WeWriWa—Happy 110th birthday, Lou!

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. In honor of what would’ve been Lou Costello’s 110th birthday, I present an abridged version of a scene from the first book in my series focused on Max Seward’s colorful blended family. Its original title was the beyond-generic New Beginnings, and I haven’t thought of a new and improved title yet in all these years. The manuscript is probably in third place in my overflowing queue, waiting on a radical rewrite and restructuring. It’s currently in its third draft, and in dire need of editing out all the embarrassing garbage and clutter that never should’ve stuck around past the first draft!

It’s late June 1941, and yesterday Max’s father remarried to his longtime secret mistress and left for a honeymoon. Max, his three siblings, and their cousin Elaine are now home alone with three new stepsisters who’ve acted like brats from day one. The day goes from bad to worse when Max and Elaine are forced to take the girls on their double date to the neighborhood’s most expensive movie palace. Max wants to see The Big Store with the Marx Brothers, but he’s overruled in favor of Abbott and Costello’s In the Navy. The stepsisters act up so obnoxiously Max’s group flees to an unoccupied balcony, but things are about to get worse yet again.

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My boy Shemp is the one on the far left!

The peace and quiet offered by the balcony was short-lived, as barely five minutes later, some girl stood up, pointed at the screen, and yelled, “That’s not nice!  He’s being mean to his best friend!” Max froze in his seat when he realized that girl was Adeladie.

Cora Ann began crying. “He’s being mean to the fat guy!”

Max stormed down from the balcony and elbowed his way back to their original seats, ignoring the resulting angry shouts. “Don’t you know the difference between real life and make-believe?”

“Laurel and Hardy are never this mean to each other, and it’s obvious they’re always friends!” Adeladie shouted. “I don’t think that tall handsome guy has any kind of brotherly love for the short fat guy when push comes to shove!”

“It’s part of their routine,” Max explained through clenched teeth.

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The tables are uncharacteristically turned!

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18 comments on “WeWriWa—Happy 110th birthday, Lou!

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    This makes me wonder how old these children are. Adelaide, at least, is quite young.

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  2. Good scene. It made me smile, Anna. 🙂 I was lucky in order of birth. Second to youngest of eight, so my older sisters had to drag me along with them. 🙂

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  3. Kim Magennis says:

    I must confess, I would have pretended I didn’t know her, and would have found a way to sneak out!

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  4. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    That’s why we never took our young children to the movies. At least not very often. Poor Max!

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  5. T. M. Hunter says:

    Yikes, that would be embarrassing…fun little snippet, though. Definitely puts you in the middle of the action.

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  6. Oh man, what a scene the kids are making! It made me laugh and I feel sorry for everybody else in the theater!

    ~Marcia

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  7. I love Abbott and Costello! I have a scene in my first book where the characters do a little bit from “Who’s On First?” And I agree with everyone else–I feel so sorry for Max! Wonderful snippet.

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  8. Yeah, I bet everyone else in the theater is very pleased with all those loud interruptions. Soon enough they’ll have an usher asking them to leave!

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  9. P.T. Wyant says:

    I think some little girls need to learn manners over someone’s knee…

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  10. Oh dear, and the movie is ruined for everyone…does sound like these girls are too young or too naive for the movies as entertainment. The ushers will be coming! I used to enjoy Abbott and Costello quite a bit when our local TV station would show their old movies. Great snippet!

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  11. I found this amusing. I wonder if the girls are serious or just trying to embarrass their step-brother. Great scene. 🙂

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  12. Alexis Duran says:

    Great scene. I kind of relate to Adelaide. I never thought all the poking, slapping and smacking was very funny. (You can tell I was never a Three Stooges fan.)

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  13. bonniegill2 says:

    LOL. I enjoyed the snippet. I used to feel the same way. Poor Costello.

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  14. Jenna Jaxon says:

    Funny scene, although not for Max, I’m sure. It is believable that children might not know the difference between reality and fiction/film in that time period. Nice snippet!

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  15. hahaha, I can hear Max’s frustration with the little girls.

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  16. emmygatrell says:

    LOL. I could see this as I was reading it. Great scene!

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  17. I would not have gone back, I would have just left them there and pleaded not knowing them. You wouldn’t find me on babysitting duty for two brats. I can’t stand kids.

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