I had a friend who almost drove me to the brink of insanity. He did everything the same way I did it. The same damn way. He even combed his hair like me. But to be fair, I’ve decided not to tell you his name, or else he might get pathetically embarrassed. And we wouldn’t want that.
Anyway, one day the friend I was just referring to, Andrew Milligan Kerley, said to me, “Hey, are you going to the roller derby costume party?”
Going? There was no question about it. In fact, I’d spent five years perfecting my outfit for it — which was top secret. I was going as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. And the reason I’d chosen such a costume was because Molly Baker was famously going as Dorothy.
And I loved Molly Baker.
“You bet your donkey I’m going,” I told Andrew.
“You bet your donkey I’m going, too,” copied Andrew.
I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Don’t copy me, Andrew, it’s rude.”
He placed his hand on my shoulder. “Sorry.”
I sighed and shook my head.
So did he.
The night of the skating party, kids dressed up to beat the band. There were costumes of all shapes and sizes. Robots, sailors, princesses, cowboys, and soldiers.
And then I saw her. Molly Baker. She stood in the corner, looking as cute as a stick of butter, the spitting-image of Dorothy.
But before I could even lace up my skates, something shot past me. Andrew Milligan Kerley, pathetically dressed as the Scarecrow. He rolled right up to Molly and made a grand bow.
Later that night, I sat outside on the curb, mumbling obscenities to myself. Words that would’ve landed a boy in prison. That’s when Andrew’s daddy pulled up in a rust-covered Pontiac.
He hopped out, stumbling like a fool. He took one look at me and giggled. “Hey, boy,” he said. “Your momma sent me here to pick you up, you little brat.”
Then, he fell limp against his truck and lit a cigarette.
“You’ve got the wrong scarecrow,” I said.
He eyed me up and down.”Well I’ll be damn, son, Andy must think a lot of you then.”
I made a face.
“Shoot,” he said. “Andy and his momma spent a whole week putting his stupid costume together, just so he could look like you. His hero.”
Andrew’s daddy laughed until smoke wafted out of his nose. “Oh, he’s a pathetic little brat.”
“No sir.” I shook my head. “You’ve got the wrong scarecrow again.”
Because now you’re referring to me.