A Story from July 21, 2011

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me


            “Wow, it does go to triple digits,” my sister observed in her car as she read the outside temperature. “It says 101 degrees.” 

My oldest sibling, her four kids and I were on our way to Trader Joe’s in the middle of the week on a steamy summer day with a severe heat warning.  

“I’ve just got to run in the Sprint store,” she declared before we went food shopping Wednesday, July 21. “Can you stay in the car with the kids?” 

            “Sure,” I answered. So while my sister’s cell phone was getting fixed so she can again conveniently access her emails, my three nephews, their younger sister and I stayed in her white Suburban. I didn’t allow the boys to come past the first row of seats in the car since the keys were left in the ignition to keep the air on. 

            The blissful baby girl remained in her car seat and laughed at who-knows-what while the boys and I chatted. I opened a side pocket of my light-colored purse to pull out my lip gloss described on the tube as “A Kiss of Shine.” In doing so my heart-shaped silver container was spotted by my oldest nephew.  

            “This is how you open it,” I instructed the oldest and his immediate younger brother, who is his big brother’s best friend and playmate and occasional partner in crime, too. “It’s really easy, you just take the top off the bottom.” 

            I handed the small capsule that I used sometimes for holding pills to the eldest brother. 

            “Remember this is from my cousin Ashley’s wedding?” 

            “I wasn’t there,” he replied. “I was sick.” 

            My nephew’s comment jogged my memory to last October. Then I recalled that yes, only his Mom and her children, minus her eldest and husband who stayed behind with their ill son, attended the fall nuptials. Evidently the curly-headed young student was struck with the identical ailment that befell many pupils who attended his same place of learning. The second sibling helpfully chimed in to explain his brother’s absence at the wedding in his never-ending quest to conquer clichés of the English language.  

The 4-year-old narrowly missed the target when aiming for the tiny three-lettered creepy-crawly term that rhymes with rug used to describe the widespread sickness. 

            “There was a fly at his school.”


            THE END

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