To Be a Kid in a Seventies Chapter Book

My name is Kit, which is short for Francesca! The boys I play ball with call me “Attila,” though, ‘cause I’m a real killer!

I live in The City! Anybody who’s anybody lives in The City! (Unless they live in the country, where people act pretty much the same but say “reckon” more.)

I just started saying “damn” and “hell!” They’re the best damn words in the world! Also my Gram-Gram and I watched an old movie on TV, and now I call all my friends “sweetheart” like the old man in it!

My best friend’s name is something like Dodger or Hammy, and no one knows their real name. Not even their parents. They say I shouldn’t break into their house through the fire escape anymore, if I want babka, I need to call first.

I either have a little brother or an older sister. If I have a little brother, he’s a goody-two-shoes and the cat likes him better than me and I hate him, and he also doesn’t have a real name, just a nickname I gave him, and it’s something like Stink Face. But he’s still my constant companion, probably because he’s smarter than me and has money.

If I have a sister, she’s a real priss who likes boys, and she’s always talking on the phone about Roger or Burt, and we are banned from the public pool for fighting with the lifeguard about having to wear swim caps.

My mother is an actress or a singer. She mostly does commercials. My father either doesn’t exist, or he works as a lawyer or on Madison Avenue. We either have a lot of money, but act like we don’t, or we don’t have a lot of money, and it’s not an issue, except when it is.

My mentor’s name is Old Mac, and boy, did they set me straight about about the power of friends and a good, solid work ethic.

Once I punched Rodney Satterfield right in the nose!

Things just aren’t the same since we lost Mitchie. (Mitchie either died tragically, or moved to Connecticut.)

I still feel real bad about shoplifting those false eyelashes, even if I did give them to my mom. Maybe especially because I gave them to my mom.

Boy, I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it! My teacher’s a man this year!

I don’t smoke yet. In my grade Sheila, Francine, and Linda M. are the only girls that do. Hammy and I once stole some cigarettes from my mom when we thought she was at Analysis, but she came home and caught us and made us smoke the whole pack. Boy, did that make us ralph!

One day last March, Hammy and Diana and I split a cab across the park, but then Diana, whose mom is a Women’s Libber, told the driver he was a male chauvinist pig, and he kicked us out. Then when we were walking through the park, we found the bag of money, and well, that’s kind of how the whole thing started…

Wendy Hollingsworth is a real snot-nose. She wears a bra!

Dickie Albertson said I have too many freckles to ever be pretty, but Guy Wilkerson, my cousin Donna’s boyfriend, who’s fourteen, said I “might just turn into a good-lookin’ chick” when I get older.

Aw hell, my mom’s such a drag! I think I’ll break into one of the most guarded institutional buildings in The City and just hang out there for a while.

Old Man Papadakis who runs the diner says I’ve got swagger! So much better than Old Man Gruber the grocer, who always tells me “I oughta tan your hide!”

Can you believe Jakey-Snakey in the seventh grade says he sneaked into a dirty movie?

Summer has the most far-out clothes I’ve ever seen! But Marcy says that’s because she lives with her Gramma and Pop-Pop who feel bad for her because her mom ran away to live on a farm with hippies.

Linda S. asked if I wanna come to Puerto Rico with her this summer, but my mom said no. So I’m either gonna go to camp, or hang out on the fire escape spitting gum into people’s hair.

Somebody better tell Sharon she’s not in the club anymore.

I know all about the divorce. Even though I’m not ‘sposed to.

Mom says Old Mac is in the hospital. I bet they’ll be just fine in a couple of days!

Hell and damn, I sure hope I’m played by Jodie Foster or Kristy McNichol!

Fake BBC Show Title of the Week: Great Britain’s Greatest Traumatising Public Information Films