Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Bet I Can

Placeholder for The New Georgie Witherspoon
Melissa Bardeen’s first sleepover with her new best friends came with a problem in the form of three nine year old boys: her brother Keaton and his best friends Sagan and Joaquin who were having their own sleepover.

Of course--as with any sleepover--sleeping is an afterthought. The primary matter at hand was eating.

And this is where the problem began.

Joaquin got it started. As usual.

“I bet I can eat the most hot dogs!” he said. Keaton, Sagan, and Melissa knew better. Jody and Stephanie weren’t having it. Georgie couldn’t resist.

“I can eat more!” she said. The others quickly grabbed a hotdog for themselves.

“Time us!” Joaquin said to Keaton who shook his head and began eating his hotdog. “First one who needs to drink some soda loses!” Joaquin said, his eyes flashing with joy at having someone who will compete with him. And so they began.

As Joaquin--who didn’t seem to have a need to chew--reached for his third hotdog in 45 seconds, Georgie (still on her second) picked up the pace. The overwhelming need to hydrate hit her all at once but she ignored it. A big swallow of her fifth hotdog stopped her. Joaquin saw victory and screamed in celebration, holding the ninth hotdog.

“I win!!!”

Georgie glared at him. It wasn’t over. She would destroy him with potato chips. She took a long drink of soda, belched, pulled a large bowl of chips towards her and pushed  another at him. Joaquin smiled with that glint in his eye.

“First one to finish their bowl wins!” Georgie said, getting onto her knees on her chair and leaning over her bowl. Joaquin stood.

“Wait,” Melissa said. “Can we have some of those--”

“Go!” Joaquin yelled and they began, stuffing their mouths with fists full of crumbling chips while glaring at one another. Joaquin emptied his bowl in 65 seconds and Georgie was a fist full away from certain victory.

“I win!” Joaquin yelled. Georgie looked around the table and spotted the bag of marshmallows. 

“First one to eat twenty marshmallows wins!” She reached for the bag but Sagan grabbed it and held it out of her reach.

“Georgie,” he said quietly. “Joaquin has stayed at my house before. My mother says he is a bottomless pit. I think that means he never gets full.”

“So,” Georgie said, making a grab for the marshmallows. Sagan put them behind his back.

“So, that means you can’t beat him with food. You’re seven with a little stomach. He’s almost ten and will eat anything!”

“That’s true,” Keaton said. “I’ve seen him eat a bowl of dirt one time.”

Georgie looked at Joaquin. “Did your bowl of dirt have a worm in it?” she asked him.

“No.”

Georgie smiled. “Mine did,” she said. “I win.”

Food competition over, Melissa suggested a nice game of kickball in the backyard. They were just about to set up teams when Joaquin got that look in his eye again.

“I bet I can kick the ball the farthest!” he said.

“I bet I can!” Georgie said.

“Oh man,” Jody said. “Can we play first before you guys start this!”

Joaquin ignored her and set the ball before him and kicked. The ball went over the fence into the neighbor’s yard, hitting the fence on the other side. Joaquin rejoiced and ran to retrieve it. He set it before Georgie.

“Beat that, Second Grader!” he said.

This victory was sure to be hers. There was a second story window at her house that had to be repaired thanks to her skills. She drew her foot back, reminiscent of that day, and gave the ball an almighty kick. It soared over the fence, bounced three times on the roof of the house next door, and onto the roof of the house next door to that. Right into its chimney.

Georgie rejoiced and even Joaquin couldn’t help but be impressed.

“Nice job Georgie,” Stephanie said, exasperated. “Now what are we going to do?”

Joaquin looked at the house, the ball sitting on the chimney. “I bet I can climb up there and get the ball!”

Joaquin has yet to get over this. And to this day, Georgie is the only one who will continue to go toe to toe with him.

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Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24