GEORGE & BOB STORIES – HALLOWEEN TOWELS

 


This is the story of George and Bob, who were brothers.


One was older than the other.

But I forget which one.

George was feeling pretty good, despite the fact he was suffering from a head cold.


“Achoo!” he sneezed as he was putting on his school sweater.


“God Bless You!” yelled his little sister Francine as she ran by his bedroom door. She stopped and ran back to peak her head inside the open archway.


“You okay George?” she knew how he must be feeling, because she had just gotten better herself.

 

“Great” his voice watery and playfully threw his pillow at her.


“Ah!” she screamed and then ran back down the hallway to the stairs.

She stood at the top of the stairs, the only girl of three older brothers, and pulled into her lungs the aroma of breakfast downstairs. It smelled of french toast and bacon, her favorite. It was going to be a good day, she decided.

Mommy, whose real name was Madeline, was over at the sink doing some last minute dishes. She hummed while she placed the last dish into the drain, and dried her hands with a towel. She looked at the towel briefly and smiled. A faded cotton cloth, no more than a rag really, containing so many memories. It was obviously well worn, but the pictures of pumpkins and witches flying on broomsticks brought a smile to her face.

Her halloween towels were the signal of the beginning of the season. When decorating it was one of the first things to come out of the boxes, packed away in the attic. Mommy liked to fix the house up according to the holiday. Amongst the straw figures and scarecrows, ghostly cardboard drawings and cottony spider webs, there were the kitchen towels and pot holders.   Nobody knew where they came from or how old they were.  They were just always there.


And candy corn. There was always a giant glass pumpkin full of candy corn. It was the only time Mommy let them have candy (well besides Easter and Christmas) and it was something her brood looked forward to every year.


“Achoo!” she heard from behind. She turned around to face her son, nose red from sneezing and blowing, but a smile on his face just the same. He too had seen the halloween towels and was getting excited for the big night.



“Can’t wait to go trick or treating!” He announced happily. “But what should I be this year? What costume should I get?”


“Why don’t you go as a clown, your nose looks like it” offered Bob who had just come from outside. It was his turn to take out the trash for trash day and he had thrown his heavy coat over his p.j.’s.

“Very funny!”  George stuck his tongue out at his brother. He knew he was kidding, but he didn’t like his brother making fun of how he looked. It was beginning to bother him that his nose DID look like a clown’s. When was this cold going away?


“That’s enough.” Mommy told them to sit down and for Bob to get dressed.


Bob ran up the stairs but not before grabbing his own nose and yelling honk! honk!, then laughing maniacally.

Francine just shook her head and Mommy laughed. George didn’t.

The three of them sat down and silently ate their french toast and bacon, lost in their own thoughts. Bob finally came down stairs and entered the room. Mommy began to laugh and Francine stifled a giggle. George had his back to the doorway and couldn’t see his brother right away. He was getting ready to turn around when Mommy blurted out Bob! My lipstick! and then they all laughed.

 

Bob had covered his entire nose in red lipstick. George looked at him for a moment, then turned his head away, trying to hide his grin. His brother DID look funny, but wasn’t going to let him know it.


“Wipe your nose Bob” Mommy said, and handed him one of the raggedy halloween towels.

Everyone was still laughing and finally George could hold in his guffaws no longer and let one
out himself.

Bob was just about to wipe his nose when he felt a giant sneeze coming on. ACHOO! he said and buried his face into the cloth, wiping the red lipstick all over his face.


“You can go as Lulu the Clown!” laughed George, feeling somewhat better that he had given his brother his cold. He was done with it anyway.


“Oh yeah? Well then we can be sisters!” and Bob jumped up to run over to George, rubbing his face on his chin, spreading the lipstick further all over his face and George’s. They finally tumbled to the ground, laughing and coughing and rolling around.


Mommy looked at Francine, who had been fascinated with the idea that you could actually put lipstick somewhere other than your lips.


“It’s gonna be a good day, isn’t it Mommy?” she asked, not expecting a response.


