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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)

TITLE: Hurl-A-Hustle
By Sharon Laughter
07/22/09


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Sulking Shoes appeared to morph from sapling to little oak over night. He now dwarfed my 124 pound 5’6” frame, which meant I had to crane my neck upwards to meet his wide brown eyes. As soon as he began bragging the fact, I sprung into action in order to halt the spread of any big ideas.

“Just remember. I am still your mother, and I will still take you out,” I stated simply.

Poor Hulking Heap was at a handicap of which I was not unsympathetic. An older brother and sister preceded him by ten years, meaning I was not unfamiliar with what would prove to be another interesting round of Teenage Hurl-A-Hustle.

“I’m not a baby.” It’s my life.” “I can take care of myself.” “All the other parents--.” Good. This still rated as one of my all-time favorites in the arsenal of arguments.

“What other parents do concerns me nil. I am accountable to the Lord and to His call only will I spring. It’s hard to imagine, but He loves you even more than I. Therefore, my decisions will be based solely on receiving His guidance and direction for this important time of your life.”

I love it when they try to play the spiritual card back. Deaf-in-One-Drum decides one day he’s in the mood to play another hand of hurl-a-hustle.

“Johnny’s Dad says some parents just want to keep their kids babies ‘cause they’re afraid of losing them. Johnny’s Dad says it stints the kid’s growth.”

“Stunt.”

“Huh?”

“The word is ‘stunt’, I correct. “’Stint’ is a thing that fixes hearts. Doctors usually end up having to put it in patients who’ve raised teenagers.”

Sneaks-in-Skates forges ahead undaunted. “Johnny’s Dad says parents have to allow kids to make their own mistakes.”

“Hmmm,” I ponder raising my forefinger to my temple and searching heaven. “Wasn’t it Johnny’s Dad who had to get his older boy out of juvenile hall last week?” Sulking Shoes trudges off to Google further support.

In all fairness, little Prowling Pout does sometimes win a round here and there,. During the best part of a well-deserved scolding he may snake a gorilla-type arm around my shoulders for a heart-weakening hug. I can’t help it if my lecture then becomes quickly abbreviated. “Stop. Stop it now.”

It didn’t take long for the curfew hustle to hit. I had, of course, reiterated the rule time and again. Instead of grateful appreciation, I was forced to dish out grace in ever-increasing increments. Now it was time for the weapon of last resort – embarrassment. One night, I waited as curfew passed and the condominium swimming hole thrashed with teens. I marched to the edge, demanding loudly that Harry Hustle gather his things and come home now. Twenty pairs of eyes bulged at the audacity.

“Mawwmmm!! “You can’t ream a guy out in front of his friends!” Grounded Grump whined from behind as we headed out of earshot.

“I know the code of which you speak,” I replied. “And, I am happy to honor the ways of your people. But when you disrespect the rules of our tribe, you bring shame to our hut. When that happens, I am not bound by the jive of your jungle.”

I also realize the importance of frequent meccas to the mall for these gangling giants. Mine may attend, of course, as long as the lawn is mowed and bushes trimmed in addition to regular chores. However, its not long before Hulking Heap uses an all-too familiar ploy. With quick precision, just as Roger’s Dad rolls up to the curb, Sneak-in-Skates lunges forward, extending out an open paw. “Mom, can I get a couple of greenbacks?”

“You’re serious! The lawn isn’t mowed or the bushes trimmed.”

“I didn’t get to it. Please MOM?. Roger’s Dad is waiting.”

“Oh, my bad. And this is my problem how?” Unless I wanted to earn the title “enabler” I had to remain tough. Besides, I’d already used up my allotted “I’ll let you off the hook this once, but next time you’d better” tickets.

“I forgot!” Brown eyes flashed wide with terror. Much was at stake if this hustle failed..

“How could you “forget” the lawn?” I asked incredulously.

“You didn’t remind me!”

I could’ve warned my hustlers that the manual never worked for m as a teen either. It could’ve saved us all a lot of time. But then, where is the fun in that.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Seema Bagai 07/23/09
Hilarious. I enjoyed the narrator's humor and sarcasm. Also, great job with naming the teens to fit a specific mood.
c clemons07/30/09
This one should have placed higher. I did see a mistake here and there maybe that's what caused the slight. Anyway I enjoyed it, shoulda been a contender.:)
Catrina Bradley 07/30/09
What a HOOT! The nick-names for this teen had me rolling on the floor, and the mom was realistically written. LOVE it! :)