Murdo Girl…Miss Behavior

Growing up is never easy, and It’s going to be interesting to see how many pitfalls the not so little Murdo Girl will encounter as she travels the narrow path leading to young adulthood. Some children suffer more growing pains than others. Few handle it perfectly. Let’s just hide and watch.


Halloween is sure a different kind of day. You can’t really call it a holiday, because you don’t get the day off from school or anything. When you’re little, you wear a costume and go trick or treating. You never trick when you’re little though, you just go door to door and get candy. A little boy came to our house once and he held up a pillowcase for his candy. Mom looked in there at all that candy and said, “Are you going to eat all that?” The kid nodded and smiled big. He had lost most of his teeth. Mom said, “Well, if you eat that pillowcase full of candy, you never will have any teeth.” That poor little kid looked kind of stricken.


I don’t even know how many times I wore the long red formal that Kitty Reynolds made for me. It was the perfect costume. All I had to do was make a tinfoil crown and I was good to go. One year I added some of those plastic high heels, with the elastic strip to hold them on. That was such a bad idea. I fell out of those things all night and nearly broke my big toe. Anyway, I wore the formal until I was busting out of the seams. Then one day, it just disappeared. Hmm.

Well, now I’m too old and too big to trick or treat. That right of passage has been snuffed out! I resist change. I’d stay a kid forever if I could.

Some of the high school kids do mean things like throw rotten eggs at cars, or tip things over. In general, they wreak havoc. I’m not in high school, but I don’t think I want to do that stuff.

I guess you could say my friends and I are at the in-between age. We decided it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to maybe toilet paper a house. Our first  experience with a paper caper was unfortunate…for us, not our victim.

I don’t even remember now whose idea it was to toilet paper all the trees in Mr. Palmer’s backyard. I don’t think it would be very nice of me to name the other kids involved, but you already know the girls I run around with, and we had two boys with us. I think one likes to polka.

We got the whole yard papered up pretty well. We were quietly snickering, and having a good old-time. I think we were looking forward to acting all innocent the next day, when Mr. Palmer started complaining about his backyard being toilet papered up.

When we finished, we all turned around, intending to leave the same way we got there…up the ally. It was then, we realized what a possibly fatal error we had made.  We were facing the back of Mr. Thune’s house, and there he was, watching us out his kitchen window.

It was dark so we weren’t 100% sure if he could identify us. We just didn’t think the whole thing through, because we picked a teacher’s house that was on a corner with a big street light shining  brightly. On top of that, it backed another teacher’s house. How could we have been such idiots?

We did the only smart thing there was to do…We took off running.

I hate to admit to being such a chicken, but about 30 minutes later, one of the girls and I went back, and after first making sure the Thune house was dark, we took down all the toilet paper we could reach. It sure is a lot easier to throw toilet paper all over, than it is to clean it up.

I still didn’t sleep too well that night. Halloween was on Wednesday, and this is Friday. Neither Mr. Thune nor Mr. Palmer has said anything yet, but today is my saxophone lesson with Mr. Palmer. If he still doesn’t say anything, I’ll be able to put the whole thing behind me.



Mr. Palmer made me sweat it out until the very end of my lesson, then he just looked at me for a minute with a goofy grin on his face. I must have had a goofy look on my face too, because he started cracking up. He said he had a tall ladder if I wanted to come over and finish cleaning the TP out of his trees.

I kind of felt bad, because there was another time I was a little less than honest with Mr. Palmer. He called me one Friday and asked if I could come over and babysit Debbie and Kenny that night. Lecia Kell was having a bunch of kids over, and I really wanted to go to her house. Well, I just couldn’t bring myself to tell Mr. Palmer no, so I said I would babysit. I immediately regretted it.

I called Marlene all in a panic, and she came over so we could decide what to do. Marlene said I had to call Mr. Palmer and tell him I couldn’t babysit. I hate to admit I’m still a chicken , but I just couldn’t do it.” Well,” Marlene said. “Then I’ll do it!” She just picked up the phone, and called Mr. Palmer. She disguised her voice a little and said, “Mr. Palmer, this is Mary Francis. When I told you I would babysit tonight, I forgot that I had a previous engagement.” I was horrified as I heard her continue. “Can you please find someone else to take care of your kids?” Then she gave him a couple of suggestions as to what girls he should call.

I wish I was as brave as Marlene, but then she doesn’t take band. It’s no skin off her nose, because she has nothing to lose. If Mr. Palmer had an idea that it wasn’t me who called him, he didn’t say anything or give me any other sign…like a goofy grin.

We really had fun at Lecia’s house that night. I sure hope I spelled her name right. If I didn’t, the lady will surely tell me.



9 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Miss Behavior

  1. Patti May 18, 2016 / 11:42 pm

    Wasn’t Kitty a magical seamstress? Do you know what happened to her after her daughter whisked her off after Kelly died? I’ve always wondered about her.


    • Mary Francis McNinch May 19, 2016 / 7:13 am

      We went to Kitty’s Granddaughter ‘ s wedding in Vernal the next year, and saw Kitty. I believe it was around 5 years later that her daughter called Mom to let her know Kitty had died. She had 2 daughters, one’s name was Becky, but I can’t remember the name of the one Kitty lived with. She could make anything, and she was a real character. Dr. Murphy fell and broke his arm, and the next day, the ladies were at their house playing bridge. Florence was miffed that no one had asked how Doc was. Kitty piped up and said, “Well, we all heard he was beastly drunk.” Mom said you could have heard a pin drop.


  2. sanjuan831 May 18, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Didn’t realize you were such a troublemaker! Just kidding.


  3. Carol Fairbanks May 18, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Well, little Murdo Girl, I’m afraid there was at least one class a few years before your’s that got Mr. Palmer primed on Halloween! I seem to remember a junior or senior class that put shaving cream on the underside of all his car door handles…😔😔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch May 18, 2016 / 7:15 pm

      Shaving cream! Why didn’t we think of that? Did he find out who did it?


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