The Day An Onion Bit Me

I’m trying really hard to get back into the swing of blogging regularly. It’s not been easy. But yesterday I was spontaneously prompted into writing a story in the comments section of a Facebook post, so I thought I would share that here in the hopes that people won’t forget about me and stop visiting my blog. 😛

Context: A friend posted a picture on Facebook of a sandwich that had onions on it. I said it was too much onion, he responded with a hilarious article about why people who hate onions are stupid, to which my defense was: “Heeeeeey I like onions. Just not that much. I had a traumatic experience… an onion bit me when I was a kid.” Another friend then responded with “Waiting patiently for onion bit me story”. I decided to be a smart ass and actually post a story about how an onion bit me. My original intent was just a short stupid blurb, but it got away from me and 20 minutes later this is what I ended up responding with:

The Day An Onion Bit Me

When I was a child, I was a humble kitchen slave. The head of the kitchen, known only as “Big Momma”, was my master. She was a short, stout woman and altogether vicious. She had salt and pepper hair, skin as white as milk usually flushed red with anger, and slits for eyes. Her big chunky arms nearly always had fists at the end of them, either dug into her sides, stirring a giant soup pot over a fire, or flying at your face with astonishing, well-honed speed.

I myself was scrawny, but scrappy. All knees and elbows, one would think I’d be clumsy, but Big Momma’s thrashings quickly fixed that. I spent much time out in the gardens gathering provisions for Big Momma, and my blonde hair was nearly white from all the sun. My skin would be tan too, if it weren’t black and blue. I’d have been a pretty little girl if only all my teeth hadn’t been knocked out. I’d carefully put each tooth in a little pouch that I wore around waist, in hopes that someday I would meet a magical creature that could put them all back for me.

I’m still not really sure how it happened, but one day I accidentally knocked over a pot of tomato sauce. I barely had time to panic before my world went dark. And then I had the most glorious dream. In this dream, I had parents who loved me, and we all lived in a well-to-do chateau in a wonderful little provincial town. I was free to be a child, run and play, make friends with animals, climb the vines, read books and learn. I had no bruises, and all my teeth were in place. Yet, there was still a pouch around my waist.

When I opened the pouch, I found it full of the most beautiful pearls in all the world. They gleamed in the sunlight and were so smooth. Suddenly I knew what I had to do: I had to plant these pearls, and they would grow the most magnificent pearl trees anyone had ever seen. They would make the whole province twinkle in the sun from afar. I set to work, and sure enough, overnight the pearl trees had sprouted. Pearls as big as onions hung from the trees. So soft and smooth, they felt like peaches. Their beauty brought happiness to all in the province.

Suddenly I woke up. I was back in the dusty kitchen, on the grimy floor. A searing pain ran across the side of my head. I struggled to my feet as quickly as I could. Big Momma was busy stirring her pot, and didn’t notice me come to. But the bread boy saw me. He quickly rushed me outside, whispering the tale of the impressive way Big Momma had laid me out flat. Once outside, he handed me a loaf of half-baked bread and a tin of water and told me I’d been out for 3 days. “One more thing…” he hesitated. “Big Momma threw your pouch o’ teeth out the window.” I looked down, and sure enough the pouch was gone. I was crestfallen.

Once Big Momma realized I was up and around again, she put me right back to work in the gardens. Every day, I looked for my teeth, and never found any of them. Weeks went by, and still I searched for them. The hope of finding them was the only hope I really had. The hope began to fade.

Then one day, as I was harvesting onions, one screamed when I pulled on it’s scapes. A real, human scream. I jumped back, startled. I stood for a moment, and decided I must have imagined it. I yanked the onion all the way out, and it screamed again. I could hardly believe my eyes. There I was, holding this onion in the air – and it had a full set of teeth. My teeth. And it was screaming. It was a very angry onion. I was completely bewildered.

Big Momma looked out her window and screamed at me to stop dawdling around and get back to work or I’d miss supper again. I quickly stashed the angry onion in my harvesting basket, which was hanging on my arm by the handle. Now, as the basket was quite full at this point, the angry onion was laid atop the pile, very near my arm. In my haste, I failed to notice this, and before I knew it I felt another searing pain. This time it was on my arm. The little bastard had bit me. And it hurt!

