Poor Mr. Spickles

(I wrote this after watching a special about Tourette’s Syndrome.  The background of my story is that a family decides to move to a new city and siblings Bo and Nancy are pissed.  Bo was worried about being able to make new friends so he decided to fake a syndrome in order to get attention.  His older sister Nancy agreed to help him with the ruse and come in to the class and read the letter about her brother.  Written from Bo’s perspective.)

Mr. Spickles before the incident

Hello, my name is Nancy and my brother Bo has Tourette’s Syndrome.  He is a very nice boy, but he curses and twitches all the time and sometimes it can be very embarrassing. 

One time, my mother took us to the Hamburger Shack to get dinner one night.  We were standing in line and in front of us was a family of midgets. 

They were going about their business not bothering anyone when Bo yelled out, “Don’t get the large size fries, stupid little pint-sized, knee knocking, ball-licking freaks.” 

My mother turned abnormally red, apologized to the midget family and explained that Bo was retarded.  I will never forget that day. 

It was the first time I realized that my brother was special.  But, I want everyone to know that he’s not a retard, he has a syndrome and syndromes are different.

Once all the kids in the neighborhood found out about Bo, they started playing mean jokes on him. 

They would bring him a glass of chocolate milk, hand it to him and wait for him to twitch in hopes of making a milkshake.  They would constantly try to wash his mouth out with soap. 

Bo would always end up coming home in tears.  It became so bad that Bo stopped going outside in our own neighborhood.  He was a prisoner of his syndrome.

To make matters worse, my mother gave Bo a pet gerbil for his birthday.  Bo absolutely loved that gerbil and named him Mr. Spickles. 

He once told me that Mr. Spickles was his best friend because he never made fun of him.  But one night, while holding and petting Mr. Spickles, Bo started twitching uncontrollably, broke Mr. Spickles neck and he died.  Bo was devastated. 

To this day, Bo will not pick up any small animals in fear of recreating the Mr. Spickles incident.

Bo wanted me to speak to you today to help you understand that people with syndromes are not that much different than people without syndromes. 

In Bo’s case, he just happens to twitch and curse a lot.  Remember, they are just twitches and words.  Twitches and words.  He likes to do normal teen-age things just like all of you. 

If you knew Bo like I do, you would love him.  He really has a kind heart.  Please be nice to him and don’t laugh too much at him.

Thanks for your time,


After Nancy read the letter to the class, my teacher broke down in tears while the rest of the class sat motionless, trapped in a quicksand pit of their repressed guilt and sadness.  Even the jocks in the class seemed affected by my sister’s reading.

I felt like if I stood up from my desk at that very moment, the whole class would clap for me and throw roses at my feet.  Instead, I blurted out an onslaught of fucks, shits, cunts, goddamns that would have made Richard Pryor blush.

This had sealed the deal for me.  If I announced that I was running for class president, surely no one would oppose me.

I already had my slogan, “Vote for Bo, You Don’t Want to TIC him off.”

I was now more powerful than I ever could have imagined.  I was like Napoleon, only much, much taller.


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