The origin of Hook-nose, Baloney-nose, and Speedy Girard.

As we were growing up, Mom told us stories of Hook-nose, Baloney-nose, and Speedy Girard. They gave us the cover story that Dad, a psychiatrist, had a patient going through the Delirium Tremens. He told dad that he was plagued by little people, Hook-nose, Baloney-nose, and Speedy Girard. He added that Speedy was the worst because he kept zipping all over the place, and then pleaded for Dad to take them from him, which Dad promised to do. He was so taken with these creative names, that he came home chortling, and told Mom. Mom was also tickled, and made up a story that night for us kiddos. We loved it and would request a new story each night. Thus, we were the only kids whose soothing bedtime stories were the feverish and fearful nightmares of an old drunk.

Well, that was the nice cover story, but by dint of careful research, I found out the dark truth. Mom, Helen, had grown up during the depression years. Her father had disappeared while trying to raise money by entering crazy races, the last was a cross country run, California to Florida. Her mother, Maude, was desperately poor. One year, the hens laid so many eggs that she couldn’t sell them all, so she tried to preserve them. When the result was significantly less than acceptable, Maude waited until Helen was quietly playing in the sandy yard with a friend. Maude took some of the unfortunate eggs and snuck up the steps to the top of the cliff. She threw an egg down toward the girls and ducked out of sight. The two girls heard a plop and suddenly were assaulted by a terrible smell. Looking around, they saw nothing and resumed playing, when another plop and smell occurred. Again, they could find no cause. They were plagued by more plops, until finally they spotted Maude far up at the top of the cliff and ran up the steps, chasing her.

Unbeknownst to them, three of the eggs had hit good eggs, and some strange chemistry happened. Instead of chickens, three tiny humans appeared from the combined eggs. They seemed identical to each other while they stood there gathering their wits. Since wits are tiny things that hide between the sand grains, they were soon crawling around picking them up and stuffing them in their ears. Speedy Girard, who was not yet speedy, was looking in the direction of the cliff, saw an incoming missile, and screamed, “incoming missiles, run for your lives.” He took off, but was still splashed by the powerful reagent contained in some rotten eggs. It enhances whatever you were doing at the time. As Speedy was currently engaged in running, his legs got so fast, that he ran a tunnel in the sand and was soon buried up to his neck, under the deck.

Hook-nose heard Speedy yell, stubbornly didn’t believe him and look up to find the missiles. Just as he looked up, another one hit him in the face, breaking his nose into a hook-nose. It also pounded him into the sand, trapping him also. Since he was acting stubbornly, that was the quality the strange catalyst enhanced. Baloney-nose had crawled until he bumped into an egg. Forgetting about the wits, thus ending with too few, he cracked open the end of the egg and started eating his way into the egg. After a while, when not much more than his legs stuck out, and he had finished eating, another of the plentiful missiles struck him on the bum. His nose was smashed into a broad baloney shape. The egg didn’t enhance his lack of wits, he earned that on his own, but since he was greedily eating, he ballooned to fill the inside of the egg. Ever after that, he was not just fat, but fat in an egg shaped sort of shape, and always wanting to eat.

Soon, Speedy was calling out, “Help, I’ve run out of options.” Hook-nose spoke, “As soon as I get out myself, cause I don’t need any help, I’ll get you out.” Baloney-nose heard them and called, “hmmph gragle mumple whhoot.” Since his mouth and nose were squashed at the end of the egg, and he didn’t have the wits to remember, we never learned what he said. Hook-nose, having struggled mightly, totally exhausted, and not gaining an inch of freedom, chimed, I’ll get you in the egg out too. (They hadn’t seen each other in their new conditions and gained their names yet.)

Speedy, twisted his head as far as it could go, but couldn’t see anyone. Twisting the other way, he still could see nothing, and soon despaired of any of them getting out. As he twisted back, he suddenly noticed that he could see a reflection in a can that had been blown under the wood. At first, he couldn’t make out the image because the can was crinkly and a little rusty. But because he had taken time to collect the most wits, he leaned back and forth until he could make out the confusing image of an egg with legs. After pondering why an egg had legs, he finally realized it was a person inside the egg shell. He saw it was next to a stick and called, “You at the egg, roll over and break the egg. Baloney-nose didn’t roll over. Inside the egg, the voice sounded like it said, “You eat the egg-roll.” He got so excited about an egg roll that he tried to reach for the egg roll and busted the egg shell into a hundred pieces.

Baloney-nose looked increasingly desperately for the egg roll. When he couldn’t find it, but instead spied Hook-nose, he got mad at Hook-nose for lying. Stomping over, he yanked Hook-nose out of the sand and threw him to the ground yelling, “You with the hook nose, where’s my egg roll.” Hook-nose, mad at being rescued when he didn’t need it, jumped up and punched baloney-nose in the tummy. His fist bounced so hard that he went flying backward, under the deck and landed next to Speedy. Seeing Baloney-nose stomping toward them, fearing for his life, he screamed, “Hey, Baloney nosed guy, this head told you about the egg roll. Baloney-nose then yanked Speedy out of the sand and was demanding the roll of food.

Speedy thought quickly, and blurted, “roll some eggs.” This confused Baloney-nose. “roll eggs, not egg rolls. If we build a house here, we can roll some eggs down here and have a delicious dinner.” While the other two each managed to roll one egg each under the deck, Speedy zipped around and obtained three. They exclaimed, you certainly are speedy. Just then, the two girls returned to the top of the steps. For the first and only time in her life, Helen saw a glimpse of the three little people, though no one believed her, but that is another story. After the next adventure, the three washed for dinner, saw each other, laughed and realized that they had given each other their names. They soon became fast friends, and since fighting never solves anything, never fought again. Well, that and both Speedy and Hook-nose were afraid of punching Baloney nose in the stomach and getting thrown backwards. Well, that is the real story. The other story was generated many foolish people accused Helen’s mother of a vicious attack on two little girls with the rotten eggs, something that Helen and her mom always laughed about.

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