A story

It is a terrible story. The Story of Nicholas. (as told by Mr. H and his parents)

Mother: One day the boys came home, and they asked if their friend Nicholas could come over and play. I said “who the hell is Nicholas?”

Mr. H: So we pointed out the window, at the kid in the yard.

Mother: I said “Isn’t that Johnny? His name is Johnny. Why are you calling him Nicholas?”

Mr. H: We said “we don’t know.”

Mother: Then I realized– and I said “Don’t call him that anymore, his name is Johnny, call him that.”

Me: I don’t get it.

Mother: He was the only black kid in Acton!

Father: sotto voce, in loud restaurant: Nigga lips!

Me: Oh my God.

Mr. H: I wondered why I’d say “Hi Nicholas!” and he’d hit me!

Me: *snorted Chardonnay out of my nose*

Mr. H: The big kids used to tell the little kids to call him that, and we thought they were saying Nicholas.

Poor Johnny.


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