The Writing Assignment Gone Awry ... by C.L. Beck

“What’s the writing assignment that’s due in our writer’s group tomorrow?” I asked Russ for the fourth time that week. The assignment was usually a unique topic designed to stretch our imaginations.

“Bored with dark glasses,” he answered between tightly drawn lips, and over the noise of his electric razor. Russ never liked shaving and talking at the same time because he usually cut himself, so his answers were always succinct. I, personally, don’t understand that. I can shave my legs and talk at the same time. Sometimes, on a good day, I could even shave my legs and walk at the same time.

No matter. Meandering into the kitchen, I pulled on my copper-tinted Maui Jim shades. They didn’t seem that boring, so for a little hands-on experiment, I decided to walk out into the bright sunshine without them and gaze at the sun.

The minute I looked up at El Sol, dark spots the size of a Boeing 747 zinged through my eyeballs, and boring or not, I needed those sunglasses. Turning in a circle, I tried to remember which direction I should walk to reach the house. The dark spots turned with me and I staggered toward something tall. Surely, that was the door.

“Aaackkk—the clothesline pole,” my brain screamed as I bounced off the post. A knot the size of a tractor tire grew out of my forehead, while the wasps that lived in the hollow pole flew toward me, sharpening their little harpoon butts on the way.

You don’t need good vision to know when a swarm of angry buggers are after you. I ran pell-mell toward what should have been the gate, the dark spots in my eyes fleeing with me.

Who, with any brains, leaves tools in front of the gate? For that matter, who moved the gate over to the garden? Tripping over the Mantis tiller, I tumbled through the vegetable patch, tomatoes splatting against my face while the wasps buzzed merrily behind me. I slid to a stop at the end of the row and lay there, swatting at the bees and planning revenge on the man who forgot to put away the tiller.

Then the screen door creaked open.

Laughter. Someone was laughing. I looked up and saw Russ with a halo around his head. A halo was a definite impossibility for the man who’d left a mechanized garden tool for me to trip over.

Certain that he had it coming to him, I grabbed the nearest tomato. Just as I let it fly in his general direction, I heard Russ’s voice floating past on the breeze, “Cindy, we have company.”

My vision cleared in time to see Corky Porky Pie, the dog, licking drips off our visitors’ shoes as Russ wiped splattered tomato from their faces. He apologized profusely as he walked our guests out of the yard and to their car.

I hollered at their retreating backs, “Wait! Come back! I’m not usually like this. It’s just that I’m a writer.”

As they jumped in their car and peeled out of the driveway, I lay in the dirt and pondered life’s golden questions. Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going? And most importantly of all … why can’t I call back a Beefmaster tomato after chucking it at a pair of new home teachers?

Okay, so I know that last thought has never been included in the golden questions, but I’m here to tell you folks … it should be!

------© C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

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Angie said...

LOL. Sounds like quite an adventure.

Watchman said...

Ah, great! I laughed all the way to the garden. Didn't your momma ever tell you not to stare at the sun? She probably said something about never growing up and throwing tomatoes at your husband, too, didn't she?

Melinda said...

Oh, that was so great!!!

Here's a piece of advice you might want to consider if you skipped over the "never look into the sun" piece of advice. If you get blinded by the sun or a flash of a camera, wait until the big black spot goes away before you attempt to walk anywhere or throw anything!

Thanks for a great story!

Carol L. said...

lol lol Cindy, thanks again for cheering me up on a dreary rainy day.
Looking at the sun without glasses ?
Can you see yet ?
Looking forward to next weeks.
Carol L.

Unknown said...

Bravo! I hope Cameron and Nicole inherited your wonderful imagination:)

Rachelle Christensen said...

Hee, hee! Sounds like another topic for a writing assignment.

Taffy said...

FUNNY! You are funny! And a fantastic storyteller!

Debbie Davis said...

this was so funny and so true, I love how you say, I'm a writer, lol. I have people looking at me crazy when I have some arbitrary convestaion take off in my head, and Im not part of it, and they don't know why I am no longer listenig to them but frantically looking for something to write on. This wasso great, I love those burning questions! what was the writing assignment for? I thought it was brilliantly done!

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

Very funny, Cindy. I don't know how you think of these things. :) Must be a talent.