Tag Archive | Barbie and Chuckie

Barbie & Chuckie – A Little League Summer

Sunday Morning Story Time – Another romp with Barbie and Chuckie

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Barbie and Chuckie – A Little League Summer

Copyright 2013 Barbara Celeste McCloskey

Second grade was finally over, and both Chuckie and Barbie were looking forward to a long, fun summer with no school and no homework before they had to face third grade in the fall. They made plans for climbing trees, riding bikes, swimming, and baseball.

Today, Barbie and Chuckie rode their bikes down to the park to get the permission slip for Little League baseball. They each reached for a form and Chuckie was the only one who was given the form from the head coach.

“Hey Mister, you forgot to give my friend, Barbie a slip.” Chuckie said to the adult coordinator.

“Baseball’s only for boys, kid. She can’t play.”

“But that’s not fair. She can hit, field and even slide into home as good as any boy.”

“She’s a girl, kid. Rules are rules.” The man said and then turned away from Chuckie.

Chuckie looked at Barbie and realize that she was almost crying. “Come on, Barbie. Let’s go home.” He put his arm around her.

Barbie was still stinging from her rejection. “I think that dumb ol’ coach thinks I’m just supposed to sit around and play with dumb dolls all summer.” Barbie said as she kicked the dirt with her tennis shoe.

Chuckie laughed. “Yeah, that’ll be the day.” He paused before he said, “I don’t think I feel much like playing baseball this summer.”

“Don’t be silly, Chuckie. You like baseball. You should play.”

“But it won’t be fun without you out there.”

“Sure it will be. We’re best friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up something you like to do just because I’m a dumb ol’ girl.”

“I would.” Chuckie said with pure honesty.

“I know you would, but that’s silly. After all, you’re a boy and you can’t go to Brownie Day Camp.” Barbie reminded him.

Chuckie thought about it. “I guess you’re right.”

“And I’ll come to your games and cheer for you.” Barbie smiled.

“More like you’ll yell at me to run faster, hit better, and slide lower. I can hear it now. ‘Get in there and swing, Chuckie’.” Chuckie laughed.

Barbie laughed, too. “Last one home is a rotten egg!” She jumped on her bike and pumped her legs as fast as they would go.

“Hey no fair! You’re supposed to say, ‘ready, set, go!’ before it’s a fair race!” Chuckie yelled.

“Oh, quit whining, little boy.” Barbie laughed as the wind blew her hair back. Before she knew it, Chuckie was beside her and in another moment he led the race. He always did.

A few weeks after the Little League fiasco, Barbie and Chuckie were in the park swinging on the swings.

“Next week I’m going to Brownie camp.”

“Yeah, I know. You tell me about every five minutes.” Chuckie teased.

“I do not.” Barbie defended.

“Do you get to ride a bus like we did when we went to swimming lessons last year?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s neat. What else do you think you’ll be doing?”

“I’m not sure. I know I have to bring a sack lunch.”

“Do you have to wear your uniform?”

“Nah. Just shorts and a top.”

“Hmm . . . so you don’t know anything about what you’ll be doing?”

“Well, not exactly. Mrs. “Z” our Brownie leader said we’ll learn new songs and make stuff like lariats.”

“What are lariats?”

“I don’t know. But she also said we’ll learn about plants in the woods, so we don’t step in poison ivy.” Then she said, “One cool thing we’re going to learn to do is build a fire for a cookout.”

Chuckie’s eyes were as wide as jumbo marbles. “You get to build fires? Wow! My Mom would beat me silly if I ever touched a match!”

“We have to build a fire to cook stuff like hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick, Chuckie. We’ll learn how to do it safely.”

“Yeah. you better, or ol’ Smokey the Bear will eat you if you start a forest fire.” Chuckie laughed. “I wish I could go to camp with you.”

“I know. But no boys allowed.”

“Why is that, Barbie? Why do we always have to be separated?”

“I don’t know, but it sure seems like the older we get, the more stuff we can’t do together.”

“Yeah. Getting older kinda stinks.”

“Not really. We’ll just have to teach each other all the stuff we learn when we’re apart.”

“Good idea. But so far, you know more about baseball than what I’ve learned.” Do you think you could help me hit better by pitching me some?”

“Sure. What’s the problem?”

“I whiff a lot, and then the kids laugh.”

“Are you watching the ball all the time? You’re not closing your eyes again are you?”

“Well,” Chuckie didn’t want to admit he was afraid of the ball when it was coming toward him.

“Come on, Chuckie. That little old “hard rocket” is a lot smaller than you. It won’t kill you. You’ve got a helmet on when you’re in the batter’s box.”

“I’m just afraid, Barbie. And if you tell anybody, I’ll kill you personally!”

“I’d never tell. But I’m going to help you get over your fear. Come on. Let’s go play some baseball.

The two kids got on their bikes, went home, picked up their baseball gear, and then pedaled back to the park.

“You stand there at home plate, Chuckie, and then I’m going to throw the ball so it hits you.” Barbie commanded.

“On purpose?”

“Just stop being a wienie. I’m not going to hurt you.”

