Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guest authors: On crafty horses and smelly brothers

As promised, more guest authors! First up is obie119, whose all-consuming horse obsession led her to turn a school assignment about Valentine's Day into horse-tastic historical fiction about a pair of globe-trotting animals.

Says obie119: This story of mine from second grade is very, very odd. And yes, I did indeed write “copyright Feb 1984” at the top. I was obsessed with horses so the subject of the story is not a surprise. In fact, 1984 was the year that my art teacher declared a moratorium on my drawing/painting/sculpting horses (no joke!). I will note that after the word “tornado,” I drew a little tornado right on the page. Allendale is where I grew up. I am assuming that our assignment was to write a story about Valentine’s Day.

Copyright Feb 1984 / My Valentine Horse / Creative Writing

My Valentine Horse's name was Hardy. And he always ate Valentine's Day candy. You know, I didn't own him. It's like this. In 1817, a man named Mr. Mean owned him except his name was It. And Mr. Mean lived in England.

Anyway, a jaguar named Jaggy was in a circus. He was trained, but he hated the climate. But a year later, in 1818, something happened. A small tornado came onto the circus, but Jaggy got away. Now Hardy made a can that could float. So Jaggy and Hardy went to
South America. Jaggy held a sign that said: From Allendale, New Jersey. So they went to New Jersey. There were 18 storms! At Allendale, they found Jaggy's owner, and she liked Hardy. That was February 14, 1823, and with all the loving, it was Valentine's Day. The End.

I kind of feel like I need the CliffsNotes version of this! Let's attempt to review, shall we? It's like this: In 1817, Hardy, a horse with a penchant for Valentine's Day candy, is residing in England with Mr. Mean, but as Mr. Mean refers to him as "It" (MEAN!), that's clearly a crap living situation. So Hardy (somehow) hooks up with a rain-hating, circus-performing jaguar who—in the midst of the great tornado of 1818!—is able to escape from the circus.

Luckily for Jaggy, Hardy is like the Thomas fucking Jefferson of horses and invents a "floating can" in which the two set sail from Britain to South America. But Jaggy is so goddamn picky (what, he doesn't like the climate in South America either?), he will be satisfied with no location short of Allendale, NJ.

Getting there, however, takes five years—I'm assuming in part because of the 18 storms they encounter along the way. How exactly do they travel from South America to the Jerse, though? Jaggy's sign evokes visions of hitchhiking, but was it even possible to hitchhike in 1818? On a wagon? If you're a HORSE? I'm guessing that wouldn't really fly with the settlers, so maybe they walk (which would certainly explain the five-year timeline) or even bust out the ol' floating can again. Can you imagine being stuck out at sea in a can with a jaguar for five years, eating nothing but conversation hearts? Harrowing!

In any case, they eventually arrive in Allendale on February 14, 1823, and promptly find Jaggy's long-lost owner, and everyone is so freaking psyched that President Monroe (yeah, I just looked that up) has no choice but to create a national holiday of luuuuuv. (And candy, 'cause Hardy likes that shit.)

At some point Hardy comes to be owned by obie119 in 1984. That part I'm not so sure about unless Hardy is immortal. Which would be awesome!

Next up is BadKat, who has sent us an array of elementary school goodies. First, some school writing assignments from third grade:

About Me

I have blond hair and green eyes. My favorite friend is Rachael and Jennifer. I like Ryan C. to. We ride our bikes together to the park some times. I have one sister, Alea. We are good sisters. I have two brothers, Jett and Bradley. They are O.K. I have one dad, Tom one mom, Rachel one step-mom, Brenna. I'm 8½.

(Teacher's comment: Write more about you)

What Makes Me happy

Our class created a Chienese play called "The Shirt of Happyness"!! I learned that you don't have to have a shirt to be happy. The play was fun, exciteing to!

(Teacher's comment: I'd liked to have read more about this!)

I don't know about you guys, but I'd be pretty bummed if I didn't have a shirt. I'd also be cold.

I am a cigarette

When you smoke me you can get very bad breth. I am made with nicotene and tar. Tar can hurt your lungs and nicotine speeds up the heart and that is not good for you! I can cause tooth decay and when you start smoking me you just cant stop. I am very bad for you health.

(Teacher's comment: Very good! You made some great statements!)

