Author's Note: This is a one shot with the McKenna tv show. Brick was simply too much too resist for me. It deals with the way children views the world, and how they think about the things they see.
Warning: The warning is placed here for vinsmouse, who wanted a spew warning here, claiming it might be a bad idea to drink while reading the funnier parts. So please keep in mind that drinking any kind of beverage while reading this, might be hazzard'ous to the health of your screen.
Disclaimer: I do not own McKenna, I do not make any money on this and I have no hope of ever making enough money to own McKenna. No permanent harm will come to Brick, I will not leave him in any mess Dale can't haul him out of, but both he and his Mustang might require some tinkering once I'm done…
Do It Like The Professionals
Children are very easily impressionable and they see everything thought they don't always understand it. For an adult it can be very hard to know what a child has been thinking. Jack always used to say that no matter how clearly he explained something to us three kids, we'd still go thinking three different things from it. It's why it's sometimes very hard to figure out just why a child did what they did, because to a child it really did seem to be a good idea.
Hearing the phone ring inside the house Jack hurried in to answer, the tack for the mare he had been saddling still in his hand.
"Hello, McKenna outfitters," he answered.
"Mr McKenna," he recognized the voice and didn't like it. "This is Mrs Loretta from school."
"What did he do this time?" he asked not wasting any time on pleasantries. When they called in the middle of the day it could only be Brick. The boy was just about to turn nine and already he was more than a handful. He hadn't been in school more than a week before Jack got his first phone call about him. It wasn't until then he got his first phone call about Guy either. Guy never seemed to get into trouble that way until Brick started school. His oldest was a heck of a fighter and would prove it now and again when Brick had managed to get himself into a mess. He was small for his age that one, thin as a rail and apparently looked like an easy target for bullies. Combined with his attitude and lust for adventure, his wild and crazy ideas Guy had to jump into defence of him every once in a while. Sometimes they called because Guy had gotten rough with his brother when he tried to stop him from one of his more foolish ideas. Guy meant well and he took his responsibility of looking after his brother seriously, but he was also a child who could get mighty angry when his brother didn't listen to him, and Brick just wasn't any good at listening to reason.
"I'm afraid Brick got himself in a bit of trouble today," she stated.
"I figured as much, what did he do?" he asked, hanging the tack over a chair.
"I think it would be better if you came here Mr McKenna," she decided. "We have to ask you to come and pick him up anyway. He got hurt, it doesn't appear serious and we have him at the nurses office, but you might want to take him to your doctor."
"I'll be there as soon as I can," he promised. He'd have to take the mare back to the stables first, he couldn't leaver her standing where she was. He also had to get a substitute for the tour he would be taking out that afternoon. Luckily he had a friend who would jump in and take the tours when something was up with the boys, or if he just needed an extra hand with something. Thus even though he hurried it was nearly forty-five minutes before he made it into the school building. At least his wife had their baby girl with her, and it was probably good she wasn't there now. She wasn't really good at handling it when Brick had gotten himself into trouble, she tended to overreact.
Mrs Loretta met him in the corridor after he had entered the school. She was usually the one to contact the parents.
"Now, what's going on here?" he asked.
"It's been a little hard to piece the information together, but one of the boys had brought a pair of roller skates to school," she explained. "And I don't even pretend to understand what they were doing, but a half a dozen of boys were playing with the skates, taking turns. Brick when it was his turn went down the incline behind the cafeteria building and ran right into the wall."
"Is he okay?" he asked worriedly. Running right into a brick wall on roller skates sounded like it could be serious.
"The school nurse has been taking care of him," she assured him. "Says he should be fine, but he's a little banged up. We thought it was best to call you though."
"What did the owner of the roller skates have to say?" he asked as he followed her down the corridor.
"I haven't been able to get much of anything out of the other boys," she sighed. "All the boy who had brought the skates had to say was that he'd get even with Brick if he they were broken, but that's boys for you."
"Yeah, that's boys," he agreed. Entering the office his son looked like any other eight year old who'd gotten himself into a bit of a bother. He was sitting on a chair and he had obviously been crying, with fresh tear tracks running down his cheeks. It looked as if he had hit the wall with his face first, both cheeks were scraped and his nose was red and a little swollen. The nurse had stuck a large band aid over his right eye, and it looked like he had a nasty cut there. His hands were skinned and cut too, and the knees of his jeans were nearly torn away, showing more band aids through the tears.
When he saw his father he sniffed and his lower lip started trembling, obviously torn between his desire for comfort and his urge to act older and more mature.
"Now what have you done to yourself son?" Jack sighed, kneeling down in front of him, and then the little boy in his son won out and he threw his arms around his neck while tears started flowing again.
"Easy now Brick, it's okay," he assured him. "No need to cry now is there."
"But it hurts," the little boy mumbled, his lower lip still trembling.
"I'm not surprised," he mused. "Not with that road rash you've got all over your face. What were you thinking there Brick? I hear you ran right into a wall on roller skates. What was the problem, couldn't figure out how to stop?"
"I knew how to stop," he sniffed. "It's easy, you just stop."
"Then why didn't you stop before you hit the wall?" he frowned. He thought for sure it must have been a mistake.
"Don't wanna say," Brick sniffed again, and wiped at his eye. "I wanna go home, my head hurts."
"He's got a lump there just over the hair line," the nurse explained. "A pretty good sized one at that. And I'm not sure, but the cut over his eye might need a stitch or two, if for no other reason than so it won't leave such a bad scar."