“A good day indeed”, Mommy answered and she reached into her pocket to pull out the thin tube of makeup to line her lips with lipstick. Puckering dramatically, she reached over and planted a giant kiss on her little girls cheek, leaving a red lip outline on the side of her face. Her daughter laughed and calmly stuck a buttery slice of french toast in her mouth.

The clump of wrestling boys looked up from the floor for a moment and stopped, amazed that Mommy would do that.

But Mommy was cool. If anything, she knew how to laugh. They knew that it was always cool to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously.

Because even if you had a cold, it would go away eventually.  Especially if you were lucky enough to have a goofy brother to share it with.


That’s the story of George and Bob, who were brothers.

One was older than the other.

But I forget which one.

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MOMMY AND RAINY DAY TIMES

 

This is the story of George and Bob who were brothers.

One was older than the other.
But I forget which one.
George and Bob were bored.
It was a Saturday afternoon and it was raining very hard outside.
The television was off because there weren’t any good programs on, not ones they were allowed to see, anyway.
The giant grandfather clock stood against the wall of the living room, ticking and tocking and bonging every hour. It had just finished bonging two times. It was too early for dinner, even too early for snack time.

 

 
What do you wanna do, George?” asked Bob. He was laying on the living room floor, with his arms criss crossed behind his head, elbows sticking out. His right leg was crossed over his left, forming a right angle. There were leggo forms all over the floor, having just finished building a village, which he promptly destroyed as the alien Booger Breath Beast.
George was sitting on the high back green chair in the corner of the room farthest away from his brother. He was trying to read the latest book from his favorite series, Rocketman and the Rocketeers. But he couldn’t pay attention.
 

I dunno. What do you wanna do, Bob?

 
Bob was about to answer when they heard footsteps coming down the stairs, breaking the silence.
Mommy, whose real name was Madeline, had a basket full of laundry in her hands and was on the way to taking them to the basement, to do yet another basket of clothes. It seemed like most of the clothes belonged to their little sister, Francine. She was always trying different outfits on and never put them away, just left them on the floor. Mommy never knew what was clean and what was dirty, so she just scooped them up like a giant crane and washed them all.  
She had tried several outfits on this morning before going to a birthday party down the street. Her older brother Frank walked her down to the house, and then he went to go to Boy Scouts.

 

 
Whew! Said Mommy as she plopped herself down in the comfy chair near the fireplace. 
 
Time for a break. I wish I had time to take a nap.”

George and Bob looked each other. When they were younger, Mommy was always trying to get them to take a nap. They never would. Why was Mommy talking about naps now?


No time, though, no time.” She said as she looked absently off into space.
Several minutes went by as they listened to the rain rapping against the picture window, and tinging on the tin roof over towards the kitchen.
Suddenly, Mommy looked over at the clock. It was close to three o’clock now and the minute hand wasn’t moving very fast.
In fact, it wasn’t moving at all.
Mommy stood up and announced to nobody, “Well it’s time to wind the clock again.
 
George looked at Bob. He had a brilliant idea.

 

 
Mommy George said, “why do you wind the clock?
 
Mommy was looking in the desk drawer for the special key she used to wind the clock. It was usually in the top draw, but she seemed to be having trouble finding it.

 

 
What honey? Mommy answered. She wasn’t paying attention.

 

 
Why do you wind the clock? He asked her once again.

 

 
Yeah, why do you wind the clock, Mommy?” Bob asked as well.



Mommy looked at them as if they had lost their mind.  “Why? Well, if I didn’t no one would know what time it is.”


George looked at his brother with a big smile on his face.

 

Well, wouldn’t that be a way to stop time?”

 
Mommy stopped and stared at her two little boys with intensity.  The saying out of the mouth of babes ran through her head.
Yeah, Mommy” said Bob. “That way you would have more time to do nothing. Maybe even take a nap” he ventured.
Mommy slowly walked back over to the comfy chair and sat back down.

 

“You might be right, boys” she smiled.
 

“I can’t stop time forever. Time goes on whether we want it to or not. It’s how babies get big and flowers grow tall. How food gets grown and seasons come and go.”

 

“But maybe I can take a nap. Just for now. You both stay in the room here with me, okay?”

