The year is 1961. Its the summer before the little Murdo Girl starts the fourth grade. Her brother Billy is working in California for the summer, but he will be back in the fall to begin his Senior year of high school.
The little Murdo Girl is straddled on a barrel that hangs between two trees on the lot between her Grandparent’s house and her Aunt and Uncle’s home where her cousin Mark lives. It’s early morning and while she’s waiting for the neighborhood kids to get there, she’s thinking about all the things they will do today. School just got out yesterday and this is the first day of summer vacation. Her thoughts are interrupted by the sound of a car pulling into her Grandpa’s driveway. The car doesn’t look like any car she’s seen before. It reminds her of her Uncle’s Jeep, but it’s a sparkly gray color and the tires are a lot different.
While she’s watching, a woman and a little girl get out of the Jeep- like car. The woman is walking toward the house. The little girl is walking toward Murdo Girl. It appears that the girls are about the same age.
MG is the first to speak: Hi…Did you and your Mom come to visit Grandpa and Grandma Sanderson?
The other little girl: Yes, my Mom just wanted to drop off a few things, but then we’re going swimming. What’s your name?
MG: My name is Mary, but people call me MG. What’s yours?
Other girl: My name is Yram. I don’t live here. I live in Texas. Mom used to live here and she thought it would be good for me if we came for a visit. Are you all by yourself here?
MG: Yeah, but I’m just waiting for all the kids to get here so we can play. I hope we play tag first.
Yram: Don’t you mean hashtag? You must tweet.
MG looking somewhat bewildered: No..We play tag. You know, one person is it. They hide their eyes and count backwards while everyone else runs and hides. When the time is up, the “it” kid looks for everyone else. When”it” finds another kid, and gets close enough to hit them, that kid is “it” and it starts over. It’s really fun!
I pat…..I pat…..I sorta pat……She hits
MG: I’m going to walk across the street to Suzanne and Cynthia’s house. They probably slept late or they have to do some chores first.
We hit…We pat the pony…We used to hit, but we don’t anymore
Yram: Why don’t you just text them? I don’t want to stay here alone, and I don’t want to go inside. Mom said they just have a black and white TV and no Internet.
MG: You talk kind of funny. Is that because you live in Texas? Grandpa Sanderson has lots of nets, so I’m sure he has an internet. I don’t go near a textbook in the summer, and I only read books when it’s raining, or when it’s dark and I have to go inside. Rats, I forgot to bring my dress-up clothes.
Yram: RATS? DID YOU SEE A RAT? Why are you going to dress up?
MG: What? What’s wrong with you? You’re talking like you’re crazy. Are you plumb loco? I’ll see you later. MG starts to walk across the street.
Yram: Wait MG. I don’t want to stay here by myself, but if I’m going to stay outside, I have to put on sunscreen so I don’t get skin cancer. Do you know what time it is? I left my cell in the car and it’s locked. You shouldn’t call people crazy, that could hurt my ego and I’ll have to have therapy when I grow up.
MG: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m trying really hard to understand your Texas language, but you are really a nervous Gertie Yram. If I waited for you to do all that, I would never get to play today. Guess you don’t want to hear about the rubber guns. They only hurt if someone accidentally hits you in the face. Besides that, I thought you said you were going to the swimming dam. We’re all going tomorrow with Pink Sandy. Maybe you can come and bring your internet and catch some minnows. As far as a cell goes, you’d have to do something pretty bad to get thrown in a cell here, and if you did, you wouldn’t have to worry too much about what time it is. And another thing, I think you are trying to bluff me, because there is no such thing as a locked car door, and you can’t catch cancer from the sun so you don’t have to put a screen over yourself.
Yram: I think I will go inside and lay down, because I really hope I’m sleeping. Yes, that’s it! I’m asleep and there is no such place as Murdo, where kids run and hit each other and think it’s fun. They have Rats and stay outside without wearing sunscreen. They sit on a barrel hanging from the trees without any supervision. I was cursed at just because I said I was going to the pool. Yes… I’ll lay down and wait to wake up from this nightmare. Bye MG. If I ever see you again, don’t talk to me.
MG: Frankly Yram. I don’t give a hoot!
You should see the other guy
We don’t give a hoot either! Let’s get back to the possibly rigged election. Jerry has chickens to sell and I have eggs to pluck.