Yo-yo’s and Party Poppers

Zach Weiner

When I didn’t see Bobby in history class, I wasn’t as alarmed as I should have been, but knowing what I know now I’m glad I wasn’t. Because I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about what the hell is wrong with Bobby, which I’ve already spent days in accumulation pondering. 

I’m currently sitting in the waiting room of the Gary Oppen Memorial Hospital, anxiously hoping for any news on Bobby. I was unaware of the severity of his injuries, so before driving down to the hospital, I made a risky, but necessary pit stop at Party City to grab a Yo-Yo 

and a party popper. However, the party poppers only came in packs of 12 and with how frequently Bobby has already gotten himself injured, I don’t think he would survive 11 more emergency room visits. 

The lady working the register was an awfully tall woman and she greeted me so nicely I couldn’t imagine she’d have any problem ringing me up for just one party popper. And she didn’t. But he did when I said, “Thank you Ma’am.” 

It seems in my hazed state of mind I mistook the gentlemen for a gentlewoman. If I explained myself and my predicament I’m sure they might understand, and most likely have been mistaken for a woman before. But considering they wore a bright green name tag printed “JEFF”, I might’ve needed to buy the whole pack after all. Thing is, Jeff didn’t even give me the option, as I was calmly asked to leave. 

“Get the fuck out of here!”

Down on my luck, I came across a magic shop on 23rd and Ferguson called The Magic Shop. I don’t know where they get off calling themselves The Magic Shop, but for whatever reason it bothered me greatly. I almost left right then and there, but stopped myself to give them a fighting chance. Maybe they are the greatest magic shop in the Chicagoland area or even Illinois. If so, they better have a Yo-Yo and party popper. 

Maybe if I wasn’t in a rush to see Bobby on his deathbed, or I wasn’t still thinking about Jefferina the cashier, I wouldn’t have been so oblivious to the cobwebs and lack of people in the establishment that doesn’t seem so established. Judging by the yellow tape I’d estimate about a week before it got torn down. Nevertheless there was still ‘merchandise’ and I browsed around. 

They didn’t have any party poppers or even regular poppers, but to be fair, they didn’t really have anything. I was about to leave, but in the corner of my eye I saw something peculiar, then it moved, and I hurried out of The Magic Shop. 

I returned to the car where I cranked up the heat. However, cold air bombarded me like a blanket of thumbtacks, so I turned it off immediately before suffering stage 1 hypothermia. Reaching for the radio, I put on the dulcet tones of CeeLo Green to soothe whatever sanity I had left. 

Then I pictured Bobby. Waking up from surgery with the nurse fixing his IV, and knowing they think he’s out of it, reach for a handful and promptly be thrown out to die. So, I rushed to the hospital to save poor Bobby’s family from a lawsuit and a funeral.

I sprinted across the entire parking lot, arriving in the ER panting like a golden retriever. Out of breath, I tried speaking, but ended up blurting out words between exhales to the receptionist, trying to learn where I could find Bobby. Her name was Carol. “Only family members are allowed to see patients.” 

“I’m— his brother.” I lied, still breathing heavily. 

She ordered me to calm down and take a seat and she’d let me know when I could see him. I tried to explain to her the gravity of the situation, but she was having none of it. Then I remembered how handsome I am, and since girls use their charms to get what they want all the time, I thought no different for I. However my red runny nose, puffy jacket, and messy hair didn’t give off the right vibe after a, “Busy day, huh?” so I left it at that and sat down in the waiting room. I glanced around where I noticed a brunette woman no older than 30, an elderly man in a Panama hat, and a father with his boy sleeping on his shoulder. 

I hope Bobby is okay. 

I was getting really antsy just sitting there, while Bobby could be dying… or worse. I went right back up to Carol. With a name like that you’d hope for a jolly personality. I mean, have you ever met a nasty Carol? Well let me tell you what, come down to the Gary Oppen Memorial Hospital and cross it off your bucket list. 

As an excuse to wander the halls, I asked Carol to direct me to the cafeteria. She gave no words, but with the point of her finger I was off.

I passed the cafeteria and went looking for the ICU wing or post-op (like anyone would let me in), but all I found was Radiology and Orthopedics. 

I made my return to the waiting room, again passing the cafeteria. Knowing if Bobby was going to do something, well… anything, he’d have done it by now, so I decided to grab a cold Turkey sandwich and a cola. You might be wondering why I described the Turkey sandwich as cold as if it isn’t already a given, but for whatever reason, hospital sandwiches feel so cold. 

It wasn’t the greatest turkey sandwich, but it got the job done. If I woke up from surgery or was about to kick it, I’d be okay with a sandwich like that one, which is why I went back in line and got another for Bobby. 

