An Embarrassing Day

Thursday afternoon, Becky Lynn was playing in her backyard with Otis when her neighbors--the twins Jack and Jenny--wandered over with mischievous smiles and stood on either side of their friend.

"Who's Becky?" asked Jack.

Since Becky Lynn had lived next door to the twins their entire lives, and they had played together a gazillion times, the question was a bit odd. "I am. You know that!"

"Who's Becky?" asked Jenny.

She did an about-face and glared at Jenny. "I am, you goofus!"

"Who's Becky?" asked Jack again.

"I am!"

"Who's Becky??"

"I am!!"

"Who's Becky? Who's Becky?? Who's Becky???"

"I am! I am!! I am!!!"

The twins were a year younger than Becky Lynn, so sometimes they annoyed her by acting like little kids. Jack and Jenny's older brother and sister--Leroy and Melody--were watching the whole thing from their backyard, laughing. "They're talking about a new board game we bought last night," explained Melody over the fence. She was a few years older than Becky Lynn, so wasn't nearly as annoying as Jack and Jenny. "It's called Who's Becky? Would you like to come over and play it with us?"

"Mo-m! I'm going over to Jack and Jenny's!" Becky Lynn and the twins hurried next door, where Leroy and Melody were setting up the game. It really was called Who's Becky?, but the face on the board was that of a grown woman who didn't look anything like Becky Lynn. There was a spinner mounted on the picture's nose, and the rest of the body wasn't there at all--just an outline of where a body might be.

"Here's how you play," started Leroy. "Each of us chooses the outfit of one character they'd like to turn Becky into. There's a doctor, an airline pilot, a hockey player, a teacher, a ..."

"She can see that much," interrupted Melody. "We take turns spinning, so each of us can place the part of Becky's outfit that their spin points at. You might get the bodies, legs, shoes, hat, or whatever your character is holding in her hand. If the spinner points toward the red triangle, you lose a turn, but if it lands on blue, you get to place any two pieces you'd like. Whoever completes their character first wins!"

"And if you already have a hat on the picture when my spinner points to the hats, I get to knock you off! Boom!" burst out Jack enthusiastically.

"No, you don't!" said Jenny.

"Yes, I do!"

"No, you don't!"

Leroy, who was already a teenager, put his brother and sister in a wrestling hold as he played the referee, "The rules say that you do get to knock other player's pieces off the board--but only if you do it politely!"

"What character would everyone like to be?" asked Melody.

Becky Lynn had decided as soon as she had seen the game. "I'm going to be a big league baseball player!" She began to assemble her pieces alongside the board: the jersey and pants from a baseball uniform, shoes, cap, and a bat.

Jack made a crazy face as he waved his arms in the air. "But I'm going to turn Becky into a fisherman with slimy guts all over her hands! Slime! Slime!! Sli-me!!!" He seized hold of the fishing rod, and began putting his pieces in order.

Jenny made a sour face at Jack. Sometimes it was hard to believe the two were twins. "No, you're not. Once I'm through with Becky, she'll be the most beautiful movie star in Hollywood!" She found the golden high heels, diamond tiara, and the rest of the star's finery.

"I'll choose the doctor this time," said Melody. "Maybe Becky will be a world famous surgeon!"

"Not if I can help it!" responded Leroy. "I'll choose the chef because I'm hungry!" Leroy was always hungry.

Melody knew how to take a hint. "Mo-m! Leroy needs a snack again!"

Leroy continued, "Maybe Becky could have her own cooking show on TV! I could co-star as the phantom diner!"

Jenny smiled enthusiastically. "Then Becky would be a movie star!"

Jack always pounced when his sister got excited, "No, she wouldn't! Movie stars don't have to cook, they're so rich."

"But maybe she'd want to cook!"

"But maybe she wouldn't!"

