"There are some things in life you simply can't do," the man in the suit with the big red tie tells Howie the little girl. "Like ride your bike backwards. You'll never be able to do that. Or be famous. You probably won't be famous, no matter how hard you try. Unless you kill a lot of people. But then everyone will hate you."
Howie is standing in her front yard holding tight to her pet old man head. This man in the suit with the big red tie just walked up to her while she was playing and started telling her mean things. She looks up at him with wide eyes trying to figure him out. He just isn't making any sense.
"And it's too bad you aren't cuter," he says as he rubs his left eye. "You could be a model for mail order catalogues. But you can't. You aren't cute. You also have no taste, by evidence of your wardrobe and choice of pets. Nobody likes an ugly little girl carrying a severed head" He just keeps rubbing that eye. It must itch something awful.
"Are you at least funny? Do you have a lisp? Say something funny." His tirade of negativity comes to an abrubt stop as he waits for her to respond.
"Um. How do you get a nun pregnant?" she asks.
"What? Is that a joke? You need to work on your delivery. All wrong. You could go to comedy school or something, but I don't think it would help. Humor is something you fine tune, but you can't fine tune what isn't even there. Go hide in your room, kid. This world is a scary place, and you clearly don't have the goods to survive. Good luck to you. And get rid of that head." His legs jump out and he strides away down the sidewalk, big long steps taking him out of sight quick.
Howie runs up to her room. She goes to bed early, all hope and optimism diminished. But it should come back in the morning. It usually does.