Come As Who You Really Are

It isn’t so much the stories as submitted by my Creative Writing class although many of them are fine. It was their identity, their personal stories, that made the fiction story for a book titled “Puppies, Kittens, Laughter and Love”,

I specifically chose a Diabetes-inducing title to give my great writers lots of flexibility with the fiction but still keep the class within a reasonable range of genre for comparison.

It was a night class I taught, to be sure. These hours tend to attract older students but there were quite a few millennial types, most of them seeking what is perceived as an easy three credits.

So here ‘tis…..some stories of genius yon reader should enjoy. Each story is accompanied by my own biography of the writer.


Mary Johnson was the political activist in my Creative Writing Class. She was always arguing about Supreme Court decisions, current events, news happenings, things the politicos said.

I thought this story she submitted was sheer genius and funny as all get out. Story begins below the line.


Of course it began with Bruce Jenner and his 65 year quest to be a woman. Then we had the white woman who looked, at birth, as if she was born in Sweden to grow up to become what? A black woman?

And there were lots of jokes about it all, but of course. Suddenly people were coming out of the woodwork declaring themselves as really being dogs, or cats….in one case a tall gangly fellow painted spots on himself and said he was really a giraffe. Then there were the people who said they were not supposed to have certain limbs, such as arms, and wanted to cut them off.

So it was my husband’s 50th birthday looming soon and I decided to throw him a birthday party he would never forget. For Bill’s birthday we would be celebrating with friends and relatives with a “come as who you really are” party.

Now it was not, in no form or fashion, intentioned that we would end up as the lead story in the local news and a subject of laughable social media for many months thereafter. And there was no plan to have my dog removed from my home or for my daughter to fall in love with a man who was really born a cat. And for sure I never wanted Bill, my beloved husband and birthday boy, to get thrown in jail for animal abuse.

But I get ahead of myself.

I planned the party for approximately 50 people. I don’t know why over 400 people showed up causing my neighbors to call every law enforcement division in the state and three ambulances to stop by during the soiree.

B ill’s brothers, of course, were invited, with their wives and children, of course. Right there we got about 25 people. Bill’s mother is old and frail but she came to wish her son happy birthday. It would turn out that Bill’s mother was really born a striptease artist and goodness wasn’t it fun to see 78 year old Francis Johnson dressed in a skimpy body suit type affair, complimented by fishnet stockings and very high heels?  Somehow she managed to have a sort of “pole” crafted from old paper towel tubes so she even had her own striptease pole.

I invited ten various folks from Bill’s job and now we’re almost up to fifty people….hell I don’t know where the other 350 came from!

And goodness didn’t my alleged invitees get into the spirit of the thing? The party was occurring right at the height of the Bruce Jenner/Born Black things then frothing at the time. We had a few of Bill’s co-workers who were born women in a man’s body and Lord there were some of the ugliest “women” we’d ever seen.

You can tell if a man really has a woman hidden inside by how they dress as a woman. Yes, you may insert smile here.   Jeff Richardson, shipping manager at Bill’s job, actually had a two day old very dark stubble on his face while he donned a cheerleader’s outfit, complete with pom-poms.

“I always wanted to be out on that football field, swinging and swaying and cheering on the team,” Jeff said as he gave us a hysterical demonstration. Jeff adamantly stipulated that he was really born a cheerleader….not necessarily a female. When it was pointed out that males are cheerleaders, Jeff pooh-poohed. “It’s these gorgeous legs that make the difference,” Jeff said, holding up a very hairy, and very ugly, and very MALE leg.

There were many of the 350 uninvited guests who were evidently born female within a male body. I only know this because as I battled through the throng I kept asking who everyone was, these strangers showing up at my door in all manner of dress. Those who seemed to really be females trapped in a male body were dressed quite attractively, long lashes, perfect make-up, exquisite hair. It was when they opened their mouth that masculine sounds came out, incongruous with who was saying them, that one realized that they were males. I often muse that so many people are born encased in the wrong body and Bill’s party sure brought a lot of them out of the shadows. So to speak.

In fact I myself decided, for the party only mind you, that I was born a male trapped inside of a woman’s body. As such I managed, with an effective use of make-up, to give myself a shadow of a beard. I hoisted on some big pants with wide suspenders, over a torn white T-shirt of course, and damn if I didn’t look just like my Dad.

