Second Thoughts

Dick, Jane, and Sally accepting rides from strangers. “Don’t go!” barks Spot, but Dick closes the door on Spot’s ear.










I’d like to go back to my youth, but with the brain I have now.
I want to sit in first grade, and when the teacher discusses
Dick and Spot and Jane, raise my hand and ask if Dick’s constant
references to Spot’s activities were an attempt to divert Jane’s
attention from suspicions of his own sexual inadequacy.

Her brow will crease as I speak, but before she can think of a response
I’ll snap my fingers and exclaim, “Or perhaps the answer is more oblique.
Spot is an odd name anyway. Why Spot instead of Fido?
‘Spot,’ after all, is an anagram for ‘tops’ and tops are roughly
shaped like pudenda, so perhaps the entire phrase, ‘See Spot run’
is a rueful wail bemoaning his denied femininity. ‘Fido’ is instead
an anagram for ‘I do F’, an obvious cryptic reference to the ‘F’ word itself
and therefore a somewhat timid declaration on Dick’s part
that so far as the sex act goes he is pretty much for it.”
At this point the teacher gasps out something about me being
a “horrid child” and I’ll say, “I take it, then, you don’t read the text
as I do. Odd. I should have thought the whole ‘Dick’ thing made it obvious.”

Later, in the principal’s office they will call for the specialists and the shrinks
and make my folks come down and when everyone is there
and staring at me and they ask me if my teacher’s story is true
I will yawn and ask if I can have a cookie. They will be patient
and kind and finally some guy will ask if anything is bothering me
and I will say yes, there is just one thing.

They will hold their breath waiting for me to speak but I will
instead take pen and paper and in perfect cursive lettering
write out Lee Harvey Oswald is innocent. I suggest they save that
until about November 25, 1963.
“Then just whip it out,” I tell them. “It will be awesome.”

I will continue to amuse myself in these ways until I become
an adult again at which point people will think of me and sigh,
“He had such promise but now he’s just an ordinary guy.” 

——Don Whittington


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