His name is Philip Olson, he is 9 years old and I intensely dislike him.
We have some friends who live in Rapid City. The Dad has a plumbing business. I guess since my Dad does too, that’s how we met them. The Olson’s have four kids, Philip is way younger than the others. Mom said they got him by accident.
Last summer I got to spend a week at their house in Rapid. I loved it. Their only girl, Linda was gone, and I got to stay in her beautiful bedroom. Its really big and all decorated in pale pink. One wall has a huge curved window. The house is in a hilly place where a lot of rich people live. They have some friends up the hill from them who have a humongous swimming pool. Philip and I rode bikes up there every day to go swimming. We did other stuff too. Philip’s Mom took us to the Reptile Gardens where they have turtles so big you can ride them. All the way home, I kept visualizing it. I couldn’t wait to brag about it to my cousins. I was pretty sure they would hang on my every word.
This year I got to do the same thing, and it was fun all over again. I bet you’re starting to wonder why I intensely dislike Philip. Here is how it all went down.
This year, Mom and Dad decided that since Philip’s parents had invited me twice, it didn’t seem right not to invite Philip to our house for a week. When Mom came and got me to go home to Murdo, Philip came too.
The minute we pulled up in our driveway Philip changed. It was an awful thing to witness. We could only eat what Philip wanted to eat. We could only watch TV if Philip wanted to, and then we could only watch the shows he liked. We only have one channel, so if Philip didn’t like what was on, we all had to do something else. Dad even gave up Gunsmoke! He was making fools out of my Mother and Father. They laughed at stuff he said that wasn’t one bit funny. Mom was acting like I had never seen before. She would say things like, “Oh Philip, your face is flushed, would you like a cold glass of kool-aid?”
I know they are hiding from us because they don’t like Philip
I could have lived with all of that, but he got to be the boss of my horse too. We have Governor picketed in a field behind Lindquist’s house. Governor put up with Philip even though he hates males. Its my job to go move the picket when Governor needs more grass to eat, and I have to tell Mom or Dad when he needs water. I had to do all that plus saddle and unsaddle Governor when Philip got a whim to ride, which was about four times a day. My cousins played with us for part of one day. I guess they’d had enough of him too, because the next day we couldn’t find them. They hid from us. I know they did. If it weren’t for Philip I would have been the Murdo kid celebrity like last year when I got home.
When Philip leaves, I’m going to have a talk with Mom and Dad. This can never happen again!
Tomorrow is finally the last day of this horrendous arrangement. This morning when I wasn’t looking, Philip left with Governor. I went to find someone to see where he had gone. Dad was in the kitchen on the phone with Philip’s Dad. I heard my Dad say,” He’s riding the pony up to 3rd Street and back.” Philip’s Dad must have said “Murdo’s streets don’t have numbers do they?” Dad said, “No.” Then he laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. Dad must be hard up for stories, that’s all I can say.
Well, Philip’s parents came and got him today. Mom went on and on about what an angel he had been and maybe next year he could stay for two weeks. If that happens, Governor and I will find somewhere else to live or I might slap Philip silly. I already have to ask for forgiveness, because I asked God to drop a piano on Philip’s head.
Philip and his parents backed out of the driveway and I was very happy to see him getting smaller and smaller, and finally disappear. I could breathe again. I turned around thinking this would be a good time to have “the talk” with Mom and Dad. I looked but they weren’t there, so I figured they must have gone back inside.
Mom was laying on the couch with a cold cloth on her head. She didn’t even open her eyes. She said, “Have you ever ??”
Dad was sitting in his chair puffing and puffing on his cigar. “Unbelievable,” he said.
When I shut the door, they both jumped to their feet. Mom said, “Good Lord, I thought he’d come back!” Dad started laughing his head off, for real this time.
I probably won’t be going back to Rapid City next summer, but I would rather have Governor and Murdo all to myself than a beautiful pale pink bedroom and just big turtles to ride.