From my novel Cursed! My Devastatingly Brilliant Campaign to Save the Chigg!
“Hey, hey, Lady Godzilla, don’t burn me with your fire lizard breath.”
That’s Mr. Lan. He calls me Lady Godzilla because I am blessed with a statuesque physique, meaning I am tall and strong.
But lately I haven’t been feeling too tall, or too strong. In fact, I’ve been feeling like a pair of worn-out gym shoes stuck in sticky, grimy goo, the kind that oozes beneath theater seats. It’s like I’m stuck in a theater where the same horrific movie is replayed over and over. And that horrific movie is only my entire eighth-grade year.
“Mr Lan, if you’re waiting for me to call you a gnarled-up Cambodian pygmy, it’s not going to happen. I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but I’ve matured a lot since last summer, and I’m no longer interested in arguing with you,” I inform him quite politely. I add, “And since you insisted on taking over my room until the week before I start high school, I would really appreciate it if you would try to be a little more pleasant.”
“You mind go blank-blank, dumb-dumb?” he asks as if I hadn’t said a word. “Set table up for game. I not getting any younger, and you not getting any prettier.”
So much for being pleasant. He’s looking at me with sharp eyes, daring me to retaliate. “Hey, you listening?” Mr. Lan smacks the table with his palm. “Or you got worms in ear again?”
I bite my lip. A, they weren’t even real worms that time, just gummy worms. And B, they weren’t even gummy worms, they were gummy bears. I could tell him all this, but I keep my saintly mouth sealed as I open the box of dominoes. I refuse to let him antagonize me.
“What happened to that big mouth?” He looks at me suspiciously. “I gone one year and now you too big-shot Godzilla girl to talk to poor Mr. Lan.” Then he looks around the room. “How big shot mature Lady Godzilla like I take down these silly monster posters?” He stretches his hand to the Night of the Living Dead poster hanging above my bed. He knows full well it is my all-time favorite movie ever.
I say, “Geez, calm down, you old crank-case,” knowing it’s what he wants to hear, but my heart just isn’t in it. My heart is plumb worn out.
And even though I know I should keep my mouth shut and rise above his petty aggravation, I have to set the record straight. “First off, they are not silly monsters. If you knew anything about anything you’d know they are zombies. And it is a scientific fact that the walking dead may be real. If you want proof, just look in the mirror.”
I didn’t mean to add that last part, had sworn I wouldn’t stoop to Mr. Lan’s level, yet somehow he always brings out the worst in me.
“For a Lady Godzilla, you sure got Mothra manners. You be nice and I let you change my bedpan. How you like that?” he asks with his beady eyes shining meanly.
And even though I am now a mature young woman with a promising high school career before me, I play along despite the fact it’s the last thing I want to do.
“Bedpan? You don’t even have a bedpan. What you have is halitosis.” Halitosis is chronic bad breath, and if there’s one thing Mr. Lan has it’s chronic bad breath. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is toxic. Okay, toxic and noxious. Like having sewer vapors leak into the air each time his cranky old mouth creaks open.
“Bad breath is a sign of illness, Chicky. I’m very sick man,” he adds, pulling his red silk kimono closed at his neck. He says he is sick, but he is not. He just likes taking an afternoon siesta.
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