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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: Sheldon Shtinklemeyer
By Laury Hubrich


“Cluck, cluck – time to get up!” The alarm clock sang.

Sheldon growled. “Summer can’t be over already.” He hit the snooze and rolled onto his belly.

“Sheldon, you get out of bed right now, you hear me? I know your ears are under that pillow,” his mom bellowed from the bottom of the steps. This was his very first day of school in a brand new town.

He tried to ignore her but right then his alarm clock clucked again. “Dumb clock.” He sat up and threw his pillow at it.

“Cluck, cluck” it chirped quietly buried under the feathers.

Sheldon did an awkward somersault off his bed but missed his feet and landed on his bottom. “Oww. Dumb old school day.”

He then made his way blindly into the bathroom and took a quick shower. Of course the water was cold. He didn’t mind too much though. It woke him up. He started to think about all the cute girls he might see this new school year, his freshman year, and that made him break into a song…really loud.

“I’m so handsome. The girls will love me,” he repeated until he was rinsed, dried, and dressed.

He fumbled his way back into his room to get his glasses off the nightstand. Sheldon was almost blind without them. Instead of picking them up though, his clumsy fingers pushed them onto the floor.

He dropped to his knees and felt his way around until he heard a CRUNCH!


Sheldon sat at his desk to operate on his mangled glasses. He wrapped masking tape around the middle perfectly, just like his dad taught him.

He put them on and then gelled up his hair and admired his handiwork in the mirror. “Oh yeah!” He gave himself a thumbs up and grinned big.

“Sheldon,” his mom screamed again, “time to get to the bus stop.”

Sheldon clomped down the stairs in his noisy, new white tennis shoes.

“Where’s your book bag?”

He tromped back up the stairs and back down quick with his book bag and gave his mom a kiss on the cheek and she handed him a piece of toast.

“Sheldon, go right to your classroom. Mrs. Finkle will be waiting. Okay?”

“I know, Mom. Don’t worry.” He patted her on the head and then ran out the door to the end of the sidewalk. He stopped. The bus stop is right. No, it’s left. Poor Sheldon was almost ready to run in and ask his mom but then he saw a bus to the left so he ran fast to make it there before it drove away.

Sheldon didn’t see a mud puddle in his path. Oops. He stopped to look at his new shoes. They weren’t brand new white anymore. Very sad.

While standing in line, he slouched over to check out his soppy wet shoes and then climbed up into the bus with all the kids. He walked to the back and sat down just in time before it started to move.

Then he…
bent down to tie his shoestring;
took off his glasses and pressed the tape tighter to make sure it stayed put;
and rearranged his supplies in his backpack.

And then….he looked around.

Oh man.
Oh wow!

Sheldon wiggled in his seat. He itched his ear. He swallowed. He wiped tears from his eyes. All he saw were little kids. Like, grade school age little.


Sheldon wiggled in his seat again and then he looked over the top to make sure he was right. Yes, no doubt about it. It was the wrong bus. He should have gone right instead of left.

The bus finally stopped. All the kids got off but Sheldon just sat. He didn’t know what else to do.

“Time to get off, Kid,” the bus driver said but then he looked at him funny. “You don’t belong on this bus, do you? What’s your name?”

Sheldon opened his mouth but nothing came out so he tried again. “Shhheldon Shtinklemeyer.”

Sheldon moved to the front while the driver talked on the radio

“…well, because he’s short. I guess that’s why I didn’t notice,” Sheldon heard the man explain.

Sheldon knew he was different. He went to his own classes and did his own thing but just once he wanted to hang with the football players and cheerleaders. Really? Was that too much to ask. He needed a do-over. Poor Sheldon…maybe Tuesday would be better?

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This article has been read 596 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 08/25/11
Poor Sheldon! The first day of school and summer was over (I felt his pain on that one.) :) What a name and title for the story of cleverly crafted errors that befell Sheldon. I'll say it again, "Poor Sheldon!"
Colin Swann08/26/11
Cute and amusing - hope the girls were worth waiting for at class! Thanks!
Sarah Elisabeth 08/26/11
Yes indeed, poor Sheldon! I'd love to have seen a little more characterization of his mother.

Great job capturing the voice with sensitivity in this story. Thanks!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/27/11
A really well-done character study presented with empathy.
Danielle King 08/28/11
Aw! This was a tear jerker for me. I visualised Sheldon so well from the way his mum spoke to him and his attempts to act like a 'regular guy.' Sensitively written but ... aaawwww!
Noel Mitaxa 08/29/11
You've captured so much adolescent angst in this entry... Ahhh memories.
Author Unknown08/30/11
I wanted to smack that clucking alarm clock. Who buys that for their kid? Yikes. (in a good way, that was an emotional reaction, that's a good thing)

And poor Sheldon. I'm shure I had Sheldon the ladiesh man shtalking me in in shchool. As an adult I can appreciate him, and have some compassion for him :)

The only mild criticism is the the ending felt a little rushed but it's not bad.

Good work :) !
C D Swanson 08/30/11
I thank heavens I never was on a school bus, I was always able to "walk" to class. hahahaha. I enjoyed this, and the MC Sheldon. Spot on with the topic. Good story. God Bless~
Lillian Rhoades 08/30/11
The thought of breaking my glasses is one of my worst nightmares. I gave out an audible Ooh! when Sheldon broke his. I agree, the ending was weak, almost irrelevant, perhaps due to word count restrictions. Sheldon's last name surely couldn't have scored any points for him:-)

I think your class will like this story.
Rachel Phelps08/30/11
What a funny-yet-heart-tugging story. I agree with previous commenters that the ending was the weakest link, but your MC was so great. Loved it!
Linda Goergen08/31/11
I just want to say poor Sheldon, poor Sheldon, poor Sheldon, one of the incidents would have been bad enough first day at a new school, when you are a bit different to begin with, but all of them...poor Sheldon!I couldn’t see any comedy in it for feeling sorry for Sheldon. But this was well written, with vivid visual detail!