Those Zany Kansanians

As I mentioned before, the latest show I've been working on at the high school has been "The Wizard of Oz". To all of our surprise, everything was completed before opening night! I don't think I have ever worked so hard on a show at the high school (and this is my 23rd show there!). Due to a shortened schedule and the ridiculous amount of scenery the show required, I put in over 60 hours there last week (I usually put in about 25-35 per week), and 2 of my coworkers each worked over 80 hours last week!

So how did I get through the hundreds of hours working on this show? I made up a story! If anyone has read or seen "Wicked", then you know that there already is a back-story about the witches. But mine is a background story of all of the people in Kansas. It all started when a few actors asked, "How did Dorothy end up living with her Auntie Em anyway?" In my exhaustion and desperation for something else to do besides work, I just made up a story right there on the spot. The kids actually seemed to enjoy it, and they made me write it all down after I told it. I figured that if it's written down anyway, I should post it. Forgive me if it's cheesy and stupid- I just made it up for high schoolers in a weak moment!

Here is a family tree to help you alls keep track of (my theories about) the characters:

(Sorry for the crudeness of this diagram. Once I get a computer, I'll try to return my pictures to the super-high quality that you expect!) :)

Small-town farm kids Emily and Stew met in their 10th-grade English class. They bonded over prepositions and they felt a strong, familiar connection. Stew had a terrible lazy-eye, and although Emily never knew if he was looking into her eyes or just over her right shoulder, she was smitten. By the fall of their senior year, they knew they wanted to get married. Well, they "knew" both because of their strong love for each other, but also because Emily was pregnant. They decided to marry at their graduation party, but when they told Emily's parents, they were strongly against it. They forbid the union adamantly, saying the teens would ruin their lives. So they did what anyone would do in that situation: they fled to Vegas to elope.

When they got back, they excitedly told everyone they knew, including Emily's parents, who were mortified. It was then that they told the young couple that they were actually... siblings! Apparently when Stew was born and they saw his lazy-eye, they had to give him up for adoption because, in those days, the lazy-eye was legend to be a sign of the "Curse of the Spider-Monkey" which would cause 7 years of bad crops! Emily's parents weren't the richest farmers on the block, so they couldn't take a chance with the curse. Who knew that the siblings would reunite at the same high school?? (Although, it should have been anticipated since there was only 1 high school within a 50-mile radius of the town... and Stew had been taken in by the family next door).

Before their baby was born, Stew and Emily decided to be its mother/father/aunt/uncle, but they, understandably, got divorced. The baby ended up being a he/she (which can happen when siblings have babies). They called him/her Aeryn (pronounced "Aaron" or "Erin"). By the time Aeryn was 12, Emily and Stew knew that they weren't giving little Aeryn everything he/she needed, so they decided to let him/her join the circus. That might sound cruel, but it had actually been Aeryn's dream since he/she was really little. He/she felt at home at the circus, where everyone was "quirky", like him/her, and he/she not only got to be famous, but he/she got to be wealthy (as opposed to a poor-farmer's son/daughter).

After Aeryn was gone, Stew and Emily realized it was time to move on with their lives, which was much to the delight of a woman named Marty (short for Martalynn). Marty had been Stew's 3rd-grade teacher and, like with most women, the little boy with the lazy-eye caught her fancy. At first she just thought he was just a cute kid, but she realized years later when she found out he was divorced, that she might be in love with him. She "conveniently" ran into him one day at the local cherry-pit-spitting hole and they were engaged within 2 weeks. I mean, what boy wouldn't want to marry his 3rd-grade teacher?

They wanted a baby right away, especially since Marty was over 40-years-old by this point, but it appeared that all of the stress of Stew's youth caused him to start "shooting blanks", as they say. When Marty eventually got pregnant, there actually ended being a paternity suit because Stew's adopted-parents, knowing the situation, thought that maybe Marty had gotten pregnant from their farmhand Cliff (but they were just good friends!). After a brief stint on Maury Povich and some tests, sure enough, they learned it was Stew's kid after all!