The kids' mom came in with a snack--strawberry gelatin with whipped cream on top. "Oh boy! My favorite!" exclaimed Jack. He lowered his mouth to the bowl and began lapping up the whipped cream, but Jenny reached behind his head and pushed his face all the way in. Jack popped back up, wearing a white beard.

"You two get along! If you can't play nice together, don't play at all!" Jack's mom wiped his face clean. "Now fill your mouths with enough of this gelatin so you all stop talking, and I'm sure everyone will be happier."

"Ye-s, mo-m."

Becky Lynn started the game. The spinner pointed toward the hats, so she placed her baseball cap on the picture. Jenny went next, and put on the golden high heels. Then Jack got the fishing rod, Melody lost a turn, and Leroy knocked off Jack's fishing rod and replaced it with a frying pan.

"Hey!" complained Jack.

Jenny chimed in innocently, "I guess I'll play by your rules, after all."

The turns circled round and round, until they had each spun several times. Suddenly Jack--on one of his turns--didn't even look at the spinner, but instead reached across the table to flick Becky Lynn's nose with the tip of his forefinger.

"Hey!" Becky Lynn closed her eyes in defense, but when they reopened all she could see was a blur, gradually slowing down until she recognized the spinner on her own nose! Becky Lynn was inside the game!

As the spinner slowed to a stop, Becky Lynn could hear the roar of a crowd, then cautiously looked around to realize that she was up to bat in a real big league baseball game! And he-re's the pitch. Becky Lynn swung with all her might.

Zi-ng! The fishing rod she was holding cast a lure toward the shortstop. He turned to his right, and the hook snagged the seat of his pants. "You're out!"

Becky Lynn screamed at the sky, "Ja-ck!"

"What?" asked Jack innocently. Becky Lynn was back at the table.

"You know what!" said Leroy as he put his brother in another wrestling hold. "No more spinning the guest's nose!"

Once again the turns circled round and round, until they had each spun several more times. Suddenly Becky Lynn absent-mindedly slipped her fingers into a bowl of gelatin. "Yuck!" she exclaimed while closing her eyes with a sour face. "It's slimy!" And when she opened her eyes, Becky Lynn realized that she was no longer at Jack and Jenny's house, but in an operating room!

What to do? Becky Lynn could play baseball, but she could never operate on the insides of a person! Feeling her hand on something warm, all she could think of was the "slimy guts" Jack had been talking about. She stood frozen, not daring to look down at what her hands were into.

"Doctor! Doctor!" Becky Lynn slowly turned her head toward the nurse. "Doctor, aren't you going to add the vegetables?"

"Huh?" Becky Lynn summoned the courage to look down, and saw that her hands weren't warm because they were operating on a body, but because they were holding a frying pan. She closed her eyes and clenched her fists, "Ar-gh!"

"Mo-m! We need a new gelatin!" Leroy's voice called Becky Lynn back to the game.

"And with extra whipped cream!" added Jack.

The turns continued to circle round and round, until it seemed they had each spun a gazillion times. Finally, Becky Lynn made the spin she had been hoping for--the bat! She replaced the frying pan with her baseball bat, stood up, and twirled a little victory dance: "Ye-s!"

But as she finished twirling, Becky Lynn realized that she wasn't at the twins' house any longer. She was back at the big league game! And with another chance to bat! He-re's the pitch. Becky Lynn swung with all her might.

A base hit into left field! Becky Lynn dropped her bat to begin running toward first base, but fell flat on her face! She looked down at her feet: high heels! "Je-nny!"

"What did I do?" Jenny sounded confused.

Becky Lynn burst out, "I don't like this game! I'm going home to watch Rosco." She marched over to the door, did an about-face, and announced to the entire family, "From now on, I'm just going to be me! Not a movie star or a doctor, not a fisherman or a chef, not even a baseball player. I'm just me!" She threw open the door and walked out.

With confused eyes, the kids looked round and round, back and forth at each other, until finally Jenny asked Melody, "Then who is Becky?"

"Who knows?" answered Jack. "But can I have her whipped cream?"

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