The Half-Wit Family Reunion

Recently, my mom was going through some of my old school papers and she came across something I had written in middle school.  She sent it to me and, after reading it, I’m pretty sure it was a project I did in one of my math classes instead of having to do any actual math problems.  (No wonder I’m terrible at fractions.)  Enjoy!

 

The Half-Wit Family Reunion

By

Christian Underwood

This is the story of Jim Half-Wit.  He and his twin brother, Tim Half-Wit were separated at birth.  Jim was raised by his mother Ima Half-Wit and Tim was raised by his father Eura Half-Wit.  The two brothers actually lived 20 1/2 miles apart from each other, but they never knew it until they were older.

In fact, they didn’t even know they had a twin until one day when Ima sat down with Jim and told him the truth.  She told him that he and his brother were born 3 1/2 minutes apart.  Jim weighed 5 1/4 lbs.  Tim weighted 6 3/4 lbs.

After finding out about his Half-Wit brother, Jim was determined to reunite with him.  He asked his mom if she knew anything about where Tim lived.  When she said that she unfortunately had no information on Tim and Eura’s whereabouts, Jim decided to start his search on the Internet.

It took him 3 3/4 months to find the information he needed.  After his search, he realized that his brother and father lived just 20 1/2 miles from him and his mom in a town called Split In Half.  Since he had no phone number for them, he decided to drive the 20 1/2 miles to find the house they lived in on 6 1/2 Street.

As he drove through the town of Split in Half, he realized that all of the houses were split levels, all of the swimming pools were half full, and all of the front doors were only one half painted.  He found this to be rather odd, and as he approached Tim and Eura’s split level house, he realized he was only half sure that he was ready to meet them.

But he had no time to change his mind as he stood at the half opened, (and half painted) front door.  Suddenly, a young man that looked a lot like him was standing on the other side of the door with his mouth half opened.  Jim felt like he was looking into a mirror.

“Are you Tim?” he stuttered.  Tim slowly nodded his head.  Afraid that his brother was about to faint right in front of him, Jim quickly told Tim the story his mother had told him just 3 3/4 months ago.  When he finished, he saw an older gentleman standing just behind Tim.  It was their father, and he was overjoyed to see Jim.  The three of them hugged each other for a long time.  They sat down together and talked for hours.

Jim finally got around to asking Eura and Tim about the odd town they lived in.  That’s when they told him about the legend of Splint In Half.  Eura said that the legend began many years ago when the Native American, Chief Quaterhorse decided to allow his daughter, Pochahalfis to marry the white man, John Split.  Thus, the village of Split In Half was born.  As the years went by, the people of Split in Half always honored the heritage of their founders, by passing down certain customs and characteristics of the town.

After hearing that amazing story, Jim realized even more the importance of family.  He asked his father and brother to come back home with him.  And after several months of visiting together, the Half-Wit family was reunited for good, and no longer “split in half.”

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“I have a boot!”

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This entire week and last weekend DC has been getting pummeled with rain.  So much so that many people who typically walk to work are now taking the bus.  This makes it much more difficult to find a seat.

The other morning I made my walk to the bus stop through a slight rain, one of those storms that’s not really that bad but it’s just misting enough to piss you off.  I arrived at the bus stop and waited in line behind a few people who were already there. Once the bus drove up we made our way, single file,  onto the bus.

I stepped up, scanned my card, and turned and saw, to my horror, that only one seat was open.  It was in the front of the bus in the handicapped section. A bit of bus etiquette, these six seats  are usually held open for the elderly or people who are handicapped. If you sit there and you are not either of those, you are expected to get up and give your seat up for that person should they get on the bus.

With my boot on my foot I felt I was qualified to take that last open seat so I made a dash for it and sat down.  While I sat down, I made sure to flash my boot at everyone around me for validation.

Things were off to an okay start.  Everyone seemed to be in a silent agreement that it was acceptable for me to be sitting there.  The tide started to turn though, as the bus began to get full. 

An old lady hobbled her way onto the bus at one stop and I could feel her stare at me through her cataract sunglasses.   I knew she wanted my sweet, comfy seat.  But I wasn’t having it.  I was injured!  And, after the bus dropped me off I still had a 20 minute walk before I got to work so I needed my rest!