Marty and Stew named their kid Dorothy.

When Emily heard that her brother/ex-husband Stew had a new wife and daughter, she got really sad and turned to her oldest and most loyal friend- the bottle- for help. Before long, she found herself doing keg-stands at her knitting club, and she knew she had a problem. Aeryn was also worried about his/her mother.

Meanwhile, there was a man named Henry Gale in town who ran the local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. Henry was a good man and his story, like everyone else's in town, was full of its fair share of drama. He himself had turned to the drink at the ripe age of 13, after his favorite Pig, "Whitey" (short for Hogsworth "The Other White Meat" Gale), got a rare toenail fungus the day before the State Fair and so he lost "Prize Pig" to Oinky McPiggy, his life-long rival. Henry couldn't deal with his own disappointment, let alone Whitey's, so he drown his troubles in Miller High Life, the champagne of beers.

But he and Whitey both straightened their lives out, and they were both clean (of alcoholism and fungus) by the time Henry was 16-years-old. Henry worked his way through business school by being a contortionist in the circus, where he happened to meet and befriend Aeryn, of all people. After college, Henry moved to New York City and became a Wall Street mogul, but quickly realized that the fancy cars and string of hot girlfriends weren't fulfilling him. It was around then that his parents retired, giving their family farm to Henry, their only legitimate son. Henry took this turn of events as a sign, quit his job, and donated his millions to a home for Runaway Boys, because he had always wished he had the guts to be one himself when he was younger. He moved back to the small farming town in Kansas where he grew up, and hired his "brothas from different mothas", Hunk, Zeke, and Hickory, to help him run it. They lived a simple life, but a good one.

Aeryn, remembering Henry from their days in the circus together, called him up and begged him to help his/her mother, Emily. Henry, being the nice guy he is, told Aeryn to invite Emily to the weekly AA meetings. When Emily staggered into group that first night, Henry took one look at her and knew that she was The One; the woman he had been looking for his whole life. Although it was against the AA rules, he asked her out and, after a brief engagement where Emily gave up the booze for good, they were married. They lived an ideal life on the Gale-family farm, despite Kansas' proclivity towards tornados.

Now that they all finally had stable families, Stew, Marty, Emily, and Henry could hang out in a drama-free environment... until that fateful day that Stew fell into a grain elevator. Luckily he could live inside of it for several months (even years)- feeding on the grain and such- but unfortunately they had never built any easy way for him to escape until the grain got used. Marty threw some of his favorite books in there and he saw that time as the "vacation he's needed for years".

Soon after Stew fell into the grain elevator, Marty noticed some strange crop circles on their land. When she went to investigate, she got abducted by aliens! Alien-abduction wasn't a completely unusual thing in their town, and the people were usually released by the aliens within a few years, so no one worried really about it. Actually, there had been rumors that Marty was already returned, and due to the greenness the aliens made her skin, she became known as the "Wicked Witch" (which would make the Witch's bitterness towards Dorothy make sense, right? All she wanted was for Dorothy to love her!).

As a result of these events, Dorothy was left as a 14-year-old with no biological parents physically present in her life. Emily and Henry gladly took her in, not only because they were Dorothy's closest family members, but also because Dorothy's dog, Toto, was great entertainment at neighborhood barbeques (since he could sing, juggle, and tell fortunes). Then you know the rest of the story as it's told in "The Wizard of Oz".

The End.

Whoa, somehow that story only took like 10 minutes to say out loud. :) Every time someone tried to argue me with some sort of historical inaccuracy of my story, I would scream out, "Listen! I know this is how it happened- I was there!" Hm, does that say anything about my mental-state at work last week? :)

I still have to figure out how Professor Marvel figures into the story, but I think that's more than enough for now. If you want to actually hear a well-written story, come see "The Wizard of Oz"!


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All works copyrighted by Ciara Stella