As a long-time local writer teacher, I really shouldn’t poke fun at my students. But the time two country good ol’ boys took a class from me begs for mockery. And Moe and Booger aren’t even their real names. I think.
Moe came in and took a seat, his red plaid flannel shirt as faded as the flag you attach to a long load that sticks out of your truck bed. I swear he had a chaw of tobacky in his cheek. Booger slipped in beside his buddy, cousin, brother, whatever, and I didn’t have to wonder how he got such a nickname. This guy was greasy–from his hair (what was left of it) to his grease-stained overalls. I proceeded to ask the students to describe the novel they were working on.
When it was Moe’s turn, he looked at me with one eye and tapped the side of his head. “I got it all up here,” he said.
I politely asked if he’d thought about writing anything down. “After all, I said, “we’re here to write a novel, not just think about it.”
Moe was not amused. “If I write it down, some punk is gonna steal it.”
I thought, oh no here we go again. I smiled. “Why don’t you just tell us a bit about the story?”
Moe launched into a convoluted tale about aliens, a spaceship and the fate of Sleepy Hollow or somesuch out-of-the-way place in Oregon. He talked with his hands, and as the rest of us watched in horror, Booger began supplying spaceship sound effects, different character voices and five different gun noises. When Moe finished telling us that the humans won, sending the aliens zooming off with their literal tails between their seven legs, he crossed his arms and sat back, as if to say, “Top that.”
“Sounds like a rollicking tale,” I said. This is what I always say if a student’s story is too pathetic for words. I turned to Booger. “So. Tell us about your novel.”
Booger looked surprised. “I ain’t writing no novel,” he explained. “I just like doing sound effects.” He blinked and folded his arms too.
“O-kay,” I said and looked at my watch. “We’re out of time, see you all next week,” I chirped, secretly hoping the aliens would take revenge and kidnap Moe and Booger before next week’s class. If not, maybe I’d write my own novel called Moe & Booger Go to Mars. Don’t worry about reading it though–I got it all right up here.