From my novel Cursed! My Devastatingly Brilliant Campaign to Save the Chigg!
So after a triumphant raid on the boys’ bathroom to swipe all the toilet paper, we paraded into the girls bathroom, laughing and shouting, “Ding dong, the witch is dead, the witch is dead, ding dong the wicked witch is dead.”
Then Mindy, with her short, spiky blonde ponytail bobbing anxiously on her head, asked, “Have you ever in your life seen anything as funny as those funny little sinks in the boys’ bathroom?”
“Not I, Min-min,” replied Shannon gravely from behind her round owl glasses. “How do you think they wash their hands? Those sinks didn’t have any faucets.”
“Silly rabbit, those weren’t real sinks. They’re urinals,” I explained in my harsh, toneless Mrs. Jutney voice. “They don’t need sinks. It’s a scientifically proven fact that boys do not wash their hands.”
“That’s just gross!”
“Why it’s downright revolting, if you ask me!”
Then mayhem ensued until I kicked open the first bathroom stall and declared, “I christen thee, La Toiletta, Queen of the Golden Waters.” The toilet was flushed and we erupted into riotous cheers.
I found this exercise very agreeable and moved on to the next stall. But when I kicked the door open, there sat Carrie Larson. But no one ever called her Carrie, just Frecklefart Fanny because of the big, red, splotchy freckles that covered her entire body.
But never, not once did I ever call her Frecklefart Fanny, or Frecklefart, or just Fart as others did. That’s just disrespectful and crude, two things I am most certainly not.
I only ever called her Chigger, or the Chigg, because every time I looked at her during the first two weeks of school she was furiously scratching chigger bites. Some people I could name said she had fleas, but I knew they were chiggers from experience.
Let’s just say, it is not a good idea to run through a field of waist-high stinkweed wearing only an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny Pocahontas bikini and red velvet cowboy boots in the dead of summer while pretending to be Miss America. Take it from me; such an exercise will only end in tragedy, tragedy in the form of the most obscenely thorough case of chigger infestation ever!
And did I itch like crazy?
You know I did.
Carrie sat there on the pot with that frizzy red hair puffed to extremes all over her head, her face covered in what could only be described as a bad case of being the Chigg. She wore a ridiculous blue and white ski jacket, as she had every day since school started the month before, even though it wouldn’t get cold in Alabama until December.
She had a book in her hand, one of those little green pocket bibles.
And there she was, not looking at us, frozen, quiet, small, waiting for us to go away. Waiting for us to run back to class and tell everyone that we caught her praying on the pooper. And maybe we would have. Only there was something about Carrie Larson that made me pause for once.
So instead of running to class with my big mouth yapping, which in retrospect is exactly what I should have done, I threw my arm grandly toward Carrie, did my award winning bugle salute sound effect, and announced, “Behold, the Chigg.”
And that was when everything started for me.
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