And she laid her head back on the fluffy part of the chair and closed her eyes.
Pretty soon she was snoring lightly, her breathing slow and her mouth open ever so slightly.
George and Bob went and got an afghan from the bedroom and put it on Mommy’s lap and pulled it up around her chin.
They smiled at each other and then gave Mommy a kiss on a cheek.
Mommy smiled in her sleep.

 

Then they went and got their green army men out of the toy box and pretended she was a mountain, planting the plastic platoons on her shoulders and on her lap. They stuck soldiers in between her fingers and hid them in her hair.
It was a good day.
And that’s the story of George and Bob who were brothers.
One was older than the other.
But I forget which one.
*From “George & Bob Stories: Life Lessons From Little Brothers”

HALLOWEEN TOWELS – A GEORGE & BOB STORY

From the book “George & Bob Stories: Life Lessons From Little Brothers.”

This is the story of George and Bob, who were brothers.

One was older than the other.

But I forget which one.

George was feeling pretty good, despite the fact he was suffering from a head cold.

“Achoo!” he sneezed as he was putting on his school sweater.

“God Bless You!” yelled his little sister Francine as she ran by his bedroom door. She stopped and ran back to peek her head inside the open archway.

“You okay, George?” she knew how he must be feeling, because she had just gotten better herself.

“Great!” he said although he voice was watery, and playfully threw his pillow at her.

“Ah!” His sister then ran back down the hallway to the stairs.

She stood at the landing, the only girl of three older brothers, and pulled into her lungs the aroma of breakfast downstairs. It smelled of French toast and bacon, her favorite. It was going to be a good day, she decided.

Mommy, whose real name was Madeline, stood at the sink washing some last minute dishes. She hummed while she placed the last dish into the drain, and dried her hands with a towel. She looked at the towel briefly and smiled. A faded cotton cloth, no more than a rag really, containing so many memories. It was obviously well worn, but the pictures of pumpkins and witches flying on broomsticks brought a smile to her face.

Her Halloween towels were the signal of the beginning of the season. When decorating it was one of the first things to come out of the boxes, packed away in the attic. Mommy liked to fix the house up according to the holiday. Amongst the straw figures and scarecrows, ghostly cardboard drawings and cottony spider webs, there were the kitchen towels and potholders. Nobody knew where they came from or how old they were. They were just always there.

And candy corn. There was always a giant glass pumpkin full of candy corn. It was the only time Mommy let them have candy (well besides Easter and Christmas) and it was something her brood looked forward to every year.

“Achoo!” she heard from behind. She turned around to face her son, nose red from sneezing and blowing, but a smile on his face just the same. He too had seen the Halloween towels and was getting excited for the big night.

“Can’t wait to go trick or treating!” He announced happily.

“But what should I be this year? What costume should I get?”

“Why don’t you go as a clown, your nose looks like it…” offered Bob who had just come from outside. It was his turn to take out the trash for trash day and he had thrown his heavy coat over his p.j.’s.

“Very funny” George stuck his tongue out at his brother. He knew he was kidding, but he didn’t like his brother making fun of how he looked. It was beginning to bother him that his nose DID look like a clown’s. When was this cold going away?

“That’s enough” said Mommy. “Sit down you two, and Bob you go get dressed.”

Bob ran up the stairs but not before grabbing his own nose and yelling honk! honk!, then laughing maniacally.

Francine just shook her head and Mommy laughed. George didn’t.

The three of them sat down and silently ate their French toast and bacon, lost in their own thoughts. Bob finally came down stairs and entered the room. Mommy began to laugh and Francine stifled a giggle. George had his back to the doorway and couldn’t see his brother right away. He was getting ready to turn around when Mommy blurted out “Bob! My lipstick!” and then they all laughed.

Bob had covered his entire nose in red lipstick. George looked at him for a moment, then turned his head away, trying to hide his grin. His brother DID look funny, but wasn’t going to let him know it.

“Wipe your nose, Bob” Mommy said, and handed him one of the raggedy Halloween towels. Everyone was still laughing and finally George could hold in his guffaws no longer and let one out himself.

Bob was just about to wipe his nose when he felt a giant sneeze coming on.