Wow, I really feet like I AM that cigarette. Stay away! When you start smoking me—much like when you pop the top off a can of Pringles—YOU JUST CAN'T STOP! And I'll give you bad breth! BE FOREWARNED!

We also have some of BadKat's school journal entries from fourth grade.

Says BadKat:
My creative writing booklet from the fourth grade contained daily journal entries where I was forced to record my thoughts or short creative stories. From March until June of 1992, I chose to bitch about the weather every day. I even have a barometer scale scribbled on the inside of the back cover. Because then, like now, I was obsessed with the weather. I have always enjoyed observing the weather and then bitching and complaining about said weather, while living in one of the most meteorologically volatile states in the country [that'd be Minnesota]. You can also tell how impatient I am and how I wished I could be doing anything but writing in this damn booklet.

March 30, 1992: The weather is sunny. I'm excited that the weather is sunny and I'm going to my uncle's house to dinner. I'm going bye myself and with my sister and not my brothers. My brothers smell bad.

I'll bet that's why they weren't invited to dinner.

March 31, 1992: The weather is partly sunny. The high and low are '35 and '20. I'm not happy it is Tuesday and I'm in school. I'm happy I do not have girl scouts becuase me and Rachael hate Heather.

April 2, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm happy the rollar skateing party is tonight. The birds, like Robbens, are coming back.

Remember how great roller-skating parties were? We used to go to United Skates of America, which had maybe the best roller-rink name ever!

April 3 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm sad that my step-mom cut her thumb with my dad's razor blade (it was a utility knife) and I'm happy that the carnival is tonight.

April 7, 1992: The weather is couldy and mild I'm happy we are doing the book badge in girl scouts tonight. ("me and Rachael" must have made up with Heather by this point)

April 21, 1992: It is cloudy and rainey. I'm releved that my glass were fond because, I didn't zip my bag up at home and my glasses fell out and someone fond them for me! I'm happy that my sister is going to kindergarden conection tonight and grandma is comeing.

After this entry, my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Bitchface, wrote to "watch my sentences - add more detail - watch the writing." So the attempts to increase material begin:

April 23, 1992: The weaher is rainy and cold. I'm happy that it is Thursday and that tomorrow is the end of the week.

9:55am (only entry that is marked with a time): wemen wear komotos for spicel accations. Keiko lives in a huge house with a huge garden and the schools in Japan are very different then ours. (huh?)

April 24, 1992: I glad that today is Friday and it is almost saturday and I get to sleep in tomorrow. Keiko is very fun! (again, huh?)

April 27, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm happy that my Grandama is bringing me some new Christopher Pike books tomorrow. I liked fall in to darkness but Mrs. Ringlien says we can't read those books for quiet read time or for a book report. Emelia said that her mom would call our school.

BadKat, I love that your grandma bought you Christopher Pike. But look out, because it sounds like Emelia's mom wants to have a Christopher Pike book bonfire!

April 29, 1992: The weather is partly sunny and warm and I'm happy that it will be so nice today. We are beaginning about Japan (well that explains the Japan crap). Both men and wemen in Japan ware kimono and I hope my step-mom likes her birthday present.

May 6, 1992: It's cloudy and warm I'm happy that I don't have reading, or math, or anything today and that we go to the zoo. I'm happy that it is Twins Day (the baseball team) tommorrow and that we get to have a parad.

May 12, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. If you went to Japan you would see mountony land and be spending time outdoors. I'm happy today is grandparents day. Rachael and I think that we want to read the Matchlock Gun for our book reports.

May 14, 1992: I'm in truble and I hope that my mom will let me go camping and I hope that the camping trip is not put off. I hope I don't get stuck with a coupl of people on the trip. (I wonder who I was avoiding at the Girl Scout Camp Out? And what, no weather today?)

Oooooooooooh, BadKat's in troooooooouble. Hope she didn't get stuck with Heather on the camping trip. Hate her!

May 18, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm going to tryouts for the disric cyor. I hope I get in to cyhor. Part one of the tryouts is today and part two of the tryouts are tomorrow. My aunt told me my voice was beutiful and that it made her cry.

I love the creative spelling of choir. LOVE it!

May 22, 1992: The weather is cloudy and very humed. I'm happy that there is only one week and a half of school left. I'm happy that I get to go up to the cabin in Grad Rapeds (Grand Rapids) for this weekend. Rachael and I like to play with my dog, Teako. Did you hear the Mount Pleasant fre departmant's siren? (I live nowhere near Mt. Pleasant).

