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Clyde; Time was: We told stories to children

Time was, we told stories to children.

Long before Robert Jones’ tomfoolery at the library, before the wires went to our brains and nothing but sawdust came out, we could sit still and listen to the spoken word. Our eyes saw what our minds envisioned and our hearts followed the storyline.

“Once upon a time” was magical, and the decorated pages were more believable than any in cyberspace tablets. We hung onto every syllable and word, even the ones we had never heard before but we instantly knew what they meant.

Try reading this in a whisper to our little ones, if you please.

A veritable tattletale of rigamarole flummadiddle for kiddywinks and gooberheads. Oooh, aaah, ohhh. Once upon a story time, the willynilly, silly slangs nincompoop sat real quiet and dumbfounded. He waited. Bumfuzzled, he worked through a loophole into the deep, dark, kaleidoscope night time sky. He wondered where do all those gazillion itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie, razzle-dazzle, twinkling star lights come from? Do they see me during the dilly-dally day? Where do they go away? Who gives a doodlesquat? Would you like to play hooky and go there, with me? All of a sudden, POOF! Abracadabra. To muse with the old man-in-the-moon and do somersaults, willy-nilly in never-never land? Would it be full of leaping lizards and jeepers creepers or stripped-legged knock-kneed cantankerous catawampus worrywarts? Gosh-a-mighty, no, I hope not. It would be all feasties of tutti-frutti Jello, lollipops and hoity-toity cream puff macaroon cupcakes with no belly-aches and never the awfulness of the dentist, ever, ever again.

How do you get there? Just get on board the dilapidated klickity-klackity railroad at Kakalaka, N.C. Buy a ticket on a sleeper car bound for Kalamazoo. Cross over the Okefenokee Swamp in a boxcar with rooms of guffawing, ghoulish giraffes in galluses and kilt-clad kit and caboodle kangaroos, all giddyupping along, sitting at their own private tables. They put little T.V. trays on their pouches and sit on their porches, taking a nap and snoring out loud in secret coded fables.

A couple of Yankee-fied yaks and some “personal gratia” preppy penguins sitting next to them gave a hoot. Looking out from the nooks and crannies behind the fireplace was a skad of slippery-slidey shiney skinks who, keeping warm without the sunshine, skedaddled away serendipitously. Surreptitiously they were snoozing a shakepoke sneaking up on a snipe.

A pair of namby-pamby pandas paddled past on a pontoon. The thingamajig twigs and the thingamabob stems rattle as they pass by. Everything unattached comes loose and gets all whoppijawwed and catawampus. Watch out, pea turkey; get out of the way, you dingaling. What in the tarnation is that? But, jibbyjawed jitterbugs and banished bed bug beetles hurry-scurrying along, lackadaisically.

Up above this wiggle waggle wonder of wackey woosey wonder, the doflitchy butterflies flitter and hornswaggled swallowtails glide aloft. Do those great big heebie jeebie eyes follow you down below and laugh out loud to see hoey looney, lolligagging persnicity people all running around amuck, klip klopping along, phoney-baloney having a conniption fit of the epizudics, while smacking on a handful of boiled goobers?

The hooligans lurk in every kudzu gully with google-eyed koalas and sleep-eyed see-sawing sloths. Darrugh, alack, and aloin, go sit on a tack and when you come back, no more hoodoo voodoo hokey-pokey. Get in the bed right now before they come, dangling their wiggle-waggle tails behind them, with macaroni coming out their noses when they toss their cookies and dohickeys in their earlobes and belly buttons. Quick, lickety-split, no more of this balderdash and gobbledygoop; hide the diamonds, rubies and pearls; take off your stockings.

The the morning comes and once again that doozy of a day will be all new for you to tell your secrets to the birds that take them and fly away with their ditty bags and tied tight with blue silk ribbons in their whipporwill beaks, all the way to m-i-double-s-i-double-s-i-double-humpback-i.

Now don’t be taking a sneaky little peekaboo from under the covers over your head and your roly-poly pillows at the top of the bed. Look what’s coming up from the bottom of your bed. A big creepy boogie woogie lagoon filled with pollywogs in bobbysocks coverng their toenails before they are eaten by the apparently arrogant, animated, addle-brained alligators and slippy-slidey snakes that skididdle with the lizards that no one would want in their beds, skimble-skambling around.

So don’t be lollygagging or looking under your bed for ding-a-lings or cow bells tied to the bedsprings and leep jeeps running around loose, for Pete’s sake. Just pretend them away, and let sleep, solace and solitude come with you and send countless clodhoppered clogging caterpillar cousins cater-cornered in the corridors with wiggle waggle wriggley worms wearing woolly wigs to guide you through the night.

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. No more hoopla and skullduggery hullabaloo or whippersnapper excuses or old hootenanny tunes. Now go to bed. Hippity-hoppity upsidaisy. There we go. The End.

Clyde is a Salisbury artist.

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