“ACHOO!” he said and buried his face into the cloth, wiping the red lipstick all over his face.

“You can go as Lulu the Clown!” laughed George, feeling somewhat better that he had given his brother his cold. He was done with it anyway.

“Oh yeah? Well then we can be sisters!” and Bob jumped up to run over to George, rubbing his face on his chin, spreading the lipstick further all over his face and George’s. They finally tumbled to the ground, laughing and coughing and rolling around.

Mommy looked at Francine, who had been fascinated with the idea that you could actually put lipstick somewhere other than your lips.

“It’s going to be a good day, isn’t it Mommy?” she asked, not really expecting a response.

“A good day, indeed.” Mommy answered.

Then she reached into her pocket to pull out the thin tube of makeup to line her lips with lipstick. Puckering dramatically, she reached over and planted a giant kiss on her little girls cheek, leaving a red lip outline on the side of her face. Her daughter laughed and calmly stuck a buttery slice of French toast in her mouth.

The clump of wrestling boys looked up from the floor for a moment and stopped, amazed that Mommy would do that.

But Mommy was cool. If anything, she knew how to laugh. They knew that it was always cool to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously.

Because even if you had a cold, it would go away eventually. Especially if you were lucky enough to have a goofy brother to share it with.

That’s the story of George and Bob, who were brothers.

One was older than the other.

But I forget which one.

HALLOWED GROUND – A GEORGE & BOB STORY

From the second book “Holy Cow!” of the George & Bob Stories -Life Lessons From Little Brother series

georgeAndBobBook[1]This is the story of George and Bob who were brothers.

One was older than the other.  But I forget which one.

 

It was their favorite time of year, except for Christmas, of course.

 

Halloween.

 

A time of haunted hayrides, trick or treating and pumpkin carving.  The brothers George & Bob, younger sister Francine and oldest brother Frank began thinking about costumes as soon as school began.

 

Every year their mother would pull out the sewing machine and put to cloth the imaginings of her children. They never had a store bought costume, as she had convinced them this was much more fun.

 

 

She had almost convinced herself as well.

 

Mommy, whose real name was Madeline, liked Halloween too. She always decorated the house as soon at October 1st rolled around. As they held their breath, the imaginary calendar in their minds quickly pulled each square numbered day off the sheet, ending with the most special numbered. Beginning with October 1st, the anticipation very nearly drove them crazy with excitement, the countdown to the day a reward in patience. As each evening progressed closer and closer to October 31st, a new plastic goblin or Styrofoam witch would appear on the mantle in the living room. Day by day a ceramic dish filled with candy corn would appear on the kitchen table, or a bowl filled with gourds and small pumpkins would find itself on the coffee table in the den. Cotton stuffed black cats sat on chairs and rested atop bed pillows, all fun reminders of the days to follow.

 

Picking the pumpkins to be used as jack-o-lanterns for the front step was a yearly treat as well, and all the kids at Samuel Jackson Elementary School looked forward to the Friday before Halloween. Ever year a nearby farmer donated a truck load of pumpkins in which all the children could pick one to carve in the classroom.

 

Desks covered with newspaper, one by the kids could carve their concoctions into the soft flesh of the orange globes. Misshapen smiles with missing teeth or crooked eyes were the norm. Some ambitious students would even make wigs of yarn, long black curly locks or thick braided clumps pasted to either side of the scary faces looking back at them from atop their desks.

 

Bob, of course, always made his pumpkin a masterpiece. He first drew a picture with magic marker, making sure the face was centered and not at all sloppy looking. Bob took great pride in his pumpkin skills.

 

George liked to name his pumpkins. No one could remember when he first started doing it, but it seemed like the right thing to do. After all, it was like having a member of the family for a while, as all the pumpkins carved at school were carefully transported home to the steps in front of their house on Maple Street.

 

George & Bob carried their precious cargo in paper bags with handles, courtesy of the local grocery store. They were much too intent on the mission at hand to notice how bright the sun was that day, how crisp and cool the air was. It was something they pretty much took for granted, as most children do, and wouldn’t realize the significance of the afternoon until they were much older.