May 29, 1992: It is sunny and pretty warm. I'm going to the beautician and I wish she would set my hair (this is not true because my mom was a cosmetologist. So, what? And setting my hair? WHAT?). I hope that every one this summer will Pledge Alleagiance on Saturday July 4, 1992. Rachael and I took Gary's apple and then hidden it in the tire swing. "Where did you put that apple, asked Gary. He was mad and he is going to put our rain coats under Rona's front pottch.

Stealing Gary's apple? You girls were OUT OF CONTROL! I'm taking away your Christopher Pike books!!! Actually, this might be my favorite entry because of the seemingly unrelated topics of BadKat's desire for old-lady hair; her earnest patriotism; and the wholesome pranks involving a tire swing and raincoats.

June 1, 1992: I'm happy it's warm and almost summer vacation. We set our books on Wes's desk and he siad it was all right. In July, Rachael is moving to Summer Green road. That is closer to me and makes me happy. Yesterday Teako, my dog, ran relly quickly after my cat Jezebel and she quickly climbed a tree. My dad got her down with his ladder but it took a long time. Clair, my other cat does not run away from Teako and once she scrached her on the nose.

June 3, 1992: It is very hot. I'm happy that we got our pass for the pool and that it is the last day of school. I'm not going to miss my teachers and I'm not sort of sad. I hope I get Mr. T. next year. Me and Rachael go to camp in 3 weeks! I am very happy and I wish this year she would do the Polar Bear swimming with me!

"I'm not going to miss my teachers and I'm not sort of sad" is hilarious. Way to stick it to Mrs. Bitchface!

That's it for this round of guest writing, but if you're soooooooooooo, etc., jealous and have some cringe-worthy works of your own that you'd like to share, for God's sake, e-mail me!:

NEXT TIME: A discussion of one of the key components of elementary school social life: the club.


BadKat said...

Whoa, this is way funnier after a couple of pink lemonades and Ketel One.

My brothers still suck, SISTERS RULE!!
Heather was a bitchface! So was my fourth grade teacher. She really was!

Heather thought she was so great because she was a year younger than us because she was from Cali where they let you start Kindergarten at 4 or something. Anyway, I “accidentally” whipped her with a jump-rope in gym class once and spent the next hour trying to talk her out of telling on me. Damn tattle tales!

If I do recall, Emelia’s mom was calling the school because Mrs. Bitchface was impeding our right to read what we wanted for quiet read time.

I was ALWAYS in trouble, but usually not with my mom…Can’t remember what that was all about!

This makes me want to see Rachael, who I have not seen in about 13 years!

Finally, Mr. T. was the most coveted teacher in the school. I did end up with him, and 5th grade was way more awesome than 4th grade. We got to watch puberty videos where Secret deodorant and Always gave us samples!!!!

Sada said...

Oh no, sorry to slander Emilia's mom!

Um, those puberty videos are AMAZING. I remember one of my friends got her hands on a tampon video or something in 8th grade and it was pretty much the funniest thing we'd ever seen.

NoseInANovel said...

BadKat, I love your weather rants and hate for your teacher. Christopher Pike books in second grade?? Goodness, when I was in second grade, the coveted reading were the Full House: Michelle books. You were way cooler than me.

Anonymous said...

You rock - the commentary makes the randomness seem even more random!

Linley said...

"Can you imagine being stuck out at sea in a can with a jaguar for five years, eating nothing but conversation hearts? Harrowing!" The Life of Pi was clearly a ripoff of "My Valentine Horse."

"...and with all the loving..." is hilarious.

"mountony land" rules.

zanne said...

This was great! I loved it.

BadKat said...

It was fourth grade, and I blame Emelia and her mother...

Yeah, the weather sucks here! My boyfriend and I are starting in our attempt to move to Puerto Rico by 2011. Total opposite end of the spectrum there!

halle said...

it's like this....laugh out loud funny funny stuff. keep it coming. going to go sit out on my front pottch. seeya.

zanne said...

I just started up a blog recapping the Sleepover Friends books. I added your blog to my blog list. Hope that is ok!

gollygee said...

I hope I get Mr. T next year too. I pity the fool who doesn't get Mr. T! :D Sorry, had to. :D

Anonymous said...

Hee! Every one of those journal entries sounded like the beginning of a Dragnet episode-"It was warm and sunny in Las Angeles..."