223. The Most Popular Post Ever: Fuchsia

One time out I am going to go big, viral, exponentially crazy in the blogosphere, which, if you have noticed, is log jammed worse than L.A. traffic. Over 15 million bloggers on WordPress alone. It’s very easy to get on this highway, but the question is–how to break out in the EZ Pass lane?  My biggest post to date was called August Snow, that’s the one about my daughter trying to cut the grass with our snow blower. It was funny, but I think the hits number spike was due to her universe of friends not any celebrity writer breakthrough on my part. Writing can’t be driven by the blogarazzis, however; it has to come from the truth of the writer. So that’s what I’m attempting to put together, though I do imagine a familiar person or two reading my words over my shoulder. I like that imagined intimacy as I imagine entertaining a friend with something comical or sentimental or just stupid sputtering out behind my blinking cursor like diesel bus exhaust. Yeah, just be true to your self, Mr. B. Special, Esq. I’ll have a name tag made up with that on it, fuchsia background with white letters etched in the plastic rectangle plate.

When I was a middle school teacher, I often had little pet names for some of my students. Usually there was some tangential evidence supporting the name choice. One lovely girl, Meredith, was just so put together and perky. Her mom taught down the hall from me. Meredith was her only child. It’s usually safe to pick on teachers’ kids because they have lived a similar experience and trust is easily attained. Anyway, Meredith was just about perfect. Every day she was prepared, and well groomed and coiffed, lovely teeth, and designer clothes. She did not flaunt her many advantages; she just quietly enjoyed them. I began by calling her “Murdith”,  a combination of “murder” and “Judith”. She corrected me every time. “My name is Meredith.”

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“Yes, thank you, Murdith.” We played this game for a while until she began wearing Aeropostle shirts every day. I could not pronounce the word, so I simply called her by the color.

“Good morning, Miss Teal.”

“Oh, no. I thought I was Murdith.”

The next day it was aquamarine. Then lemon. Lime.  Then peach. Finally she wore an intense fuchsia shirt and the name fit. “Good morning, Fuchsia.”

“What’s that, Mr. Burrito?”

“It’s the color of your shirt. It’s you.”

“Did you take your medication today?”

“Yes, I always comply with doctors orders. Fyoosh.”

It was hard to make Murdith smile, but this day she could not help but laugh and smile her beautiful toothy smile.

“Oh my word!”

It stuck about as well as those peel and stick metallic parking stickers. You need a razor blade to peel them off. Likewise I have to strain my memory bank to recall her actual birth name. Fuchsia  just seemed so right, and she answered to it.

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What possessed me to explain to Fyoosh the alternate story of her birth, I don’t know. I suppose it was simply that I had the opportunity and a few beta waves washed over  my cerebral cortex, if I have one. Anyway, it went something like this.

“Fuchsia, it’s time you learned the truth of your birth story.”

“Oh here we go!”

“You know I only tell the truth, Fyoosh.”

“Of course. What’s my REAL birth story?”

“Well a very long time ago, let’s see, how old are you?”


“Yes, it was thirteen years ago that your parents were walking together through the alley behind the American Legion.”

“Uh huh. Sure they were.”

“They heard what they thought was a baby crying inside a green steel dumpster at the back of the restaurant.”

“Yeah, my parents did. They never walk anywhere. Sure.”

“Your mom told your dad to look inside. Maybe it was a cat, she thought. She held his foot and he stepped up and over the side of the dumpster, only to see a newborn baby with a banana peel on its adorably cute head.”

“And that was me, right?”

“Yes, so your dad wrapped you up in bubble wrap and newspaper to hold your warmth in. He gently handed you over to your new mom who instantly fell in love with this little alien baby.”

“So now I’m an alien?”

“Yes, after the formal adoption was done, they listed your birth parents as unknown aliens, possibly from another galaxy.”

“Oh my word! Where do you come up with this stuff?”

“It’s all true, Fyoosh. You can ask your parents.”

“Oh I will tell them about this alright. You’re crazy.”

“Yes, I’m sure this is hard for you, but one day you’ll thank me for this truth.”

The funny thing is that she did tell her parents every bit of the saga and any additional details that I added later. In fact, whenever I see her parents, which is a rare occurrence, they usually tell me how Fuchsia the dumpster baby is doing. “Not bad for an alien baby with a banana peel on her head”, says her mom with a smile and a sparkle in both eyes. Beautiful Fyoosh grew up to be a physician’s assistant. If I should ever need her services, I’ll be sure to address her formally as “Doctor Fuchsia”. It’s only proper. She earned that respect.

It is funny how little conversations and word play can become attached to an otherwise mundane existence. I like to think there is value added by jokes and stories and verbal silliness. It’s even ironic that 15 and 20 years later, this is what is easily recalled while the dull entrées of daily life are digested and long forgotten.

So there you go. Now blow up.



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