Spirited Boy

I was visiting a co-worker at her home, and I was leery of her five-year-old boy, a blonde little boy, because I knew he had a reputation for being difficult. I’d even heard him scream in the past, though from a distance.

I was talking with my host. The kid came up and demanded that his step-dad stop talking to me and do something for him, find one of his toys. The step-dad evidently didn’t move quick enough.

The blonde cherub made an evil scowl like Damien in one of those devil movies. He sucked in air. His fat little face exploded in a scream, an unearthly, piercing, horrendous yell.

It loses a lot on the printed page (OOPS, I mean computer screen), but the scream sounded something like, “Urrrrrrghemorppfhhhhhhllllact!” Then, for effect, the little blonde boy wound up like a steam engine, huffed, puffed, and shrieked a series of banshee wails.

His mother came running from the kitchen, begging the child not to misbehave. “That’s not nice Joey,” she said politely, uneasily. “Look at what a spectacle you’re making of yourself. Didn’t you promise you’d be nice to company? Do you want to see your mother sad?”

The kid hollered louder.The windows rattled.

I knew the child was fond of model airplanes, because the toys were scattered in nooks about the living room. I rose from the sofa, reached for one of the diminutive aircraft, and knelt down next to the youngster, intending to quiet him with my charm.

I leaned close to the boy.

“I had a great uncle who flew one of these in the First World War,” I said, smiling. “Let me tell you about the time I ……….”

The kid clenched a fist, reached back, and hit me right in the mouth.

“That isn’t nice Joey.” The step-dad smiled, chuckled, as though half-teasing, like it was all just good-natured fun. “For that, no bedtime Nintendo.”

“Spirited boy,” I said, rising, rubbing my lip.

In that moment, I envisioned going for a field goal with the little bastard. I pictured his chubby little blonde body, curled up, turning end over end, as it soared between the uprights, 60 yards away.

It’s not nice to think such thoughts. I felt bad thinking them. Nevertheless, I also felt my lip throb.

Before I left, I decided to accidentally step on one of the kid’s models.

I don’t want to be anywhere in the same state when that punk turns into a teenager.



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