Several newcomers who had not been a part of the initial silent agreement, and who also didn’t see my boot began to give me some looks.  I looked to my compatriots who had been with me since the beginning, hoping they’d share with the new passengers the silent agreement we had all made. But it was to no avail.  I was all alone.

I felt very similar to Billy Zane’s character in “Titanic.”  When the ship starts to sink and everyone is running for the life boats but they are only letting women and children on.  Zane grabs a random child and starts shouting “I have a child! Let me on! I have a child!” That was me. Except my plea was “I have a boot!  Let me sit! I have a boot!”

It seemed the closer we got to my stop  more old ladies got on the bus. “Is there a new rest home that just opened up on my route?”  I began to wonder.  “Is there a great sale at JCPenney this morning? Is Barry Manilow in town?”

I had no idea.  But the bus was filling up with old ladies faster than J&S on a Sunday after church.  Each time they shot me a look, I silently pled “I have a boot!” “I have a boot!”

We finally arrived at our destination.  We all slowly made our way off the bus. I looked back at the bus the way all the rich people who had made their way onto a lifeboat and were staring at the Titanic from a distance.  I made an a vow to never sit in those seats again.

 

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Chitty Chitty Blog Blog

I haven’t sat down to truly write since I was in college. I’ve done some scattered journaling here and there, but nothing of any real substance.  My plan for this blog is for it to be a creative outlet for me.  I want to challenge myself to be a better writer and storyteller.  Sometimes my posts will be about myself or what’s going on in my life or it may be a short story I’ve been working on.  Who knows?  I appreciate you taking the time to read through this and I hope you get some enjoyment out of it!

Yesterday I finished a production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton, NC.   Our final performance was a well attended success!

“Chitty” can very easily be passed off as a “Mary Poppins” esque knockoff.  The plot doesn’t always make sense, the songs are cheesy at times.  One could very easily watch it and think “Well, that was fun” and not put anymore thought into it.  I was one of those people when I first started rehearsing.  I didn’t think much about it.  All I knew going into it was that it had something to do with a car and at one point they sing a very repetitive song that I knew would be stuck in my head until my 90th birthday.  However, through the rehearsal process, I found a much deeper meaning in both the show as well as Community Theatre in general.

“Chitty” at its heart is about family.  In the beginning of the show we meet Caractacus Potts and his two children Jeremy and Jemima.  We learn that Potts’ wife has passed away and he and his father are taking care of the children. Through a series of twists and turns, and some theatre magic, Caractacus and Truly Scrumptious end up together and presumably live happily ever after.  Again, not the most compelling story.  But it’s not the story that I found so interesting.  It’s that the show reminds audiences to not lose their imaginations.

There is very little room in today’s society for imagination.  In schools, arts programs are slashed left and right and more STEM programs are added.  All that matters is that each student passes their EOGs.  I have seen so many wonderful teacher try to keep imagination and wonder in their classrooms, but they are so bogged down with preparing for various tests that it is almost impossible to balance the two.  “Chitty” reminds us just how important our imaginations are.  They are what make life interesting.  I am so grateful that my childhood was filled with books and having adventures with my friends and not screens.  I am also thankful for theatre.  It too keeps my imagination alive. Just this year I have been a wooden puppet, a Prince, and, most recently, a Childcatcher!

I am so very lucky to have The Green Room in my life. It has given me a sense of purpose and has opened the door to meeting so many wonderful people.  Doing this show reaffirmed my love of theatre.  It happened during one of our school shows.  I was sitting in the Blackbox waiting for our next show and I looked around at all of the people in our wonderful cast.  No one was getting paid, in fact, I’m sure some people were taking a pay cut just to be in this show.  No one was forced to be there.  There was no obligation.  Only love. Love for our community, love for the show,  and love for each other.  I hope each and every one of you gets to experience this powerful feeling at some point in your life because it is magical.

I know this post is a little all over the place, but hey, it’s my first post and I’m feeling a little emotional right now.  Thanks for reading!