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Parting Glances: A Thanksgiving fairy tale

By |2018-01-16T14:05:47-05:00November 24th, 2005|Opinions|

Johnny Rainbow was an ONLY child. And at the seventh hour, of the seventh day, of the seventh month — Natal Year #7 — he was visited in his quite-quite-cluttered room by a quite-quite neat-o lady, who smiled alot.
Yes! The ONE & ONLY beaded bag lady.
She looked like fluttery Billie Burke, aka Glinda, Good-Witch [appearance in this PC column, compliments of MGM — My Goodness Me, Inc.].
Johnny was truly the ONLY of his family [typical mom, doting dad, well-permed poodle] who glimpsed the starlit visitor — brightly effervescent — flitting to and fro –waving her sparkly wand — twittering nonstop, and — whoooosh! — just as quickly — in one window, out the other — the scent of patchouli left dancing in the air.
Johnny’s memory of Glinda (One & Only) that Natal Year #7 was hazy. [After all, hers was a cameo appearance.] He wondered if it wasn’t his imagination tricking his sugarplum brain. Maybe — he joked to himself upon reflection — it was only neighbor Mister Good-Wrench going in drag again.
Then on the occasion of Johnny’s Peach Fuzz Birthday — that is: #13 — as he was blowing out red, white, and blue re-lighting candles, Glinda’s prophetic words came back to tease him, like poetic butterflies cruising round the purple line.
“As an ONLY” — he recalled her words –“I grant you merry life and the gift that fairy folk fancifully call ‘playdar’: Play, for playful; dar, for darling. This gift will make your life a heckuvalot easier. Trust me, kiddo. Being an ONLY’s just one way to look at things. You’ll see. Gotta flit. Bye.”
But in the excitement of getting a new trim, sleek, shiny-chrome Schwinn two-wheeler deluxe, with battery operated horn (to let everybody know he was King of the Road — or some such important royalty) he once more forgot about Glinda, One & Only’s promise.
That same Tuesday [Surely, his good news day!] the sun beamed brighter. It was high noon, and a newly paved yellow brick road lay winding gaily before him. Happy as a lark he tooted his horn for good luck — deep! BEEP! deep! — and sped merrily on.
Soon he passed a curious group going arm-in-arm: a pigtailed torch singer, a creaky tinman, a straw shedding scarecrow, and a woeful lion, who, Johnny thought, looked just a tad ‘sis’. The foursome waved gaily as he biked past, peddling like 3-in-1 oil going to holy blazes.
As he whizzed along he thought, “If only I had a brother or sister to keep me company, having adventures would be a real blast.” Just as he began to feel sorry for himself, he spied a bright dot moving ever so rapidly in his direction.
The dot grew bigger, until Johnny saw it was a skateboarder. And, before he could wave hello or say, “Hi!” they CRASHED. “Excuse me,” said Johnny. “My mind was miles away.” “I was distracted too,” replied the skateboarder, who introduced himself as T. Petey Ditto, “I shouldn’t have cartwheeled.”
They shook hands, and, as it’s often the thing for new friends to do, they looked into each other’s eyes — seven seconds too long. And so: it happened! Just as Glinda (One & Only) said it would.
“Oh, my best-shooting marbles,” cried Johnny. “Are you by chance an ONLY?” he asked the acrobatic skateboarder. “I don’t know how I know; but, golly, gee-whizzers, I just do!” They hugged.
“What luck,” answered T. Petey Ditto, pointing down the road. “Everyone in the Emerald City of OZ is an ONLY — and we’re always welcome to stay.”

About the Author:

Charles Alexander