Gum

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Car. Gum. Bump. What more can I say?

Submitted: October 26, 2011

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Submitted: October 26, 2011

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Let me break it down for you:  Long car ride, Madison smacking her gum, large bump, gum on the seat.  There’s really nothing special to it, except for the fact that we were in a rental car and if this gum didn’t come off the back of the passenger seat, my parents were going to have pay for the entire car out of their pocket.  And probably Madison’s pocket, too.  Too bad little Shaun couldn’t help out. 

Madison was my 13-year-old sister who thinks she’s all that.  She’s one of those girls who like to pretend they’re the rich, cheerleader type that lives in an opulent house with a pool and a tennis court.  Her favorite color is pink and she practically worships anything with frills and lace.  She likes to be annoying (ok, I know all siblings say that, but I’m pretty sure she actually enjoys it) and argue.  She can actually debate pretty well for a 13-year-old girl and knows all the cool debating skills about knowing your facts and stuff.She even knows the first seven rules on the international debate team verbatim, which is pretty impressive considering they’re about six sentences each.

Shaun is just the opposite of Madison.  He’s only 3 and can’t argue because he can’t say many words.  He’s so cute- he’ll just sit there and stare at you with his big green eyes and hug Miridnus, his teddy bear.  His bear was named Mr. Insidious at one point because Shaun kept loosing it in the strangest places, but Shaun couldn’t pronounce “insidious” so he calls him “Miridnus” or “Midnus” or whatever comes to his mind at that particular time.  Some people think he has some sort of disorder because he’s so stolid for his age, but we say he’s just thoughtful.  Sometimes I wish I knew what he was thinking behind those green eyes of his.

Then there’s me.  My name is Garrett James Matthews, age 10. Not to brag or anything, but I’m probably the smartest of my bunch.  I was already bumped up to the 6th grade and I’ve won the spelling bee for the last four years in a row.  Madison calls me the “Human Dictionary” because I know not only how to spell big words, but the definition of them, too.  I think she’s just jealous of my ability to make A’s in school while she sticks to C’s.  I have unkempt hair and my room is always a mess of science working science projects.  Right now, I’m currently working on the effects of strobe lights on plant growth.  It’s pretty cool, but I have to hide it under my bed or else the strobe lights will give me a headache. 

Anyway, back to the car.  Only Dad knew about the gum so far because Mom was asleep while he was driving.  I guess we got lucky because if Mom found out, she would have a cow.  And we’re currently in the middle of Oklahoma, so that actually wouldn’t be unreasonable.  Dad hit another bump and Madison squealed.

“Daaaaad!” she complained.  “Why do you keep hitting all these bumps?  You’re going to, like, make me spit my last piece of gum out! Again!”

“You do, Young Lady, and I will make sure those Justin Bieber concert tickets of yours hit the trash,” Dad threatened. “And you had better get that piece off the back of Mom’s seat.”

“Ugg. Fine.  But technically, it’s not my fault.  You see, when you hit that bump-“

“Not now, Madison.”

She turned to me for help.  “Garrett, help me!  Use your science mind of yours to calculate the best way to get this off!” She said. “Pretty pretty pretty pretty please, Garrett?”  She folded her hands to show that she was begging.  I wish I could back away and escape this disgusting, Madison-Spit mess.  Too bad I was stuck in this car.

“Madison,” I said, choosing my words carefully.  “I wish not to participate in-“
“Garrett, I’ll shove you’re little nerd face in it if you don’t.” I agreed to help.

 

“Alright, now this is our plan of action,” I said, showing her my sketch.  “You pull the gum off while I scrape the bottom of the stickiness with this toothpick I found in the seat.Then we’ll-“

“You know, you’re like really smart and stuff, but can’t we just get going?”  She asked.  “We get to Grandma’s house in, like, less than an hour and then Mom has to return the car.”

“Alright, do as you wish.”  I handed her the toothpick. Madison started to warily scrape the gum off the seat, but all it did was stretch.  She pulled and pulled until eventually it broke, leaving the rest hanging off the seat in a disgusting blob.  She then handed the part she pulled off to Shaun.

“Here ya go, little baby!” she said.  “Chew chew chew!”

Shaun took the gum and began to inspect it.

“Madison!” I scolded.  “You can’t give a toddler gum!  He’ll choke or get it stuck in his hair or, or…die or something!”