"I'll take him by the doctor and see about it," Jack decided, then turned to Mrs. Loretta. "Could you see if Guy could go home with Tommy today? My wife isn't home so there won't be anyone there when he finishes for the day."
"I'll see to it," she promised. "Do you think Brick will be ready for school tomorrow, or would you prefer to keep him for a day or two?"
"Probably best to keep him home tomorrow at least," he decided. "I'll let you know."
"Then thank you for coming in," she smiled. "And you take care of yourself Brick, let's not see anything like this for a while, huh?"
"Fine," he mumbled, head down and his blonde locks hanging over his face.
"Come on now son," Jack took his son by the hand to walk him out of the school, thanking the nurse as well as Mrs Loretta.
He took his son to the doctor, and then picked up his oldest from his friends place on the way back, the two children for once sitting quiet in pickup truck with him, though Guy tried to get Brick to tell him about what had happened. The boy was not very forthcoming with the information.
The doctor had given him three stitches to close the cut over his eye, and bandaged both his knees and his hands. Then suggested that Jack kept him in bed for a day for while he had escaped a concussion he still had a fair sized lump on his head and a rather bad headache. Between the experience of running into a wall and the way his head was hurting he was also a little cranky, though the lollipop and the plastic bravery medal the doctor had given him had cheered him up a little. He still didn't want to talk about why he had done it, and he still looked on the verge of crying every now and again so once they got home Jack put them both at the kitchen table. Putting a glass of milk in front of each of the boy he placed a plate of cookies between them.
"Now Brick, I'd like to hear more about this business today," he urged. "If you knew how to stop on them roller-skates, then why'd you run into the wall?" He sat down opposite the boy and watched how he fidgeted. When Brick didn't want to tell him what he had been up to he always dropped his head forward, hiding his face with those blonde curls of his.
"Don't want to say," he mumbled.
"Well, I want to hear, so you tell me this, what were you doing?"
"He was being stupid," Guy put in.
"Was not!" Brick cried angrily.
"Guy, Brick, that's enough," he told them sternly. "Guy, you be quiet while I talk to your brother, and Brick, you tell me what you were doing right now."
"Jerry brought his roller skates," Brick mumbled, fiddling with the cookie in his hands. "We were playing with them, and I wasn't gonna run into the wall, not really."
"Then what were you going to do?" Jack pressed.
"Well, we put a bit of board against it," Brick admitted. "I was gonna go down the hill, and then up the board and go riding up the wall."
"That's stupid!" Guy declared with feeling.
"Was not!" Brick dropped the cookie he had been fiddling with in his milk as he turned to his brother.
"It was too!" Guy insisted. "Really stupid!"
"That's enough Guy, I want to hear the rest of this," Jack gave his oldest a warning look while Brick frowned watching the cookie that was now floating in his milk. Jack fished it out for him and he frowned at it for a moment before he ate it.
"Now, listen to me son, what made you think that would work?" he asked him. "You ought to have known it wouldn't. You just can't put something to a wall and think you'll go riding up it, don't you know that?"
"I saw them do it on the TV," Brick defended himself with a stubborn set to his jaw. "It worked for them. Why shouldn't it work for me?"
"You saw them do that trick on the TV?" Jack asked to be sure and Brick nodded, his soft curls bouncing up and down on his head.
"It did work on the TV," he nodded. "It worked great, so I thought I could do it too."
"Brick, I need you to listen to me now," Jack reached across the table to cup his chin gently in a hand so that he'd keep his attention on me. "Just because you see someone do something on the TV son, it doesn't mean you can do it. Now, I know you can see them do some pretty advanced stuff, but it's not always what it looks like. Whoever you saw do that, he wasn't just putting a board against a wall and going down on roller skates. They use a lot of tricks when they do those things, and the ones that do them, they're professionals. Do you understand what that means?"
"Don't know," he mumbled.
"It's easy Brick, when you see something like that on the TV, you have to remember that the one doing it is a professional, not just anyone can do it. If you try to do something just because you saw some do it on a TV show, you could get badly hurt. You could be hurt a lot worse than today. Now the next time you see someone do something you think looks fine, you try and remember today and how much it hurt, and then you think about how I told you they're all professionals," he urged.
"Roadrunner's a professional?" Brick asked with his mouth dropping open.
"Roadrunner?" Jack blinked, he thought he was used to how the boy thought, but this one took him by surprise.
"Uhu," Brick nodded, his head bobbing up and down. "It was Roadrunner I saw do it on the TV, are your sure he's a professional?"
"You saw Roadrunner pull that stunt on the TV?" Jack repeated, the boy couldn't have thought he could repeat the action of some cartoon character…and yet the boy was nodding.
"He did," Brick informed him. "And then the Coyote tried it too, but he did like I did and just hit the wall. I guess the Coyote ain't a professional, huh?"
"No son, he's not," he found himself at a loss of what to say.
Guy was simply sitting there shaking his head, and Jack couldn't blame him. Brick had tried some pretty crazy ideas before, but it was the first time he'd try to copy the act of a cartoon character, and he just hoped it would be the last time.
"Come now son," he decided seeing that the boy had finished his milk and his share of the cookies. "Let's put you to bed and hope that takes care of the way you're head's hurting." He lifted him up and carried him to the bed room. Hearing Guy muttering something about foolish brothers behind him. Putting his son to bed he was surprised that the boy didn't argue, but then he couldn't be feeling very well.
He shook his head again as he left the room, copying acts from cartoon characters, there was just no telling what that boy would get up to, but suddenly he had a feeling that what he had seen so far was really just the start, and what was to come would be even worse…
Roadrunner did it indeed….
Please review, the Cricket is hungry…