Letters and Diary Non-Fiction posted April 14, 2015


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short story

Mickey Mouse Uses a Credit Card

by michaelcahill

I Remember Contest Winner 

Dear Bobo, she's went to Heaven now... The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

I remember the sound of my Grandmother's voice. Surprisingly, I remember it fondly.
 
To an observer, it would be a surprise that fondness would be a factor in my memories. Most aware of my upbringing consider it abusive at best. They simply don't understand the value of the humor.
 
I called my grandma, Bobo. I seemed to lack the elocution skills as an infant to navigate the complexities involved in pronouncing, Pauline. The name stuck, not just for me, but everyone. All called her, Bobo.
 
She served, ironically, as the voice of sanity in my family when I was a child. My schizophrenic mother had a complete dependency on her mother that transcended mental illness. Her dependence was total and brought about my Grandma Bobo's need to control … everything.
 
Add to the mix a lack of intellect across the board and the potential for entertainment fills the half-empty glass to overflowing.
 
I had the highest intellect in the family. That is not a feather in my festive bonnet by any stretch. Superiority must always be considered on a relative scale. On the scale of my family, I held the top position is all.
 
I do recollect how they looked and our adventures together. What I most remember though, is the sound of their voices. Bobo attempted a primitive reverse psychology on me, which my mother amusingly parroted. She felt she could scare or cajole me into good positive behavior.
 
"He'll never amount to anything. Look at him sitting there with that long hair. Who would hire him?"
 
"Yes. Yes, he'll never amount to anything. That long hair … sitting there. No one would hire the son-of-a-bitchen bastard."
 
Mom, tended to expand on the themes Bobo set forth. Mom drooled a bit and spit when she spoke in an excited state like this. The spit was never tested for venom, so its toxic nature remains, to this day, as something to idly speculate upon. (Bobo didn't mention split infinitives or ending sentences with prepositions.
 
"Oh. We're out of milk. I should've went to the store this morning." I would say in all innocence.
 
"SHOULD'VE GONE! He can't even speak English. He'll never amount to…."
 
"Should've went … I never should have had him. Gone! Gone! SHOULD HAVE GONE! He can't even speak English. What a great impression HE'LL make applying for a job … can't speak English or bother to get a decent haircut. Bitcha damn erghhhh!"
 
Mom always supplied more detail, but it's Bobo's voice I hear whenever someone says 'should have went'. I most times will response, "SHOULD HAVE GONE!" and then laugh.
 
I recall getting gas one time in Bobo's car. It seemed like a simple enough task for a sixteen-year-old boy. Drive to the gas station, request a fill-up of Ethel, pay for it and drive back home. Would you believe I couldn't even get that right? Keep in mind, this was when getting gas meant sitting in your car while a nice man in an official hat did all the work. All I had to say was "fill 'er up with Ethel". Then he'd get to work. He'd attach the gas pump to the input hole and set it on automatic. Then he'd check the oil, water and whatever other liquids helped run a car. He'd show them to you too, even if you were a smart-ass sixteen-year-old boy who couldn't care less.
 
The problem came when it was time to pay. I handed him Bobo's gasoline credit card. It was a Gulf Oil card, which I later discovered, would get you a room at the Holiday Inn, but that's another story. Anyway, he brings the card sliding thingamajiggy (technical term) over to me and asks me to sign the credit slip. I hadn't anticipated this nuance.
 
"What do I sign?" I asked him. I wasn't sure if I should sign my name or sign my grandmother's name.
 
He replied, "It doesn't matter. You can sign, Mickey Mouse if you want."
 
Being young, I passed up the chance for even more amusing signatures and simply signed, 'Mickey Mouse'.
 
The attendant smiled in a cloying superficial way and said, "Very funny".
 
I responded to him, "Yes, you are in SUCH a position to judge, pumping twenty-three cents a gallon gas for a sixteen-year-old. I'll have you know that I'm a renowned author on the prestigious Fanstory website and I've mentioned your existence for the first time in decades. It would serve you well to wipe that disingenuous smirk off your face and pay homage to a superior life form."
 
Well, that's what a more mature me would've said. I actually giggled with an endearing, well-practiced 'I would never harm your daughter, Ma'am smile' and went about my business.
 
About a month later, the bill came in complete with the receipts for the month's usage. Bobo looked through them and then spoke the words still ringing in my ears, "MICKEY MOUSE"!
 
Mom came running, hungry for the fray. I smiled knowing that they were about to provide entertainment for me.
 
"Mickey Mouse. He signs Mickey Mouse on an official financial document. He'll never amount to anything. Mic-key Moooousssse! I can't send him to do the simplest thing. What that man must of thought seeing him sign … MICKEY MOUSE."
 
"Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse, I can't believe he's that stupid. Mickey Mouse! He'll never amount to a damn nothing damn damness. OOOOOHHHHHH! Couldn't you just slit his throat?"
 
I realize now I should've thought it through. I could've have signed, "Credit card thief" or "Help! I'm locked in your trunk." But, hey, they can't all be gems. 'Mickey Mouse' is a nice pun good for a little chuckle.
 
Well, that's my favorite recollections of Bobo and my Mom. I guess that says everything needed to be said about the depth of feeling we managed to share.
 
I'd like to continue, but I'm out of coffee. I should have went to the store this morning…




 

Writing Prompt
Begin your non-fiction autobiographical story or poem with the words 'I remember...' Complete the sentence conveying a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100, but not more than 1,000 words. The count should be stated in your author notes.

I Remember
Contest Winner

Recognized


Fanstory advanced editor word count=997

There's a language warning on this though there isn't anything that terrible. Mom could string together some colorful sentences. This is a toned down version. :))

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