After my childhood best friend’s and my obsession with Mary-Kate and Ashley, and before our Orlando Bloom obsession, we had a Hilary Duff phase.
I don’t often think back to this starstruck time in my life, but the other day I heard Hilary Duff’s Time to Fly on the radio, and I thought of it. More importantly, I thought of my friend and how we (her family and mine) were family.
We were an inventive bunch, Emily, Seth, Michael, Suzanna, Kathryn, and I.
We made up this trampoline game called “Don’t Get Touched by the Tennis Shoes,” which is exactly what it sounds like. We would take off our shoes, toss them on the trampoline, and bounce. If you got touched by the Tennis shoes, you were out.
We also came up with our own twist on Capture the Flag, a sort of treasure hunt, complete with clues to the flags location.
Don’t get me started on the two movies we were going to make.
The Johnson’s would come hang out at our house (and vice versa), and we’d have sleepovers and campouts.
It was during times like these that Kathryn got knocked out by an icicle because she was messing around trying to get ice off the roof to suck on. Or like when we found two birds that had fallen from their nest, and we nursed them to their graves. We even named them: Pete and Joe. We went sledding and exploring, and we had all the fun kids should have.
After we moved to Texas, we would come back to visit in the summer. Being the big kids that we were, we hung out at the playground.
One time, Emily, Seth, Michael, and I played an elaborate prank on Kathryn and Suzanna, involving a “pirate” map and clues. Kathryn didn’t buy it, but Susanna thought she had seen something about our story on the history channel, so we were saved. Until we forgot where some of the clues were hidden, that is.
After the move, we kept in touch via email, and I began writing these (intentionally) outrageous space stories in script format, and we were the protagonists. We got caught up in a solar system battle after yours truly was kidnapped by a Martian named Nincompoop (Ninc for short) And that brings me back to Hilary Duff, because she was in them, along with Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Sumpter.
And because I loved these little stories so much – not because they’re good, but because they’re about us, and our weird obsessions eleven years ago – I’m going to share a piece of one of them with you today.
In this episode, Lydia Sumpter (along with Jeremy), Kathryn Thomas, and Miss PB go on a search for the Great Bungee Cord. Along the way, they meet up with Emily and Orlando Bloom, who are now running a spaceship shop called the Ship Shape Shop; Michael and Hilary Johnson (nee Duff), who are in Hollywood; Rebekah Thomas; Matt; and Bill the Space Cat (I don’t know what he’s doing in our story, but I have to include him or he might sue me).
Emily: You came all the way down here to tell us Kathryn is the Queen of Jupiter?
Rebekah: No. You see, Kathryn and Miss PB here-
Emily: Miss PB?
Rebekah: Miss PB, Emily Bloom. Emily, Miss Potato-Bunger.
Orlando: A real Potato-Bunger? From Jupiter?
Rebekah: Yeah. Anyhow, Kathryn and Miss PB here need the Great Bungee Cord in order to get back to Jupiter.
Lydia: Any idea where we can find one?
Emily and Orlando look at each other.
Orlando: Well, maybe our new bungee cord technician will know something. (calling) Hey, Matt!
And out comes our mystery character, Matt. Muscular, but short.
Orlando: Do you know anything about a Great Bungee Cord?
Before Matt can answer, Bill the Space Cat comes running through the room with a colorful jump rope trailing behind him. Miss PB screams. Everyone looks at her.
Miss PB: (pointing at jump rope) THE GREAT BUNGEE CORD!!!
The gang looks astounded.
Seth: (running from back room)Bill! Come back here!
Bill is sniffing Orlando’s ankles, and Orlando is trying no to sneeze.
Orlando: (to Matt) Did you know he was here?
Matt: Yeah, I was just coming to get you when you called me out. Dude wants to bring in his piano.
Emily: (to Seth) Really? A piano in the Ship Shape Shop?
Seth: (shrugging) I just thought you’d like some music to draw in some customers.
Emily: When I need someone put to sleep, I’ll give you a call.
Seth looks offended.
Kathryn: What is Bill doing wearing my jump rope?
Seth: I took it years ago from your bedroom. You can have it back.
Rebekah: I spent all of that time digging through the dump when Seth had the Great Bungee Cord?
Seth: If that’s the Great Bungee Cord, then I’m the King of Jupiter.
Kathryn: No, you idiot! I’m the Queen of Jupiter, and that jump rope is the Great Bungee Cord, and I need it to get back to Jupiter! (snatches jump rope) How do I work this thing?
Miss PB: Put one end near your gear and one end near your mouth, and squeeze.
Voice: Hello. You have reached the Jupiter Hotline. To hear your voice messages, squeeze pink. To make a call, squeeze purple. To return to Jupiter, squeeze blue.
There is an explosion and the Ship Shape Shop is filled with blue smoke. When it clears, Kathryn is gone.
She just forgot one thing…Miss PB.
Jeremy: I guess we’re going to Jupiter.
Seth: What about Michael and Hilary? They’d be hurt if we went to space without them.
Jeremy: I guess we’re going to Hollywood.
Michael: (pulling to a stop in front of Hilary and his mansion) Who took our parking spot?
Hilary: (eyeing the spaceship) Jerks!
The gang pops out of the spaceship and yells, “Surprise!”
Orlando: We’re going to space and Seth thought you’d like to come with us.
Hilary: Oh, brother.
Michael: Yeah! Let me grab a bag!
Hilary: I’m, koochums, what happened to our quiet evening?
Lydia: She calls you koochums?
Michael: Oh, pudding face, I haven’t been to space in forever. You can always come with us.
Hilary: (grumbling) Fine.
A few seconds later, there is a blood-curdling scream from inside The Space Shark…
And that is all you get.
Maybe, if you’re nice, I’ll tell you about the Skittles. But probably not.