STOP! What’s Your Last Word?

When I was a kid, pre-high school, one of the most memorable summers ever experienced was when my cousin flew to visit our grandma & pa who lived in California. My cuz, Mags, and I had been pen-pals for a few years and I could not wait to meet her in person.  It was BFF’s at first sight.

We had so many things in common it was eerie. One of our ‘things’ was writing.  Both of us had spiral notebooks full of poems, short stories, episodes of our favorite TV shows.  I was working on a new episode for “Emergency!” and I think Mags was working on one for Alias Smith & Jones.  It was a Western romance – that I remember. 

We were busy scribbling and all of a sudden, Mags yells “STOP!”

“What?!  What’s wrong?”

“What’s your last word?”

I looked at my notebook and the last word written before her scream is “thready”

“Hmm.”  she contemplates.

“What is yours?”  two can play at this game.

“muscles,” she said.

“Ohh,” I say.  “You win.”

We must have laughed for 20 minutes.  Then we refilled our sodas, grabbed a snack, and went back to work.  When I noticed Mags hitting a roll with her focused scribbling, I hollered out, “What’s your last sentence?”  Only one word at a time was not giving me any clue about where her story was going.  Yes, even back then, I was impatient.

I wished that I could remember that episode!  I knew it had to be juvenile and corny – it was corny back then.  Curious, I dug into my file drawer that had research, old drafts, and false starts.  And there it was. My old blue THEMEBOOK 100.   Five short stories were listed on the second-page table of contents.  (Table of Contents!?)   I laughed when I found “Code I LUV U”.  That had to be the infamous Emergency! episode.  42 pages (front and back) of pure corn.  Beyond corny, corn.  Copywrite 1972.  The summer between junior high and high school.   I was 14. 

The last sentence?  My character was singing, “Everything’s all right, yes, everything’s fine.”

I’m still smiling about that.  

I hope that Mags can find hers.


♥  TTFN  ♥