The draft of that story...

Marli has been asked for story ideas that can be worked up into cartoons to be distributed on the streets by some agency. Here, minus the coffee stains, is that draft

 

Bart Simpson Killed My Brother – Well Almost.

My brother, Micko, is small. I mean small, always the one stuck at the end of the front row in the class photograph. Always the one chosen to crawl into tiny places to look for a lost ring or coin. Don’t get me wrong though: the rest of us aren’t giants either, his family, I mean. Mum’s the tallest, and she’s only 157 cms. In our family that makes her feel superior.

Dad’s a runt. He says so himself, so I’m not being mean. He also says things like – ‘Good things come in small packages,’ and "Small in stature, big in brain.’ He’s an engineer so I s’pose he’s right. Mum’s an architect so she’s not short of the odd brain cell either. And me (I just knew you were wondering), I’m okay too. I can run fast and I figure I’m reasonably pretty, I open the batting in our cricket team (yes, girls can play cricket too), I always come in the top three in class, I’ve got lots of friends (and one of them’s even smaller than me!), so…

My brother – he feels his smallness. It hurts him and he does crazy things. Like, well, the way he plays football. He’s a rover, of course, but he’s one of those looney ones. He goes into packs like he’s wearing armour and nothing can hurt him, and he figures it’s his business to tackle every other player on the field that’s bigger than him (and that’s everyone), including every ruckman that’s ever lived. So of course he’s been knocked out about a hundred times and Mum says we paid for the orthodontist’s new Porsche. Even his coach sometimes winces at some of his crazy death-wish stuff and tells Micko to take it easy… It doesn’t stop him; he just keeps on throwing himself into it in order to prove he ‘aint small’.

If there’s a dare on, Micko’s in it. Like the time he swiped poor old Mrs. Tattersal’s knickers off her line and then shimmied up the school flagpole with them one night so they’d be on display on the next morning’s parade. Unfortunately someone spied them before school and took them down. ‘It would have been sweet,’ Micko said.

He’s addicted to those manly shows on TV. You know, Hercules and Zena and that stupid show with people dressed up like warriors and doing crazy stunts to win points. That show was all the rage for a while with Micko’s mates. They made dumb costumes with cardboard and built these crazy lances and clubs and formed teams. Micko ended up with a broken arm because of that game.

You want to know who my brother’s biggest hero is? Bart Simpson. As the English teachers all say, he identifies with him. Bart’s small, he’s lippy, he’s always got a scheme – Micko loves that.

So how did Bart Simpson almost kill my brother? Easy.

You remember that episode where Bart cuts off the head from the statue of Springfield’s founder? It’s a dare. Of course.

Well, we’ve got a statue of some lame old gent from two centuries back who’d opened a duck pond or something in Federation Park. This old guy is holding a red torch that lights up at night, when it’s working (which is not very often). The statue’s got pigeon poo all over it and it’s favourite target of kids who are bored on Saturday afternoons. Which is most of us here in Hicksville.

Brett Miller, who is Micko’s principal mate, is over watching The Simpsons the night that episode comes on. He says that Bart couldn’t cut the head off that statue even if he tried three nights running.

‘It’s TV ____’ says Brett, who’s about to use the ‘ap word but then realizes Mum and Dad are probably listening in from the dining room. So he says, ‘rubbish’.

Micko reckons he could and they argue about it for a while.

I guess the dare came out of that. Anyway, here’s what happened.

They were sleeping over at Brett’s place and snuck out of there about midnight. Micko was carrying the bag. What was in the bag? A hacksaw and two spare blades. Brett was the look out.

Up Micko climbed. He’s happily hacksawing away for a while – very happy because the dude’s torch is not working and so it’s nice and dark - while Brett asks him every twenty seconds how tired he was getting and whether he could even see a scratch in the metal….

Micko told me later he was crowing because the metal was in fact really quite soft and the blade (he’d made sure he had really new sharp blades) was cutting through it beautifully. Then wham!

Brett says he heard a bang and Micko disappeared in this shower of sparks and then he was lying on the ground.

Dead still.

Brett went haring off towards Dr. Lacey’s, who fortunately lives on a street just opposite the park.

So, pretty soon there’s sirens and Micko’s in hospital (alive but badly burned down his right arm and a bit fuzzy about everything that had happened) and the Newspapers get the story and there’s talk of a police charge…

A councillor gets up in the council and says that Micko is proof that youth is being negatively influenced by the media. He wants a special petition drawn up requesting more control over TV content, he wants the government to do something…My dad says that what happened was Micko being Micko. It was his son’s fault, not Bart Simpson’s or Channel Ten’s or Rupert Murdoch’s (whatever that meant.)

Micko blamed the electrician. "What sort of lame workman runs the power for the right arm up through the neck,’ he argues.

....That's where he stops, immobilised by his own unexpressed desires

 

Stephen Kimber, 2000.