 

As they turned the corner to head towards home, they began to trot as they got closer to their, breaking into a full run once they had gotten close enough to spy the ghosts tied to the posts of the house front porch. Mommy had tied old white bed sheets together and made a family to greet them.

 

“Holy cow! Do you see that, Stanley?” George said out loud to his pumpkin.

 

He was lifting the newest member of the family out of the brown bag with all the pride of a new father.

 

 He positioned Stanley on the third step from the top, midway between the 5th and the bottom wooden slats of the wooden gateway.

 

Bob smiled sheepishly as he lifted his masterpiece and put it beside Stanley. Although he did not name his creations, it didn’t stop him from talking to them.

 

“You’ll be very happy here” he said softly to the gourd, as he placed it gently on the step next to his brother’s.

 

Mommy looked out the kitchen window and watched as the two brothers stood back to examine their proud creative endeavors.

 

Later that evening, Mommy put the finishing touches on the last jack-o-lantern to sit on the steps outside the door of their house on Maple Street. The inside had been gutted and flattened enough to stick a tea candle inside, illuminating the smiling face of the pumpkin. It looked quite at home amongst the other works of art her children had created in preparation for one of their most favorite times of the year.

 

They had been asleep for several hours, dreaming of bags of chocolate and candy corn filling their sacks as they screamed Trick or Treat! to their neighbors and the siblings of their friends. Slumbering in the knowledge that all was right with the world, they snuggled up against their blankets and pillows, safe and secure in anticipation of the festivities to come later in the month.

 

Mommy blew out the tea light, a small poof of smoke billowing above the wick, a scent of sulfur and wax filling her nostrils. She sat down on the steps besides the small gourd village and pulled her sweater closer around her, breathing in the cool night air. Summer had finally let go of its stronghold, the last gasp of heat vanquished as the Autumn breezes shuffled them out the door.

 

She sat that way for a while, knees pulled up to her chin and huddled under her sweater. Trying to sort her thoughts, she wondered how she was going to tell them the things she had kept to herself for so long. Suddenly there was a creak behind her and the screen door opened, revealing the figure of her oldest son, Frank. He was getting more grown up every day, a fact becoming more and more difficult to ignore. She was a short woman, barely 5 feet tall, and her tweener son was just about eye level.

 

“You okay, Mommy?” he asked with a sleepy voice. She smiled at the recognition that he still called her Mommy, even though most of his friends called their mothers Ma or Mom or Momma. She was grateful he wanted to hang on to the moniker for just a little while longer.

 

“Fine, son” she answered as she craned her neck backwards to face him. “Fine.”

 

She smiled reassuringly towards him before turning back around to face the street.

 

The road they lived on was quiet, a few lights peppering the houses surrounding theirs. Off in the distance a dog barked, and they could smell the remnants of a fire lit earlier to burn the remains of brush and branches from spent apple trees of the orchard several miles away. It was the comfort of the sounds and smells that prevented her from telling the young man the true feelings churning inside her at that moment.

 

“What do you want to be for Halloween?” she asked him gaily, wanting to lighten the mood within herself.

 

“I don’t know …he said rubbing his eyes while turning to step back inside.

 

I’ll have to sleep on it” and he closed the screen door behind him. He stopped before walking from the entryway.

 

“Maybe Spiderman or something like that?” yawning and stretching his arms upward, as if reaching for heaven.

 

Mommy stood up to join him on the other side of the door. Opening the screen she looked up at the moon shining brightly on the street she loved so much, the only neighborhood her children had ever known.

 

“Mommy?” he said as he headed for the staircase.  Then he stopped, one foot on the first step.

 

Mommy’s heart began to pound slightly faster beneath her sweater.  He was always the most perceptive of all her children.  She didn’t want to have to tell him now. 

 

“What?” she asked cautiously.

 

Please! she prayed frantically. Not like this….

 

“I don’t know” he said matter of fact.  “You sure seem to be sleeping a lot…”

 

Mommy’s eyes began to well up and she was thankful the hallway was dark.

 

“Must be the change of season she said simply and then closed the front door tightly, locking it. It was a vain attempt at keeping the world outside of their little nest for just a few moments longer.

 

To be continued.