Barbie did a pitcher’s wind up and let the baseball fly. It hit Chuckie in the arm.

“Hey!” Chuckie yelled. “That hurt! What are you doing?”

She threw another one that hit him in the hip. “Cut it out, Barbie!”

She threw another ball that hit him in his butt.

Chuckie ran toward her with his fists up. “You hit me again and I’m going to pound you! I swear it Barbie! Girl or no Girl!”

Barbie was laughing. “See, you got hit by a baseball –three times—and you didn’t die did you?”

Chuckie was still fuming. “What?”

“I had to show you, if you got hit, you wouldn’t die. Yeah. I hit you. And you’re still standing. Would you have believed me otherwise?”

“Well,” Chuckie paused. “You didn’t have to be mean about it.”

“I’m not mean. Now get back in the batter’s box. Watch the ball come out of my hand. Pretend you’re seeing it slow down like in the cartoons.”

Chuckie walked back to the batter’s box rubbing his butt.

Barbie was still busy giving him orders. “Hold the bat up and get ready to swing. And when the ball is right in front of you, swing—with your eyes OPEN! I know you can do it, Chuckie.”

Chuckie kicked the dirt. He pounded the wooden bat on the ground and assumed the batter’s position. Then he set his jaw tight and glared at Barbie. She let the pitch go and he watched it flying toward him. He thought about Barbie’s instructions, after all, she could hit the ball further than anybody he knew.

He watched the ball get bigger and bigger as it got closer and closer. In a split second, it looked as big as a grapefruit, and he swung the bat with all his strength. He watched with unbelieving eyes as the ball sailed out into the outfield.

“Run, Chuckie. Don’t stand there! Get to first!” Barbie was jumping up and down. That was the the furthest Chuckie had ever hit a ball.

Without thinking he took off and ran the bases all the way around.

Barbie laughed as her friend rounded the bases with his superior speed. She yelled, “And the crowd went wild!”

He jumped on home plate and pretended he was his favorite baseball hero—Eddie Mathews who played for the Milwaukee Braves. He yelled. “I did it, Barbie! I did it!”

“Yes you did. And before we go home, you’re going to do it a dozen more times.”

“Okay, coach. I’m ready!” Chuckie had confidence he could hit it out of the park every time.

“The two little friends practiced all afternoon and Chuckie felt ready for the tryouts next week. As they were leaving the park to go home for supper, Barbie said, “After I get home from Brownie camp tomorrow afternoon, let’s work on your throwing.”

“What’s wrong with my throwing?”

“We’ll you’re not the most accurate kid on the field.”

“Good point. Fielding it is.” Chuckie jumped on his bike and smiled at his best friend. “And you have to promise me you’ll teach me something you learned at Brownie camp.”

“I think you’re trying to turn me into a teacher, Chuckie.”

“Well, you gotta admit it. You’re pretty good at it.”

Barbie smiled. She was happy, even though she was a girl.

Life Without Chuckie — Part IV

It’s Sunday Short Story time. So, settle down with your favorite hot beverage and read another installment about two great friends, Barbie and Chuckie.book clipart

 

Life Without Chuckie

Part IV – The First Communion

2013 Copyright Barbara Celeste McCloskey

 

The winter months went by slowly in 1958. Chuckie and Barbie could only play on the weekends, which actually meant Saturday. They spent their one day a week building snowmen when the snow would stick together, skating on the ice rink that was flooded in the village park, and building snow forts and tunnels behind the grocery store where the snow was piled as high as the roof. But, as  much fun as the winter brought, both children waited patiently for Spring, when they didn’t have to be cold to have a good time outside.

One warm day in April, the children were able to play in Chuckie’s sandbox again after the long Winter. Barbie liked playing there because a chain-link fence kept out her little brother, John Robert. Nowadays, whenever she wanted to play with Chuckie, her little four-year old brother tagged along and butted into the her fun. Worst of all, if she didn’t willingly bring along the little pest, her mother would scold her and then tell her father how bad she was when he came home from work.

“Where’s John Robert?” Chuckie asked Barbie.

“He’s at home, taking a nap. Thank God.” Barbie replied as he carefully honed out a tall spire on her sand castle.

“Why do you say that? He’s not bad.” Chuck didn’t mind having John Robert around because he always wanted a little brother, but instead he was the youngest in his family.

“He’s such a pest. He gets into my stuff, even when Mom tells him to stay out of my room. But he never gets a spanking. Man, if I would disobey like that, I’d get a whack on my butt and then have to tell the priest in confession, too.”

“What are you talking about? What the heck is “confession?”  Chuckie screwed up his face when he said the word.

“Well, I’m just learning about it right now. When you do bad stuff, you have to go to church and be really, really sorry for your sins. Then go into this little dark closet and tell the priest all the bad stuff you did, and he gives you a penance.”

“You’re kidding?” Chuckie thought she was making it up. “That’s crazy! I thought you said God saw everything.”

“Well, he does. He knows everything, too, Chuckie. We talked about this before.”

The whole concept of confession confused Chuckie. “So, why do you have to tell some other guy about what you did when God knows already?”

