So I got dressed and went to school. When I lined up in the school yard I ran into Jimmy Pizza. He smiled at me and said. “Weren’t the Halloween War Games something else? I can’t get over all the crap we threw at each other. My body is so black and blue from getting beat up with those flour socks. I hurt so bad that I think that some of the guys must have put rocks or chalk in their flour sock. After we stopped beating each other we must have looked like shit. I don’t care because I had a great time.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s when we started laughing out of control because we were thinking how ridiculous we looked when the War Games were over. We were doubled over when our assistant principle Mr. Houzer walked over and pointed his big fat finger and told us to “Shut up or else.”
We stood up and stopped laughing because Mr. Houzer, who is over six feet tall and must weigh 300 pounds, wouldn’t think twice about giving us a smack or two in the head if we didn’t listen to him. That’s when the bell rang and we followed the rest of the students into our classroom. When I sat at my desk I see Miss Kent waving at me to come over to her. When I got close to her she whispered that she has a new monitor assignment for me and that she will explain everything after our lesson this morning. I said okay and went to the blackboard, picked up a piece of chalk and I started writing our new lesson. Thanks to Miss Kent, I feel so good about myself. It all happened after she got me the triple A crossing guard assignment two months ago. Now I feel like somebody and my school work got much better. I can’t wait to hear what she wants me to do next.
Just before lunch Miss Kent called me up to the front of the classroom again and asked me to follow her into the hallway. Then she started to tell me more about my new assignment. “Pepino, do you know where the school supply room is?”I said “Yes, it’s down the basement somewhere past the lunchroom.” “That’s right. Your new assignment is in the school supply room. Go there and report to Miss Alana who runs the supply room for an hour during everyone’s lunch period. Every day each teacher sends notes down to the Miss Alana asking for chalk, pencils, erasers, glue, writing paper and a bunch of other stuff. Your job is to put together what the teachers need and deliver it to their classroom as fast as possible. Do you understand what I’m asking you to do?” I said, “Yes, but what do I do about eating lunch?” “Well as you’re going back and forth to the supply room you will pass through the lunch room. After you make a couple of trips, stop in the lunch room and ask to see the head lunch matron, Mrs. Wells. Tell her that I sent you and ask her to give you a sandwich, milk and cookies for your lunch break. Since you’re working for the school you don’t have to pay anything for your lunch. But you have to eat as fast as you can because you have to hustle back to the stock room to deliver more orders. Is that okay with you?” I didn’t want to look to excited when I said “Yes, I would be happy to help out whenever I can. Thank you for thinking of me.” That’s when I left Miss Kent in the hallway and ran as fast as I could to the supply room down in the basement. I only have an hour to deliver the supplies, eat lunch and get back to my classroom for our afternoon lessons. When I got there I don’t know why but for some reason I like the way the supply room smells. It makes me feel so special to work for the teachers and I get a free lunch to boot. I Love You Miss Kent. Before I knew it the school bell rang and it was time for me to report to my crossing guard assignment.
I cross the little kids for about fifteen minutes and then I head home. As I walked home on Columbia Street, I get to the corner near Defonte’s Sandwich Shoppe I look across the street and I see Joanie and Jenny playing with a rope tied to a lamppost. It must be a new game because I’ve never seen them do this before. The rope is about fifteen feet long and it’s tied about halfway up the Lamppost. Joanie holds the end of the rope with both hands as tight as she can and stands far away from the Lamppost as possible. I don’t think that they’re playing jump rope because Joanie is holding so tight that the rope is straight out like a clothes line. Then she takes off and runs as fast as she can running away from the Lamppost. When she reaches a top speed she leaps into the air and the force of her speed launches her six feet into the air and now she is flying around and around while she’s holding the rope. Wow, she’s a lot stronger that I thought she was, she’s actually flying. Joanie and Jenny could not stop laughing as they were taking turns flying like a bird.
As I was watching them I couldn’t help thinking about when the Superman movie starts and they yell out “Is it a bird? Is it a plain? No, it’s Superman or maybe I should say Super-girl.” Joanie and Jenny kept flying around the Lamppost until they ran out of energy. That’s when they stopped because they were out of breath and they sat down on Joanie’s stoop to rest. I walked over to them and said, “Wow, I can’t believe you were flying so high. I thought that you looked like super girl.. Who told you about this game? Did you tie the rope yourself or did somebody help you?” Joanie looked up at me as she was trying to catch her breath and said “My Dad told me about this game. He took a long rope and tied it about half way up the Lamppost for me. Then he showed me how to run and fly like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz movie. It was his idea on how to do it but he warned me to be careful because I could get some bad rope burns on my hands playing this game. That’s why me and Jenny called it quits. My hands are killing me.”
“I give you and Jenny a lot of credit. I don’t think that I could fly that high the way you did.” Joanie smiled and said, “Thanks, I’m glad you stoped by because I was going to call you. My Dad gave me a new card game called Old Maid and I was going to ask you to play this new game with me today. But I can’t play cards now because these rope burns on my hands hurt so bad. I know you don’t like to play games but just think about it.” I said “Sure I’ll give it a shot when your hands are feeling better. I said “goodbye” and went home to do my homework.
To be continued……………….