'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Six:

Six:

   "This warrantee does not include damage to the product
resulting from accident, misuse, improper installation or
operation, or trying to turn the garage door opener into a
time machine, getting mad at it and then throwing it to the
floor in a Lou Morris novel."

                                 - Warning and disclaimer
from the instruction
booklet.


   "Hungry, bookbag?" Mongo asked his big black bookbag
while fishing through it, looking for a hook and a ball of
thread.  He smiled innocently at the dank swampy cedar lake.  
"We'll catch some nice fishes in this pretty lake."
   Meanwhile, a rather normal looking sunfish swam amidst
rusty barrels and clumps of green roots searching for a
morsel of worm to munch.
   Mongo tied one end of the string to a small hook and the
other end to the closest dock post which had a nice wooden
sign nailed to it that read:  "Absolutely No Fishing
Allowed--Rova Farms Management."
   The fish swam through the broken window of a badly rusted
and rather wet Chevy Impala and checked the open glove box
for some worms.
   Phaarrt!
   Something strange happened to the fish...
   "Here fishy, fishy!" Mongo chimed as he dropped the line
into the murky water.  He leaned against the dock post,
twiddling his thumbs impatiently.
   "Here fishy, fishy?" the now stranger sunfish thought
sarcastically with his newly acquired intelligence and
heightened sensory perceptions.  He frowned a fish frown and
swam toward the stupid kid's hook.
   "Oh boy, Bookie!" Mongo cried.  "Bite the bait, bite the
pretty bait, fishy!"
   Pretty bait?  The fish looked strangely at the hook.  A
cheese doodle?  He looked back at the stupid kid.  I'm on a
diet and this jerk expects me to eat a cheese doodle?  And
how do I know what a cheese doodle is?  "Burble!" the fish
burbled, totally perplexed.
   "Almost, fishy..." Mongo strained, gesturing wildly with
his barely twenty year old hands.
   The fish waved a sarcastic fin back at the idiotic
fisherman.  Just who does he think he's dealing with?  Wait a
second--just who do I think I'm dealing with?  Since when can
fish think?  Hmn... I think therefore I eat cheese doodles.
   "What's the matter, fishy?" Mongo asked in his almost
childlike voice, hampered only by puberty.  "Not hungry?"
   "That settles it!  Don't ask why or how something
happens, just go with the stream flow."  He bit the soggy
cheese doodle intent on doing two things:  annoying the hell
out of that stupid fisherman and finding out what a soggy
cheese doodle actually tasted like.
   "Yea!" Mongo cheered as he quickly hauled up the little
fish, then turned to grab something out of his bookbag that
he borrowed from his father without permission.
   "Nay," the six inch high standing fish burbled after it
pulled the hook free from his mouth.  "What, may I ask, do
you think you are doing?" the fish burbled, tapping his fin
impolitely on the wooden dock.
   Blam!
   The poor fish, now sporting an impressive bullet hole in
his mid-section, flopped backwards into the murky, and now
slightly fishy, cedar water.  The once living, now dead
sunfish drifted slowly to the bottom; a shocked look in his
bug-like eyes.
   "Darn!" Mongo cursed, stamping his feet onto the rotted
dock.  "We lost our new pet!"  He kicked the no-fishing sign.  
"Stupid fish!"  He turned an ear to his bookbag as if to
listen to it ask a question.
   "Nope, Bookie," he answered, "that was my only cheese
doodle."
   Some of you out there might feel that Mongo has a bit of
a problem when it comes to dealing with reality.  You're
right.
   Mongo shoved the smoking gun back into his ripped
pleather (plastic leather) jacket while whistling "Mary Had a
Little Iguana".  (You know:  "...its scales were as green as
raw sewage..."  Sorry.)
   You see, Mongo has a big problem.  To himself, his
bookbag--named Lucy, but only called such in intimate
situations--is his imaginary friend, mentor, mother and
girlfriend all wrapped up tidy in one vinyl package.
   "Where to now, bookbag?" Mongo asked as he wound his way
up the path that connected Rova Farms lake to the main
highway of Cassville.  He stepped onto the side of the road--
   Screeeep!
   Roy Bluehaul yelped as he simultaneously beeped his horn
and swerved into the other lane in order to miss the idiot
that jumped out in front of him like that.
   Mongo yelped as he jumped off the road, narrowly missing
a collision with a gray Malibu.  He and his bookbag gave the
jerk the finger.  (At least Mongo gave him the finger--his
bookbag must've gave him the zipper.)  "That was a close one,
Bookie!"
   The Malibu continued on as if nothing happened.
   Sometimes Mongo would even go so far as to give his
bookbag a drink:
   "Are you thirsty, bookbag?" Mongo would ask as he held
his bookbag up to a high school water fountain, letting the
warm water pour in.  "Slurp, slurp."
   Sometimes he would go even farther:
   "Good lunch, huh?" Mongo would ask his bag as he munched
on his school lunch hot dog.  "Open wide..." he would say as
he spoon fed his open bookbag from a separate lunch tray.  
Two lunches--one for himself, the other for his favorite
vinyl buddy.
   "What's that, bookbag?" Mongo asked, snapping back to the
present.  He paused to listen to his bag.  "Okay, Bookie!
We'll go for a walk by our old high school."
   The same high school that a surprising number of
characters in this book just recently graduated from in the
last couple years...