“I don’t know. But that’s the way it is. If I don’t tell, I can’t make my First Communion.”

“Communion? What’s that?”

Barbie looked at Chuckie like a teacher. “Communion is when you get to eat the body and blood of Jesus.”

Chuckie stood up and looked at her with fear in his eyes. “You can’t do it, Barbie. That’s just wrong. You’ll get sick and die!”

“What are you talking about?” Barbie looked up at him.

“You can’t eat somebody. That’s being a cannibal like on Tarzan! Only guys living in a jungle do that kind of icky stuff!’

Barbie looked at Chuckie like he was stupid. “It’s not real a body, Chuckie. It’s just a little piece of fake bread the priest puts on your tongue as he says, “Body of Christ.”

Now Chuckie was really intrigued. He sat down again. “So, this communion thing is just make believe?”

“I guess.” Barbie pondered. “I really don’t know how it all works, and I’m afraid to ask because good ol’ Mrs. Pink gets mad when we ask questions. She thinks we’re not paying attention if we have a question.”

Chuckie’s lowered his voice. “So you’re going through with this communion thing?”

“I’ve got no choice. Everybody in the whole second grade is doing it on May 10th. Mom’s even making me a pretty white dress and a bride veil to wear for the ceremony.”

Chuckie looked at Barbie with new eyes. Going to Catholic school certainly required her to do a lot of weird stuff, and she never complained. “Can I come?” Chuckie was curious about this whole concept of eating another person.

“I’m afraid not, Chuckie, ‘cause you’re not Catholic. There’s only enough room in our little church for Catholics.”

“Do you have to have a special decoder ring or something to get in?”

Barbie laughed. “No, silly. I guess the guy at the door just knows.”

“Oh.” Chuckie wasn’t convinced and felt a little hurt he was excluded from such a big deal in his friend’s life.

Barbie said. “And besides, you wouldn’t like it anyhow because everything is in Latin.” Barbie said with authority, and then quickly added, “But I want you to come to my party, after all the church stuff is done.”

“Gee, thanks.” Chuckie was happy to finally be included. “What kind of present do you get for going through this communion stuff?”

“You don’t have to get me a present. Just come over and eat with us.” Barbie smiled at him.

“Oh, okay.” Chuckie paused for a few seconds and then asked. “What’s Latin?”

Barbie had to think hard on how to explain something she didn’t understand either. “Well, it’s this secret way the priest talks and sings in church. I think he wants to keep what he’s saying a secret because nobody is supposed to know what he’s saying ’cause he’s talking to God.”

“That’s pretty weird.” Chuckie wondered why anybody would want to such a church if they couldn’t understand what was going on.

“Yeah, I know. It makes sitting still for an hour really hard.” Barbie confessed. “And we have to sit through Mass everyday.”

“It sure is hard going to that Catholic school.” Chuckie felt sorry for her.

“Tell me about it!” Barbie said. “You know, I still ask Daddy if he would switch me over to your school every once in a while when I can’t take it any more.”

Chuckie nodded. “Can you say something is this Latin?”

“I know this: In nomine Patris et Filli, et Spirtus Sancti.”

“What’s it mean?”

“I don’t know.It must have something to do with the sign of the cross because he always does this when he says the words.” Barbie said as she crossed her chest.

“I’m sorry, Barbie, all this Catholic stuff seems pretty nuts-o.” Chuckie started to laugh.

“You take that back, Chuckie. It’s not nuts-o! It’s Jesus talk, that’s all. You don’t understand because you’re a PUBLIC!”

“I’m a what?”

“A PUBLIC. You go to the public school.” Barbie said with confidence.

“I am not a PUBLIC. That’s dumb.”

Barbie got extremely irritated with her friend. “You are too a public. Teacher says there’s Catholics and everybody else. And Chuckie, you’re going to HELL! I didn’t want to tell you, but you are!” The little girl put down her sand tools and stomped toward the gate.

Chuckie chased after her. “Take it back, Barbie. If you weren’t a girl, I’d pound you! I’m not going to HELL! I’m not going anywhere! I live right here on 97th Street, and I’m staying here with my Mom, Dad, Ronnie and Carol forever!”

Barbie could see he was really upset and she calmed down. She stared at her best friend.  “I guess Jesus wouldn’t want us to fight like this, Chuckie. I’m sorry.” Barbie took a deep breath. Knowing her best friend would have to go to hell just because he didn’t go to her church weighed heavy on her. “Maybe you won’t have to go to hell because you’re such a good friend.”  Barbie crossed her fingers behind her back as she felt like she just lied to her best friend. Now she had a big sin to confess to the priest on May 8th.

“Let’s not talk about Catholic stuff again. Okay?” Chuckie spit in his hand and offered it for Barbie to shake. She spit in her hand and the two friends sealed their deal with a strong handshake as they smiled at each other.

“Let’s get our bikes and ride to the park.” Chuckie said as his bright blue eyes lit up.

“Good idea. I’ll push you on the merry-go-round.” Barbie smiled.

“Deal.” Chuckie ran to the garage to get his two-wheeler out, while Barbie did the same.

They never talked about religion again.