I get a call around 11 p.m. last weekend from my mother. My twin sister, Sam, is home for a weekend from Georgia and they have a question for me.
"Can Sam bring your Noodle to Afghanistan?" My mom asks.
In the Prang family, "Noodle" with a capital N doesn't mean pasta. It's not something funny we call each other when we're being obnoxious and it's not some weird inside joke. It is, however, the name of Sam's very beloved clown.
Noodle and Sam bonded days after she was born. Our grandparents had brought two pastel-colored stuffed clowns to Evanston Hospital for their two premie granddaughters, who at the time, looked like creepy aliens with large heads in incubators.
To say the least, I neglected my clown. I don't know what happened when the clown and I actually met, but there was evidently no chemistry between us. But Sam and her clown? He magically got the name Noodle, she ripped out all of his hair, and from then on, it was true love.
If she had to rank the most important things in her life, the list would go like this:
3.) Weird Titanic/Wicked obsessions
4.) