An Ordinary Mike

Along about 1965, Bobby and me skinny-dipping in Avery’s Creek.

Yes, it is just not possible to write an exemplary daily essay every single day. Some days you just have to be ordinary. Today is probably gonna be one of those days.

You see, in my head I have always been Michael. My parents, grandparents, and siblings always called me that.

When I was drawing and telling stories, well, that part of me I always knew was Mickey. I was the only one who ever called me that.

But my Uncles and cousins and classmates and teachers, usually called me Mike. And that was confusing because when I first started school, there were three Mikes in my class of nine kids. Mike S. and Mike M. and I was Mike B. And when I was nine, there was another Mike B. in the grade right ahead of me (he was ten when I was nine.) But Mike S. and Mike M. had moved to other schools in the county then. So I was Mike in the classroom, and he was “the Other Mike.” Miss M had both third and fourth grade in the same small-town school so she had to manage two Mikes in one room. But both of us were Ordinary Mikes.

An Ordinary Mike in the 1960s went skinny-dipping at least three times in their early childhood. (Well, that was me. I only actually saw the Other Mike naked at the Iowa River once, though his little brother Barry said they went to the river a few times.)

And an Ordinary Mike was shy around girls. Even tomboy girls who would say yes if you asked them to go skinny dipping because they felt they were just one of the guys. An Ordinary Mike never dared to ask that, though Joel and Randy said that Lulu Baerinfeld went skinny-dipping with them one time. But Ordinary Mikes were always just wise enough to realize they were lying.

Ordinary Mikes sometimes got a “C” on their report card in Math, not because they were dumb and didn’t get it, but because they didn’t do some of the homework because they didn’t want their dumb friends to think they were too Brainiac- smart (Brainiac was a villain in Superman comics.)

But both Ordinary Mikes, me and the Other Mike, were good at Science, getting “A’s” on their report cards. We both vowed to each other that one day we would both become astronauts and walk on the Moon, or maybe Mars. But, as far as I know, neither of us managed to make that dream come true.

So, a writer like me can’t always be extraordinary. In fact, I am often quite ordinary. As I have basically proven, I was and am… Ordinary Mike.

6 Comments

Filed under autobiography, humor, insight, kids, nudes, Paffooney

6 responses to “An Ordinary Mike

  1. I guess I must have picked up on the artistic Mickey somewhere along the way, so that is what I started calling you. I guess it might be because I was a huge Mickey Mantle fan growing up.

    • I am a huge Cardinals fan. Mickey Mantle calls to mind the time my team, led by Bob Gibson, beat them in the World Series. But I answer to Mickey in my blog posts because it is an art blog, and I am honored to be associated with the Mick.

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