Bill did the same thing, dressing as the woman he was alleging he really was, born in a man’s body and father of three children. Bill was one of the uglier transgender types at the party that night though there were a few other fakes within at the 350 stranger crowd. I even pigeon-holed a couple of them and called them frauds. After having almost a hundred transgender and would-be transgender types in, on or around my property, I became a bit of an expert. “Hey, I just heard there was a party and you had to dress like the opposite sex so I did,” one such fake transgender guy told me. He had a fake eyelash sitting on his forehead and a big, black, bushy mustache, indicative of a true heterosexual male’s total lack of forethought.

We had quite a few “trans-species” types, born a dog in a man’s body, a cat in a woman’s body….that sort of thing. There were a lot of these sorts in the 350 crowd, including a gorilla, monkey, fox, snake (he actually writhed on the ground), mouse, many dogs and cats. One such cat born in a man’s body was part of the crowd we actually invited and he was a real gem.

He was Bob Bueller, a new salesman at Bill’s job. He was wearing a cat Halloween costume (as were many of the entire crowd, both the people I knew and the 350 strangers) but Bob was very creative with his acting. First of all, out of all the attendees asserting they were really born as cats, both known and strangers, only Bob was actually licking his fur.

Indeed Bob held his paw in front of his cathead attire and somehow managed to get his human tongue out of the costume’s mouth hole and he dutifully licked the fur of the costume. It looked real nice too, not all scruffy like the fake born cats.

Anyway daughter Amanda, about to graduate college and of a right age to be looking at guys, got all gooey-eyed over this Bob Bueller and I know why. Because both Bill and I always told Amanda that if she ever met a man who loved cats that she should marry him.

Of course we were kidding!

Although an argument could be made that a man who likes cats is probably a softer, gentler soul than, say, the fellow who has five pit bulls. “Think of it,” I remember telling wide-eyed Amanda, “just the act of petting a cat, making it purr….a man that does that well, hell a man who will even spend anytime at all at such an action….that guy will surely be a great husband. And lover I might add.”

I remember 16 year old Amanda guffawing but pooh-poohing me. “Daddy doesn’t like to pet Bootsie all that much but he’s a kind and gentle man.”

Well I suppose some would call Bill a kind and gentle man. Goodness we’d been married now 27 years with three relatively normal children. But at times I muse deeply it would be nice if Bill would make me purr a little more.


At any rate, Amanda really took a shine to Bill’s co-worker Bob Bueller, who declared he was born a cat.

There were quite a few other people born in a human body that was so very wrong for them. One guy asserted he was born a fish and did, amusingly, have on some sort of weird space-suit underwater diver suit which had his entire head under water within the water-filled helmet of the outfit. There were even a few goldfish swimming around within the thing.

Several folks said they were not supposed to have certain limbs, including one guy who taped his entire left arm behind his back. A little Japanese lady showed up with absolutely no feet that anyone could see. She said she was not meant to have feet, that it was custom in Japan to wrap feet until they disappear.

It was like this the entire night. It was chaos. It was Bill trying to stop them from pouring through the front door, the guy who said he was born half-cat and half-dog to the couple of guys claiming to really be Martians, complete with little antennae popping out of their heads. It was me walking around like a zombie that maybe I was born to be, asking who are you and who are you. It was Amanda joining in the licking and cleaning of Bob Bueller’s cat fur to give me creeps and it went on and on and on.

We never did figure out just how word got out about the Johnson birthday party for Bill Johnson and everyone should come dressed like who or what they were really born to be. And like I said in the day of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and the Swedish woman suddenly turned African-American and folks were raring to let loose either the REAL whatever they were born to be, a humorous slap at the whole notion, or just have a reason to dress up outrageously and have some fun. Bill and I and the around fifty people we really invited tried to keep control but they kept coming and they kept coming.

It  was Mickey, our half-dog and half we-don’t-know-what, that began the turmoil that landed us down at police headquarters and local story of the day.

Of course Mickey is a dog….I jest about him being some other kind of animal….at least half of him. But Mickey is one of the oddest looking creatures on the planet, half-Chihuahua and half some kind of dog with big round ears looking like some kind of forest fox.

Or something.

Id put a picture of Mickey here if I were Blogging but this is an assignment in my Creative Writing class so I’m thinking the teacher wants me to describe Mickey with prose.