“Ha!  Garrett.  You make me laugh.  How can Shaun possibly learn to be popular if he never learns to properly chew gum?  I’m looking out for the little dude, that’s all.”

“Shaun isn’t going to have to be popular because he’s going to be smart like me!” I exclaimed.  “He won’t need a stupid guise to fit in like you!”

“Uh, what?!” Madison gasped.  “I don’t know what a like, guise is, but I think you just called me stupid!”

“Wow.  You are stupid if you don’t know what a guise is.”

“Alright, listen here, little nerd-“

“Kids!Cut it out!” Dad called from the front seat.  “How’s that gum coming, anyway?”

“Uh, fine…” we said.  I guess he could read the false intimation in our voices, because he told us to hop on it. 

Madison took a Cheerio she found in the seat and stuck it onto the gum.  I just rolled my eyes.  “Can we reiterate the plan again?”  I asked.  “Or actually, go over it for the first time since you didn’t want to hear it?”

“Whatever,” she mumbled.  “Do what you gotta do.” 

As I explained the plan to her, she began to smile.  I could tell she was genuinely interested in what I had to say, which was a first.  I was actually kind of proud of myself.  I had mastered the Madison language!  I did a mini fist-pump to myself. 

“Ok, so we, like, don’t even have to get it off at all?” she asked.  “All we have to do is flip that piece of fabric around so nobody can see it?”

“Yup,” I said.  “You have your mini sewing kit for fashion crises, right?”

“Forever and always!”

“Alright, good. Now, get to work.”

I hummed Shaun’s favorite song while I cut out the area of fabric the gum was stuck to and Madison threaded the needle with hot-pink thread, the only color she had. She had a tentative look on her face while she did it. 

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Oh, well, I just don’t know if this pink string will clash with the grey interior of the car.  We don’t want to like, make it too noticeable, you know?  Like so that the car renter people can tell something’s wrong with the car and it’s our fault?”

“Yeah, good point,” I reasoned.  “But hey, it’s better than having the all that gum residue stuck on there!” She nodded.  Shaun yawned and squeezed Mr. Insidious.  “Are you about done, anyway?”

“Yeah.  I just think it will be hard to sew in this bumpy car!  But I’ll try.  A cheerleader’s number one rule: Never! Say! Never!”

“I thought that was Justin Bieber.”

“It is.  But the cheerleaders always say it because everybody loves Justin Bieber.”  She pulled out a wadded-up picture out of her pocket.  “Look!”  She told me as she shoved the picture in my face.  “Isn’t he dreamy?!”

Honestly, the guy made me want to puke.  “Get that cow out of my face,” I grumbled.  “How can you possibly like that dude?  I bet he doesn’t even know the periodic table.”

“As a matter of fact, not many people but YOU know the periodic table!” she exclaimed.  “And I have an entire list of why people should worship JB. It starts with-“

“Madison!  I don’t care!” I said. “Now give me your needle so I can fix this mess that YOU caused!”  Madison scowled and handed me her needle.  Fortunately, we didn’t hit any bumps that made me stab my finger.Unfortunately, the needle was too pliable and broke the third stitch I tried to make.

“Garrett!” She cried.That was my last needle!”

“Your last needle?” I questioned.  “Kind of like that’s your last piece of gum?”

“ I don’t understand what you’re getting at here,” she said.  “But here- I do have tape.  It won’t work as well as the sewing would, but it will fix the hole.”  Madison pulled a role of tape out from the seat.  Anything comes out of there.  I placed the hole I cut out of the seat back in it’s spot backwards so that the gum couldn’t be seen.  Madison taped it shut in an ‘X’ so it wouldn’t come off.  We leaned back to inspect our work.

“I guess it looks ok,” I said.

“Yeah, it’s not, like, pretty or anything, but I guess it will work.  What do you think, Baby Shaunny?”
Shaun blinked.

I agreed with him.  The three stitches of thread could be seen from a mile away, and the tape didn’t help much either.  The fabric overlapping the hole wasn’t even the same shape as the hole because it was flipped around, and it was slightly off color.  Stuffing was coming out of one of the corners that didn’t have tape on it.  But you couldn’t see the gum, which is exactly what Dad wanted. 

Which means, Madison and I, Garrett James Matthews, have succeeded in our mission once again.


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