Carol seemed pleased I actually returned as if I did go to the cafeteria; which I did. And to clarify, when I say pleased, I mean not giving a death glare as if I ate her lunch from the fridge. 

While waiting I got antsy, a bit sad, and really hungry again. Y’know, if whatever happened to Bobby wasn’t serious, I’d probably be with him right now. I’d probably be telling him about Jeffrina, The Magic Shop, and the turkey sandwich I got him because I’m such a wonderful friend. But if I can’t see him in the next few hours, what purpose would it serve just sitting in my lap, not being enjoyed? I’d be doing a disservice not only to the sandwich, but to the millions of malnourished children across the globe, all wishing they had a Turkey sandwich in their lap. What kind of person would I become if I took every Turkey sandwich in front of me

for granted? I’d be a monster, that’s what. Bobby would never accept that sandwich knowing what it’s been through— what I put it through. He would never be able to look me in the eyes again. 

I had drool practically running down my chin as I began unwrapping the plastic. I couldn’t even tell you why I wanted to eat the sandwich so badly, it was really just mediocre and I had eaten lunch at school before making my journey here. 

People say love makes you do crazy things, but being the best friend of one of the finest morons of the 21st century makes you eat their turkey sandwich in the Gary Oppen Memorial Hospital at 2:43pm as you hope they’ve suffered major injuries to justify eating said sandwich. 

Twenty odd minutes passed and I then remembered I should probably respond to my mothers incessant calls so she doesn’t do anything rash. I am supposed to be at school right now, so I can understand her worry. I guess it just slipped my mind. 

I hate to say this, but I’m partly glad this whole ordeal happened because truth be told, I have an essay due today and I don’t think my thesis statement quite meets the 600 word requirement. Thankfully nothing better spells extension like a best friend on death’s door. Man, I really owe Bobby big time. I do love him though, but not for that reason. We’ve been friends for god knows how long and I can’t imagine who I’d watch reruns of M.A.S.H with, or play frisbee in the school hallways with. Or spend morning detention with. You know what? I’m gonna go get him a full turkey sandwich. I just hope I get the chance to give it to him.


After another trip to the cafeteria, I returned to the waiting room with what is now a third Turkey sandwich as well as a chicken wrap. They are now all out of turkey sandwiches and now I seem to be all out of money. My arrival soon turned into a send off as Carol informed me that Bobby was ready for visitors. That’s a good sign. I looked back at the waiting room and was sad to leave the brunette, elderly man, and the father with the little boy who had kept me company in silence for the past few hours. They all stared at me as Carol called out my name, something they also longed for. I didn’t want to leave them with nothing, so I beat my heart with my fist, and gave a peace sign as I exited the waiting room. 

The walk to Bobby’s room felt like a dream, like my body was functioning separately from my consciousness. It really didn’t feel real. 

I knocked on the door and Bobby’s mother opened it and smiled. The first thing I noticed was a yo-yo bouncing up and down beside the bed as Bobby lay staring at the ceiling with a bandage wrapped around his head. I took a huge sigh of relief knowing he retained his motor functions, something I was especially worried about considering he has hit his head more often than the average seven year old trampolinist. Now it was time to put his memory up to the test. 

Quickly I made my way over and kneeled down next to Bobby’s hospital bed and calmly asked him what the hell happened.

Apparently, last night his mother needed him to bring up the laundry, and as he was putting it in the basket he noticed that even though he filled the normal maximum capacity of the basket, there were still clothes left in the dryer. Now, Bobby is what most people like to call… an idiot. Don’t get me wrong, I love him to death, but he’s still an idiot regardless. With that knowledge you probably would’ve guessed that he kept piling on the clothes like that one Chinese restaurant that always gives those gigantic portions. He was having trouble getting a good grip, and instead of just removing some clothes and making two rounds, he remembered a video we saw in History class of young women carrying huge urns of water on their heads, miles to and from the river. Frankly, I was befuddled that he hadn’t slept through the video. Anyway, he then proceeded to lift the basket above his head and attempt the stairs with this newfound strategy. Bobby is not exactly pageant material, and he took one wrong step on the stairs before losing his balance and plummeting forward to his demise. As Bobby was falling he could’ve dropped the basket and used his hands to break his fall, but in that fight or flight moment, Bobby refused to flee and held onto the basket, hoping for something in the form of divine intervention. Zeus obviously didn’t strike down from the heavens to save him, and instead he banged his forehead on the stairs and was rushed to the ER. They found he suffered a ‘depressed skull fracture’, which should be fully healed within a few months. So now, here we are, with Bobby in a hospital bed, hopped on narcotics, but will be just fine as he enjoys his chicken wrap.