Monday, May 12, 2014

Muzzlebo Flipstork??

Muzzlebo Flipstork, that’s a funny name! If that is what you think, you would be right. It is a funny name because it was meant to be a funny name.

When I was in the 9th grade, I was attending a three year junior high school (7-9) in Ontario, Oregon. I took an art class that year, not because I was an artist (or even very interested in becoming one), but because I thought it would be an easy class. In that class there was a group of kids who seemed to belong together—mostly because we didn’t belong anywhere else. We were not good looking, popular, smart, athletic, rich, outgoing, tough, or even geeks. We were all kids from that unrecognized grey area which surrounds all the usual cliques in most schools. We were invisible and nondescript most of the time, but in that one art class for 50 minutes every day the “grey” kids dominated.

Although we never socialized with one another outside of art class, while we were in the class we were relaxed and at home with each other. We were no longer invisible. We could be ourselves .

We did a lot of goofy things in that class aside from pictures that looked like post-Picasso nightmares and the ashtrays we made to take home to non-smoking homes. One of our number decided one day that each of us should have a nom de gare; some silly made up name. It was sort of our way of recognizing our unspoken membership in the “Grey Kids Club”. The name given to me was Muzzlebo Flipstork.

My family moved out of state at the end of that year and I have had no contact with any of those kids since that last art class. I can no longer remember any of their names (and sometimes even my own), but I never forgot the name Muzzlebo Flipstork. I have used it as my nom de plumme, written silly poems about a fictional (and not too bright) Muzzlebo Flipstork, and generally kept alive the memory of that long ago time when this “grey” kid belonged for 50 minutes every day.
©2014 William L. Steen

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