He weighs about 30 pounds, just a small thing. He has big, HUGE, round ears that I know of no genre of canine having ears like this. His snout is long and his…well gums I’d guess you’d call them, didn’t quite cover his huge set of ugly teeth.

And yes we’d entered Mickey-thus named for his Mickey Mouse ears- into many ugly dog contests and locally he often comes in at least third….wins quite often.

So we decided that maybe Mickey was really born a leopard. I don’t know, seems I got it into my head that leopards had big round ears but whatever, Amanda managed to dye Mickey’s fur with big round spots of a different color than his coat and alongside those big round ears….I tell you….well one might not know just what Mickey was in the animal kingdom but no one would immediately peg him as a dog.

We weren’t expecting over 400 people that night and for sure Mickey was not happy about it. Add to Mickey’s ire, these humans pouring into his home uninvited did not even look like any humans he’d ever seen and of course, Mickey did not look like any dog these strange humans have ever seen.

Tt began with a snapping here, a growl there. As Mickey roamed the rooms and backyard of our home to try to figure out what was going on he began to nip the ankles of the strange humans. The nipping morphed into nasty, growling confrontations and in due course the house was in uproar and chaos.

Yes somebody called 911, not that anybody paid any attention to me and Bill, the home’s owners. Amanda was running all over the place trying to capture the now very angry Mickey all the while keeping careful eye on her beloved cat-man, Bob Bueller from the sales department.

If it sounds like it would have been a mess to sort it all out, know that it was. Two cops stormed into our home, by the time they arrived the whole house was in a brawl, people with missing limbs fighting with women born as men. The cat people took on the dog people, who knows why. Some said it was just a game but they were really biting each other!

The guy with the goldfish helmet got bit by Mickey, drew some blood though bear in mind here, Mickey is just a small dog, 30 pounds. But the goldfish helmet guy got furious with Mickey and got down on the floor with him to ….well I don’t know what the hell he was doing on the floor but when Mickey saw that helmet with a human face inside covered with water he went crazy. THIS THING, Mickey knew, was a danger to home and humans.


So Mickey was attacking everyone in sight when the first two cops arrived and just as soon as they saw him they called in for backup. “Strange unknown animal attacking all humans at some kind of party down at 908 Willow,” was how they sent out word. “Better send animal experts and might need to shoot this thing.”


The thought of someone shooting Mickey caused Amanda to scream in denial. Bob Bueller, the cat-man, tried to calm her down. Mickey saw Bueller hurting his favorite human and headed toward him to protect Amanda. Bill and I both saw Mickey and we ran after him, hoping to catch him and stop the riot.


Only both of us lunged at Mickey at the same time and we are not lightweights, please forgive. Mickey yelped as if we were killing him and we almost were.


At the exact second of the yelps the animal control people streamed into the house and before even knowing that Mickey was the problem they lasso-ed the giraffe, the mule and the guy with the fishbowl helmet on his head.   These were clearly dangerous animals, or so they must have considered.


Bill and I were both charged with abusing an animal, this after it was determined that the thing with the spots and big round ears was really the pet dog. I must suppose it would be okay for Bill and I to abuse the Tasmanian Devil, or whatever the hell they thought Mickey was.


Amanda is now engaged to be married to Bob Bueller, who is looking forward to the wedding and wearing a tuxedo. Bob asserts he was born a tuxedo cat….black fur with white bib.


Bill and I got through the animal abuse charge as once the truth was out, the charges were dropped.


The local radio stations and newspapers covered the nutty party at 908 Willow until we had to disconnect the home phone and put blocks on the cell phones.


Seems Amanda put up a notice about the “come as you were to born to be” party on her Facebook page, displaying to all of her friends instead of the group that we specifically wanted to invite.


Evidently plenty of folks thought it was a great idea and once we had time to laugh about it, Bill and I pondered the very notion of being born something else than what the mirror, AND YOUR DNA, plainly said you were.


The party at 908 Willow is a sign of things to come, insert bittersweet smile here.


As for Mickey, well those painted-on leopard spots never faded away as Amanda assured us they would. So now we got this creepy little dog with big round ears, teeth not covered by any kind of canine skin….now with big round spots.


We tell everybody that Mickey is what he was born to be.


We just don’t know what that is.




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