I did my best to ignore the pain, something I was quite used to doing by now anyway, and continued on with my work harvesting the rest of the onions. The angry onion remained firmly clamped onto my arm, but at least it wasn’t screaming anymore. As I brought the day’s harvest into the kitchen, Big Momma yanked the basket out of my arms and then began to scream at me for trying to steal one of the onions. She demanded I give it back or else.

I squeezed the onion at the sides of it’s mouth, and it let go. Then I hurled it in the deep crevice of her overly large bosom. I lost sight of it as it worked it’s way down her blouse, and she began screaming in pain and terror. While she was distracted with an onion biting her boobs, I yelled for the rest of the kitchen slaves to follow me to freedom. And there we went, the whole lot of us, streaming out the door of the kitchen, across the garden, and deep into the forest to live the rest of our lives in freedom and peace. We built tree houses that large, fat women couldn’t reach, just to be sure.

I never did get my teeth back, though.

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The Day An Onion Bit Me

So Many Lightning Bugs

There were swarms of lightning bugs that summer. That’s what I remember most: the lightning bugs. I always found them entrancing, but most summers I was lucky to only see a handful at any one time. That summer, though, anywhere you looked you could count at least 50. Some said it was the unusually hot, humid Oklahoma summer. Some said it was the small town, that the noise and bustle of the city drove them here. Whatever the reason, they were beautiful in the twilight.

Every night my childhood friend Jeff and I would lay on our backs in ours or a neighbors grassy lawn, side by side, and just watch them twinkle around us while the sun set. This was usually when we had our deep philosophical conversations.

“D’ya thank der hawt?” Jeff asked, in that voice most of us kids used when we were simply pondering life. I still had hearing then, even if I needed the assistance of two hearing aids.

“Of course they’re hot, dummy, anything alive would be in this heat!” I shot back with all of my 11-year old acerbic wit. It’d been a long stressful day of chasing the pigs in the 4H barn, terrorizing the neighborhood on our four-wheelers, and swimming in my grandparent’s pool. I was hot, tired and hungry; I certainly wasn’t in the mood for more of Jeff’s stupid hick questions. Of course, my own southern accent was pretty strong too. Most everybody in town’s was. That was small town life for ya. But sometimes I wished Jeff didn’t sound quite so… dumb.

“Ah wuz justassin’, geez loo weez. N’ I mint, hawt like a lightbulb, like d’ya think iffin’ we’s caught one, it’d burn ah hands?”

I turned my head to stare at him. Was he serious? Of course I knew they didn’t actually burn your hand, but I wasn’t sure if he was just screwing around with me like he was wont to do. Fine, I’ll play. “I dunno. Why don’t you catch one and find out?”

I sat up on my elbows while he jumped around in the air, swiping at lightning bugs. “You look like a big ol’ dumb cat!” I hollered after him.

“Shuddup! I’mma gon’ ketch one, you just wait ‘n see.” Not one second after he said that, he tripped on a garden hose and executed the most spectacular face plant.

Naturally, my raucous laughter filled the night air as I rolled around, slamming the ground with my fists in glee. A minute later Jeff’s red face loomed over me and before I knew it, we were “having words”. With our fists. And feet. I won that fight, as I often did. Jeff was strong, but I was scrappy. I’d always appreciated that he didn’t treat me any different just because I was a girl. And to his credit, he took losing fights to a girl quite well.

He just didn’t like being laughed at.

He found out if lightning were hot or not though. Once he realized he was losing the fight he fled. I was right on his heels and it was all he could do to stay out of my reach. We must have run halfway across town, which was easy in a town that size. The crickets and locusts seem to cheer us on. He was gasping for air after about 15 minutes of running, and inhaled not one, not two, but three lightning bugs. In his panic he somehow chewed them as well.

And that is the story of the night Jeff’s tongue glowed in the dark.

So Many Lightning Bugs