Jimmy Jam And The Bath Time Scam

Jimmy Jam was 6. He was the coolest kid in town and everyone knew it. Everyone. The mailman, the firemen, and even the man at the ice cream store- in addition to all the neighbors. If Jimmy Jam met someone who didn’t know he was the coolest kid in town, he’d tell them. Then they’d know.

He had a leather motorcycle jacket that his favorite uncle had given him before he was born, because his uncle was a wizard, he already knew how cool Jimmy would be.

“Your son will be the coolest kid in town as soon as he’s born.” his favorite uncle said to his sister. Then he added “He’s going to need this cool leather coat.”

He also had a car. A tiny car that drove itself. No push pedals and no one had to help it go. It just went. It was red and it was a race car. It was given to him by his first dad.

Jimmy didn’t know much about his first dad. He asked his mom once about him and her face went pale and she dropped her mug on the floor and the floor broke it. Part of it rolled under the refrigerator and is still there today, unlike Jimmy’s first dad.

Jimmy’s second dad hadn’t bought him anything like a car or given him anything like a cool jacket but he was still alright. He would let Jimmy eat hotdogs out of ice cream cones and take him to the movies. He even built him a tree fort that was so far up in the tree that you had to parachute down. You didn’t have to, but it was better to.

One day Jimmy’s mother told him, “You need to take a bath tonight young man.”

“No I don’t, you old hag.” Said Jimmy while smoking a candy cigarette.

“Yes you will. You will take a bath and then you’ll take another bath for calling me an old hag.”

“No I won’t. I’m going to race car all night long.” Said Jimmy in a cool calm voice. He was reaching into his back pocket, where he kept his switchblade. Jimmy always had a knife and his mother knew this. She was careful around him. Very careful. Always.

Jimmy’s second dad snuck up behind him and snatched him up before he could teach his mother a lesson about bossing him around. It was a trap. His mother set him up. Jimmy didn’t kick or scream while he was being carried off to the tub. He knew that would get him nowhere. Instead he went limp and waited.

In the bathroom Jimmy’s second dad held him still while his mother undressed him. It had been a while since Jimmy had a bath. He hated them more than cats do, and cats really hate them. Just ask one if you don’t believe me.

It had been so long that Jimmy’s mom said “Ewww Jimmy, how? I mean…..” when she peeled his socks off and they made an unnaturally uncomfortable sound. Like two slices of cheese being separated, but with a worse smell.

Jimmy was filthy. His ears were dusty and something was growing out of the dirt in his belly button. His hair was greasy and he was slippery all over from not having washed for some time.

His mother turned her back on Jimmy for not even one second to grab the special soap that she got from church and when she did this, as soon as her head had begun to turn, Jimmy poked her in the eye and ran out of the door between his second father’s legs like a greased pig at a county fair.

Jimmy’s parents always left the bathroom door open when they were trying to bathe him because it was too dangerous to be alone with Jimmy in a small enclosed space. They had learned this the hard way. His second dad had a scar.

Jimmy was a handful and everyone would tell his parents as much. Jimmy wondered what he was a handful of. Was it candy? He didn’t think so. He asked his mother one day “Mom, you jerk, what am I a handful of?”

His mother took a sip from her special mug and said softly, almost more to herself than to anyone else “Regret and lost opportunities, mostly.” Jimmy didn’t understand his mother’s answer or why she was crying and decided not to concern himself with what he was a handful of anymore.

Jimmy Jam was free. He shot off like a rocket propelled rocket car as he ran from the bath tub, in three shakes he rounded the corner and was sliding down the banister. He broke his old speed record because he was slippery on the outside too, instead of just on the inside. When he reached the bottom of the steps, he leaped into his race car and speed off down the hall, towards the backdoor. Once he was outside he could head to the tree house, where he’d he be safe from the bath tub. Jimmy didn’t even care that he was naked, he kept spare clothes in the tree house.

Jimmy may have been naturally quick and unnaturally slippery, but his second dad was tall and used to chasing after Jimmy. It didn’t take long until Jimmy’s second dad was almost right behind him. He could feel his second dad’s hands reaching out for him. Trying to grab him and force him into the tub where he’d be scrubbed clean. Jimmy wasn’t having this, he engaged the turbo boost on his race car and turned hard right, towards the dining room.

Then something unexpected happened. Something that Jimmy won’t remember and his second father will never forget.

As Jimmy engaged the turbo boost and and stepped on the gas, his greasy, dirty foot slipped off of the pedal, causing him to lose control for just a second. A second was all it took. Jimmy’s car slammed into the wall and burst into flames. His second dad watched in horror as Jimmy’s small head smashed into the steering wheel, obliterating his face. Blood was everywhere. The walls. The carpet. The lenses of his second father’s glasses were covered in it, some dripped down onto his nose.

Jimmy had taken his last ride. If only he had listened to his mother and took a bath, this wouldn’t have happened. He would still be racing his race car and parachuting out of his tree house. But he wasn’t doing that and he never would be doing that again. He still wore his cool jacket. He was buried in it.
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