Tom Maki


Tommy Pops Apart

Tommy knows that he will win. All he has to do is wait. He settles
back in his seat and begins to hum jingle bells to help pass the time. Hours pass and like a brave soldier Tommy continues on. One things is certain, those carrots will not be eaten tonight. The threat of no chocolate cake falls on deaf ears. Even though Tommy is prepared to stay longer. It’s a relief when his plate is removed still untouched and he is told to go to bed. This battle has taken much out of him.
The sunlight dances through the trees and into Tommy’s window. He slowly comes to life. His hungry stomach makes him roll out of his covers and go in search of food. Tommy forgets about being hungry after he takes his first step. There’s a loud pop as he steps forward. He looks back and sees that his foot has popped off. “Oh geeez!” exclaims Tommy. He steps back and sits down quickly. He tries and does pop his foot back on. He decides to be more careful because a foot falling off at the wrong time could be really dangerous. He slowly stands and carefully walks around the house looking for his Mom. This seems like the kind of thing she may want to know about. There’s no Mom but there is a note that says she is a couple of streets away watering a neighbor’s plants. Tommy exits the house. He gets his bike out because he can get to his Mom faster on a bike. He is also worried about walking because of his foot falling off a few minutes ago.
He pedals faster and faster forgetting about everything but the wind on his face. He stands up to pedal faster. As he sits down again he hears that dreaded pop again. He instantly looks at his feet and they are still there pedaling as fast as ever. He decides to stop so he can check himself over. He stops pedaling but he doesn’t slow down. “Oh geeez!” exclaims Tommy. He realizes that he has popped in half. His legs are still pedaling away and his top half is flapping in the wind. He had been too concerned with the pop to pay attention to where he was going. When he regained his senses he and his bike were leaving the sidewalk and going straight out into the street. He’s not supposed to ride in the street. His Mom is going to be mad. As his tires plop down onto the street he holds onto the handle bars tighter than ever. His feet are still pedaling hard and the road is flat so he keeps going faster and faster. He looks forward to see if he’s going to hit anything. When he sees what is in front of him he pushes back and down with all his might trying to pop himself back together. After several tries he finally pops back into one piece and pushes back on the pedal. He slides to a stop just in time. He very nearly ran a stop sign. The police don’t just let that kind of thing go.
After a close call like that Tommy decides to walk the rest of the way. The next block goes slow but uneventful. He reaches the big road. After he crosses it there is only half a street left. He’s never crossed the big road by himself. Tommy looks to the left then to the right and quickly back to the left. Pop. He feels his hands fumble through his hair as his head falls to the ground. Thud. “Ouch!” exclaims Tommy. His head has popped off and is now rolling out into traffic. With each rotation he checks to see if the rest of him is standing still or doing something silly. Tommy hears a screech of tires. The driver had seen the boy standing on the side of the road and assumed the rolling object that he had avoided was the boys ball. As Tommy’s head rolled out of the way of the car the driver realized it was a head. He jumped out of his car wanting to help. He ran over and gathered up Tommy’s head. He jumped back and nearly dropped the head when Tommy thanked him for being ever so kind. After a rather brief discussion . Tommy convinced the stranger that his head needed to be returned to his body. Tommy was afraid that his body might do something embarrassing without him there. With a little help from the stranger and some fine tuning by his own hands Tommy’s head was back where it started. Tommy felt around on his head for damage. He had a small bump on the left side of his head and he felt really dizzy from all the spinning. Tommy sat on the curb as the stranger called the paramedics.
The paramedics arrived with bright lights and a swirl of activity. Tommy was swept up and lifted into the ambulance. A strange man and woman asked him questions and checked various things on his body. Tommy laid back just happy to have his head back on. As he lay back, his arms and legs hung over the sides of the small table. As the ambulance rounded a corner Tommy tensed up so he wouldn’t slide. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. “Oh geeez!” exclaimed Tommy. The pops sounded off like knuckles cracking. Before anything could be done. Tommy’s arms and legs lay carelessly overlapping on the floor of the speeding ambulance. With impressive accuracy, the paramedics sprung into action. Working in an X pattern, the man grabbed an arm and the woman grabbed the opposite leg. Pop. Pop. “Halfway there” said the man. After they finished piecing Tommy back together they moved him onto a flat surface. The rest of the ride Tommy listened as the man and woman whispered behind him. He heard bits and pieces which all revolved around him being the worst case they had ever seen. Not until now did he really worry that something was wrong with him.
Once at the hospital Tommy was quickly and carefully transported to a private room. Tommy just now remembered how hungry he was while he stared up at the fluorescent light over him. The door opened slowly as a pale woman in white pushed a cart into the room. From the cart she picked up a blue cup with a bendy straw. She brought it to Tommy and said “Drink”. Expecting water he was more than pleasantly surprised to find chocolate milk passing his lips. As his belly filled Tommy felt his whole body pull back together and tighten up. Over the next hour he was treated to chocolate cake, brownies, fudge and all the chocolate milk he could drink. A man dressed in blue pajamas came into the room as he was finishing another cup of chocolate milk. The man in the pajamas said, “Feeling better I presume”. He explained to Tommy that in children there is a special group of muscles called chocolate muscles. Without a daily dose of chocolate the muscles loosen their grips on the bones and parts begin falling off. The doctor handed Tommy a card. He explained to Tommy that he had already spoken to his mother and she had told him about Tommy being denied chocolate cake. She now understands the importance of chocolate in a child’s diet. The card was back up he explained. It was sort of a general prescription that Tommy could show anywhere with chocolate. If he began feeling loose and fall aparty again he could show the card at any store. The card entitled him to free chocolate. Tommy treasured that card and only had to use it once but he used it almost everyday just to be safe.