how Miss Granch stole the 4th of July
(originally posted 7/3/2019)
Once upon a time, in a country very similar to the one you now live in, there was a middle-aged woman name Granch. Marcy Granch to be more specific.
Mary Granch was not a happy person. Because the author of this tale decided to make her a person instead of a made-up cartoon character, it is inappropriate these days to call her butt ugly. If she was a Snorgel or a Drumpalump then the author could tee off and say all sorts of horrible things about her appearance but, because she is a human, let’s just say she was manifestationaly challenged.
She was as ugly as the word manifestationaly.
As a side note, if any of you kids are looking for something wonderful to do when you grow up that would help society a very small amount but certain authors a great deal, think about creating a spell check program for words that don’t exist.
If you are saying to yourself “I don’t ever remember reading a children’s story that includes side notes” might the author suggest you stick your head in an oven?
One day Miss Granch was watching videos on her computer. Outside the winds were blowing and the rain was coming down in torrents but she sat all snuggled up with a cup of cocoa. After she finished a video about how to improve her self-esteem she clicked on a video that was suggested to her by the site she was on.
If you are saying to yourself “So you’re telling me that she’s very open to suggestion” you have no idea how spot on you are.
If you are now smugly saying to yourself “I’m pretty good at sniffing out plotlines” can we just make a deal that you stop saying things to yourself and just read the damn story?
The video she clicked on was a hypnotist explaining how hypnotism works. “Fair enough” she said to herself.
Yes… she is allowed to say things to herself. She is in the story. You are not.
So eventually the hypnotist asked her to stare at a spinning wheel on the screen and suggested that her eyelids would begin to get heavy.
“They are getting heavier and heavier and then you’ll allow them to close” he said calmly.
Marcy Granch’s eyelids, heavy as could be, closed.
“You are feeling very relaxed” the hypnotist continued, “Your eyes are closing tighter and tighter. You feel so relaxed that you feel your eyelids simply melt into your cheeks.”
The howling winds outside, feeling a bit ignored, howled even louder but Marcy was far too relaxed to even notice.
The hypnotist snapped his fingers and Marcy felt a jolt run through her. “The more you try to open your eyes the more they will stay shut. The harder you try, the more they will stay shut.”
Marcy smiled to herself (and yes, you are allowed to smile to yourself… just keep quiet about it) and realized it worked. She tried to open her eyes but couldn’t.
And with one final heave the winds and rain knocked over the necessary power lines and Miss Granch’s house went dark. Except she didn’t see it because her eyes were closed tight. All she knew was that the voice of the hypnotist was no longer with her and all she could hear was that sad little whimper a computer makes when it is shutting down.
Had she still been watching the video she would have heard the hypnotist snap his fingers and tell her she could open her eyes. Instead she sat there in the silent house unable to open them.
This story seemed to really impress a number of juries that heard it
The jury who heard her legal case against the hypnotist.
The jury who heard her legal case against the website.
The jury who heard her case against the power company.
The jury who heard her case against the manufacturer of her computer.
You see, she was never able to open her eyes again! No amount of finger snapping seemed to be able to help. Doctors, therapists, hypnotists, they all tried to work their magic to the best of their abilities and none of them could get Marcy to open her eyes.
The public was decidedly split on their opinions of Miss Granch as each new jury decision was announced. Each new decision making her wealthier and wealthier. Juries seemed to believe that each of the defendants was not only culpable in her sad state, but that they had an unlimited amount of money to hand over to her.
If you are now thinking to yourself (scared to actually say it) “That’s all well and good, but what does this have to do with the Fourth of July?”
First of all, thanks for just thinking it.
Second, remember the suggestion about your head and an oven?
Although Marcy Granch was now a wealthy woman there was one thing she missed more than anything; fireworks. She loved fireworks. When she was a kid she would lay awake on July third with the same enthusiasm that most kids felt on the night before Christmas.
Now she could buy anything she wanted except the sight of fireworks going off in the night sky.
She opened and closed her hands repeatedly, each time bringing them into little fists. Her shoulders hunched slightly and a sneer crept across her lips.
Had anyone been there to witness it, they would have felt the little hairs on the back of their neck stand up on end.
Then she got an idea! An awful idea!
Miss Granch got a wonderful, awful idea!
“If I can’t see them….. nobody will” she hissed. For a moment she fought the urge to throw her head back and let loose a loud maniacal laugh, but she didn’t want to frighten her cat.
With that she began to contact every manufacturer of fireworks in the country and buy their inventory. She rented an enormous warehouse in Omaha, Nebraska and had everything shipped there.
All of the money she’d won was thrown into gobbling up every Peony and Blooming Flower. Every Roman Candle and Ariel Repeater. Every jingtinglern, floofloover, whohooper, and trumtooka. Every Girandola and Crossette.
And just as June was ending, she sent an army of workers across the country to wrestle away every last sparkler from super markets and convenience stores. Some of them physically taken from the hands of crying children.
And just as July was starting, every newspaper headline announced that there were no fireworks to be had. Roadside stands sat empty. Firework displays were being cancelled left and right and television commentators collectively wrung their hands and blamed the current President or Global Warming.
Inside her hotel room in Omaha Miss Granch danced around joyfully and fell over furniture and got up again and hummed Granchily “They’re finding out now that no Fourth of July is coming!”
Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us. The phone in her hotel rang. It was her doctor to tell her that the results of her recent medical exam were back and they indicated that she was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy and was at a high risk for congestive heart failure.
“Dilated cardiomyopathy is an enlarged heart!” you are no doubt saying to yourself, so proud that you caught the ‘heart grew three sizes that day/Grinch’ inference, then wondering to yourself “Was the full Christmas Story quote really necessary?”
Either way, the news of her mortality really opened Marcy Granch’s eyes. Literally and figuratively. She could see and for the first time in years she could see!
“I must get these fireworks back into the stores” she announced to nobody and asked that her chauffeur pull up the car. She pushed him out of the driver’s seat and roared off to the warehouse. She would make things right if she had to drive every whistlin’ bunghole, spleen splitter, cherry bomb or slooslunka to an open field and set it off herself.
Unfortunately it had been years since she’d been behind the wheel and her depth perception was still a little shaky so just as she was going through the front gate of the warehouse she lost control of her vehicle and sent it crashing into a crate of blumbloopas.
The resulting explosion was seen from the International Space Station and most of Omaha was left a smoldering ruin.
I said I’d never miss you, but I guess you’ll never know
Where the bridges I have burned never really led home
On the fourth of July
-Fall Out Boy