[A continuation of the original Motor Chums (then Moter Boys) sketch, written 15 October 1970.]
“I should have known you’d be a coward, Tom Wilshire,” Alvin sneered. “You and the rest of your gang. Well, I’ll get even with you, you white livered sneak.”
“Get even with me for what?” remarked Tom Wilshire softly.
“You motherfucker! I haven’t forgotten that cigar…”
“Well, really,” admonished Tom, “You knew that smoking was against the school rules.”
“So what! You were smoking too.”
“That’s irrelevant. The mere fact that others were breaking the rules was no reason for you to do so also. The rules were meant to be obeyed…”
“Don’t be so goddamned goody-goody. You didn’t have any business giving me an exploding cigar! I might have been killed.”
“I give you an exploding cigar! Hell, no! It was your guilty conscience, the knowledge that you were doing wrong, that made that cigar explode. That’s the scientific explanation.”
“God, you’re a bastard, Tom Wilshire,” snarled Alvin.
“Besides, the existence of that cigar is doubtful in the first place,” interposed Harry Fletcher. “You cannot show us the cigar now; we only have your word for it that there ever was such a cigar. Your perception of events differs from ours, and since events only occur within the mind, the events that are real for you may be fantasy for us. Perhaps for you that cigar exploded, but it didn’t explode for us.”
“You didn’t light it, that’s why! I’m gonna report you all!”
“Well, I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” laughed Tom Wilshire. “I know some teachers who would find an account of the conversation we just had about the game very interesting.”
“Besides that, there’s the metaphysical question of whether that cigar ever had an actual existence in reality.”
“What Harry means,” amplified Ned, “Is that there are five of us who didn’t see the cigar and only one who did.”
“You’re outnumbered,” said Tom.
“And surrounded,” said Harry.
“And who’s dat teacher gwine to believe, a good kid lak Tom or white trash lak you,” put in Ersatz.
“You stinking n-gg-r,” snarled Alvin, “you keep out of this.”
“And anyway, if you tell anyone about that cigar, I’m gonna beat the hell out of you,” put in Dick Trefoil.
“Dat goes double fo’ me,” shouted Ersatz.
“Now we don’t want any violence,” said Tom. “But really, Alvin, that remark about Ersatz stinking was uncalled for. We demand an apology.”
“Yeah! Ersatz don’t stink any more than any other coon,” said Dick.
(“Thank you fo’ dem kind remarks. I ain’t never gwine to forget dem,” said Ersatz.)
“I won’t apologize to any fucking n-gg-r,” shouted Alvin, and he turned to run.
But the others had formed a circle around him. Alvin saw at once that there was no way to leave without a fight and he was too great a coward to fight five at once, especially if two of them were Dick Trefoil and Ersatz Simpson. But like all cowards, he possessed a certain shrewdness that allowed him to get himself out of difficulties such as the one he now found himself in.
“All right, what do you want?” he demanded.
“We want you to apologize to Ersatz,” said Tom Wilshire.
“Or to be more precise,” added Harry Fletcher, “we want you to sign this written apology here.”
Alvin Dodge looked around him desperately. He saw no chance of help coming. He turned back to the Moter Boys and said, “Let me see that paper.”
Tom Wilshire handed him the apology he was to sign. Alvin took it ungraciously and began to read it, but before he was even half-way finished he grew red in the face and hurled the document to the ground. “I wouldn’t sign that fucking paper to save my life,” he exclaimed.
“A pity,” remarked Harry Fletcher.
“Speaking of fucking—” said Ned.
“Yes,” said Tom, how would it look if we were to tell—say—your parents—what movie that was you really went to Friday night when you said you were watching Mickey Mouse Meets Frankenstein.”
The bully went white. “My God,” he gasped, “they’d cut off my allowance.” He paused. “You dirty sneak, if you tell—”
“Nobody said anything about telling,” said Harry. “Tom was only speaking hypothetically.”
“So, if you sign this paper, there’s no reason why anyone should know where you were Friday,” said Tom, handing Alvin the paper after picking it up from the ground where Alvin had thrown it.
“Shut up you bastards,” groaned that lad. “Where’s a pen?” Quickly the business was completed and Tom pocketed the paper.
“Now, get outa here,” said Dick Trefoil, hurling the bully out of the circle.
“You’ll pay for this,” screamed Alvin back.
“Remember what happened last time you said that,” called Tom, and then the whole group collapsed in laughter.
Finally Ned said, “Hey, Tom. Why didn’t you go along with Alvin Dodge’s plan? You know that we have to win that game or we’re in a hole. Why didn’t—”
Tom Wilshire interrupted. “Have you ever known me to do anything wrong since I became leader of the Moter Boys?”
The smaller lad replied, “What do you mean, ‘wrong’?”
“Did I ever do anything stupid?”
“Don’t I always know what I’m doing?”
“I guess so.”
“Well then, there you are.”
“But why didn’t you want to follow Alvin’s scheme?”
“I had my reasons.”
“What reasons,” demanded Ned impatiently.
“All right, lesson one. First, Alvin is not very bright, and his scheme wasn’t foolproof.”
“He does better’n me in school,” interrupted Dick Trefoil.
“So?” said Tom. “Second, most probably he just wanted to get us in trouble. No doubt he would have reported us as soon as we carried out the plan. Third, the fool didn’t notice that Mr. Deraton was listening when he proposed it. Of course I had to object. My God!” [15 Oc 1970]