The Book Of Todd
By David Christensen
�No way,� I said. �You guys know that�s against the Church.�
�OK, then,� Brett said. �Don�t show us. Who cares, anyway?�
He looked over at Brent like he had some big idea, then back at me. �Hey, Todd,� he said, �wait here a minute while Brent and me get some ice cream. Then we�ll come back down and make root beer floats.� Brett grabbed his brother by the arm, and they ran upstairs.
In the middle of the room were three giant beanbag chairs�polka-dot�in red, yellow, and blue. I laid down on each one for a sec to see which one I liked best: yellow. It felt warm, like suns shining under me. I could see Bishop J�s fishing trophies and elk heads mounted on one wall, and on another, a big wooden bar with pumps that served all the free A&W, Sprite, and Grape Crush a boy could ever want. I could hear the twins above me, chatting up a storm with their dad. Then all three of them stomped down the stairs, Bishop J right behind his sons, only none of them had any ice cream. I jumped to my feet. The twins giggled.
Bishop J was wearing the dark shiny suit he wears when he presides over our congregation at Sacrament Meeting. He was shaking his head like he was mad about something I�d done. �What�s the matter, boy?� he asked me. �Wasn�t you born in America?�
I stared at the floor. A daddy longlegs was crawling over something sticky�I think it was a half-eaten all-day sucker�in the thick orange carpet. I wanted to tell the Bishop what I�d read in the encyclopedia, but I just said, �Sure I was.�
�Something wrong with your pa, then?�
�No, sir.� I promised myself I would never play Truth or Dare again, at least not with the J twins. Then I squashed that spider right under my left Ked.
American Top 40 blasted out of my sisters� room across the hall. I was taking my bath like my parents make me do every Sunday morning before church. It was almost time for Casey Kasem to announce number 1, and I could hardly wait to see if I�d won the bet with the J twins. Then Dad barged in to check on me. The door clicked shut behind him.
�Jack,� he said. He always calls me Jack instead of Todd. I don�t know why.
�How�s your bath?�
And at the number 3 spot, up four from last week, �Billy, Don�t Be a Hero.� One of my sisters must have turned up the volume.
Dad walked over to the tub. �Listening to your radio show?�
�How�s your pee-pee part looking?�
�Still skinning it back every day?�
�Then let�s see.� I pushed my middle up so it was sticking out of the water an inch or two. It was still covered in suds. �You know I can�t see it like that. Get up and face me.�
I stood up and turned to him. It was cold standing there all wet. I wiped the bubbles off me.
�Now skin it back, Jack, so I can see it.�
�I said it was fine.�
�Are you taking a tone with me, little man?�
�Then do it.