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October 15, 2014 | Fiction

Nubbins

Charlie Griggs

Nubbins photo

Look at me.

Look at all the neat things I can do. Can you do this?

Follow me. Do like I'm doing. Put your stomach flat on the floor, then – whoa! – see what I'm doing? It's the worm. I can do the worm.

Hmm... I see you're familiar with it. Well, where'd you learn that? That's not what I really wanted to show you though. What I really wanted to show you is this:

First, you stand up.

Good.

Then – watch me, watch what I'm doing – you hold out your one hand. See? Look at all my fingers. I can wiggle them and everything. Pick my nose, tickle your armpit, everything. So, see my fingers? Now watch my other hand.

Hey! How about it! Where's that pointer think he's going? He's getting away! Catch that finger! Catch him!

Whoops, okay, there we go. Back where he belongs. Can you do that one? Show me.

Almost. You almost got it.

There he goes again! Back here, you!

Whew. Close call that time.

But it's okay. You can still do the worm. Don't cry. Oh, now – don't cry. Why don't you show me the worm again? Come on.

You wanna learn the finger trick? I'll show you the finger trick. Then your little fingers can run off all on their own too. We'll have a pair of stumps, you and I. Have to call your mom any time we need a door opened or someone to scratch for us.

Do like I showed you and hold out your hand. Keep the palm facing your body and when you bring over your other hand, now you've gotta tuck back that pointer finger. Bend it in half like this, see?       Cross the fingers on your other hand and – look, you've got it. Hold it right up against the knuckle and – whoops! Where's your finger? That rascal.

Ha, yep. Look at us. Nothing but nubbins.

You know who taught me that trick? That's right, Pop Pop did. And I was scared when I first saw it. Not like you. I wasn't brave like you.

Well, Pop Pop's not around anymore. Your mom – we can just call her and she can come right over. But that's now how it is with Pop Pop.

You want us to call Mom? Right now might not be the best time for that.

Come on, buddy. You're having fun. Why don't we go downstairs and we can put something on? And we can do something else too. Something else fun. I'll teach you a new game.

No, no, I'd love to – to call her. It's just – whoops! It's so hard to dial with these stumps is all. Where'd that finger go off to anyway?

How about this, if you can help me find my finger, I'll show you what Daddy bought yesterday on the way home. I'll give you a hint too, okay? It rhymes with shmice shmeam.

No, okay, okay. We can call. We'll call Mommy.

Why don't you hop up next to me and then I'll put it on speakerphone so that way we can both hear her on the other end? I'm gonna let you do most of the talking though, okay? Okay, buddy. Remember to speak up now so she can hear you.

Okay, it's ringing, get a little closer to the speaker. Lean in here. It's still ringing . . .

Well, no, that's – it's fine. Why don't you just leave her a nice message? Say something nice to your mom. Say something nice to Mommy.

Oh, sh – it's, hi Mommy. I've got your little man here and he wants to say something to you, so just whenever you get this, make sure to call him back please. Just make sure this time because he misses you and here he is now.

Here you go. Here you go, talk into it right here.

You don't want to say anything now? You're sure? Come on, just say hi.

Hnh. Okay.

Well, hi, it's Daddy again and just – give us a call when you get this. Someone misses you.

I bet you she's busy doing something really important. She's gonna call back soon as she hears that and then you can talk to her all you want.

Well, don't you worry. You know what I'm worried about? I'm just worried that someone, that someone like you, mister, might be a little too full of shmice shmeam by the time she calls back. How are we gonna answer the phone with our mouths full?

Mm? Mm-mmmm? Mmmm! Mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm.

That's all she's gonna hear with all that shmice shmeam waiting for us downstairs.

Here we go. Here we go. Here we go! First one to the kitchen gets to scoop. I'll give you a head start. Here we go!

I'll bring the phone, don't worry. Okay? All you have to worry about is how we're gonna scoop with these nubbins. Here we go!

 

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