You may recall last week, when socially-unacceptable Hick confused the name of Sacajawea with Sasquatch. Back when I said I had a gold dollar out in T-Hoe, and Hick declared that it was definitely not George Washington, but maybe "Sasquatch or that other lady." As if he knew anything about dollar coins, what with Susan B. Anthony being SILVER, and not gold.
Anyhoo... I finally looked at my T-Hoe gold dollar. But I was still in the dark. I had my glasses on, but couldn't read the print. I could tell that it was not Sacajawea. Nor George. When I got home, I tried to scrub him up a little under the faucet, using Peach Bellini foaming hand soap that my sister the ex-ex-mayor's wife gives me for Christmas. I STILL couldn't tell. So I took it to Eagle Eye Hick. Who only has one eye, you know. But it seems to be quite powerful.
"Oh. That's Miller Fillmer."
"Um. Do you mean MillARD. FillMORE?"
"I guess. If you say so."
What Hick doesn't know is that I have a very special connection to Millard Fillmore! Back when I was Little 3rd Grade Future VALedictorian, my teacher Mrs. Elvins (she had the same name as our TOWN! How cool was THAT?) asked me a question during Social Studies.
Yes, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my desk in our old building. It had to be fall, because we moved into our new elementary school before Christmas. I had broken my left arm while roller skating on my grandpa's sidewalk, and I had a hard cast past my elbow. The old-fashioned plaster cast, not one of these fashionable neon-colored lightweight casts for today's arm-snapping whippersnappers. White dense plaster, which I refused to let anybody sign. That was like graffiti! Oh, and I had a sling made from a dish towel, because nobody had those blue pouch-like slings of today. My mom cautioned me every morning to keep my hand higher than my elbow. I remembered, when my fingers turned blue.
Anyhoo... the question was something about a president that we had not yet named. Perhaps we were reciting the order. It escapes me now. But I KNEW the answer! Mrs. Elvins had been prompting other students. "Come on. You know it! Millard... Millard..."
I was squirming so much that my butt came off the seat. I couldn't stand up, though, in those one-piece desk-chair contraptions. But I was waving my good arm energetically while my plastered arm clunked on the desktop.
"Li'l Val? Do you know it?"
"HIGH LIFE! Millard HIGH LIFE!"
"Oh. Well. Ha ha. Not quite. It's FILLMORE!"
No. I did not feel shame. In fact, I reveled in the laughter of my classmates. Apparently, more than one of us had a beer-drinking grandpa.
I don't know who should shoulder the blame for sending me on my life's quest of clowning around to get laughs. My classmates, who encouraged me. Or my grandpa, who inadvertently gave me the punchline that set me on this journey.
Here's my buddy Millard:
Yes, I'm sure I've spoken of him before. But Val's blog is like the teacher lunch table. If you hang out there long enough, you'll hear repeats and threepeats of stories that were boring the first time around.
My gold dollar doesn't have a flaw that makes it worth asking $10,000 for. But at least I'm pretty sure mine is worth a dollar.