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The Shirt!
By Daniel L Keith   

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I would like to tell you a most embarrassing story that took place in the early 60's, about a shirt.

     The Shirt

     When I was in the second grade, a new girl started in my class a little late in the year.  I will never forget her name, it was Penny.  She was the prettiest girl I had ever seen, and she talked with what I now know, to be a southern accent.  As some of you know from my other stories about my childhood, it was bad.  Out of my 3 brothers and my sister, I am the youngest.  We never had nice clothes nor did we have a washer and dryer.  It didn't matter to our dad because he took his clothes to the drycleaners anyway.  But anyway, I really liked this girl.  I thought that if I had a really nice shirt, she probably wouldn't notice my pants and shoes.  So, I began my journey to get the most perfect shirt.  I started looking for soda bottles, you could get 3 cents for the small ones and a nickel for the larger ones.  I looked everywhere I knew of to find bottles, and finally by that afternoon I had found 6, which gave me 18 cents.  I didn't know if this would be enough for a shirt, but I went to the second hand store anyway.  That's where all of us kids got our clothes from.  I was worried that I would not have enough money.  This shirt was going to have to be magnificent.  Penny would have to notice it.  I walked into the store, and there it was, it looked like a diamond in a field of coal.  I knew without a doubt, this was the shirt.  It was the most magnificent shirt I had ever seen, and I knew Penny would surely notice me with it on.  My brother Boone was the closest to my age, he was in the 3rd grade.  He went to the store with me and was the only one that knew what I was doing.  He thought it was a nice shirt too.  It was kind of off-white and had cowboys and horses all over it.  I took the shirt from the rack and went to the register.  I asked how much the shirt cost, and it was like magic.  The lady said, it was only 15 cents.  I said, are you sure ma'am?  She said, for you it is, you and your brothers are my best customers.  I smiled so big and said thank you.  When I got home, I didn't want to let anyone see my shirt, so I waited until everyone was busy and then I ironed it.  It was perfect.  This is the only time I was looking forward to going to school on Monday.  Before I knew it, it was Monday morning.  I was so excited when I put my new shirt on.  I felt so good.  Boone and I left for school and we were hungry as usual, but this morning I didn't care.  It wasn't a far walk to school, and we always got there early.  The gate was locked.  Soon, alot of the other kids started arriving.  I noticed that the kids were staring at me.  I couldn't believe they liked my shirt that much.  They would look at me and then whisper to each other.  I never could hear what they were saying.  A few minutes went by and Mr. Couch came to open the gate.  He was a nice man and would always tell us kids funny jokes.  Well, finally, the big moment came, going into the classroom.  I walked in and Penny was already there.  She was looking at me and I was amazed that she had noticed my shirt so fast.  Our teacher, Miss Krill, walked in and asked everyone to sit down.  All the kids started laughing and pointing at me.  I didn't understand why.  Someone said, Miss Krill, Daniel is wearing his pajama top to school.  I said, it is not a pajama top, it is a shirt.  The kid asked Miss Krill if it was a pajama top.  I thought my heart was going to stop.  Miss Krill said it looks like one, but if it is, it's the prettiest one I've ever seen.  It's prettier than alot of shirts but I don't want you all to start wearing pajamas to school.  As you can see, I was quite embarrassed.  The shirt trick didn't work and Penny started eating lunch everyday with another boy.  Needless to say, I never tried to impress a girl with a fancy shirt again.

                                                      Daniel L Keith


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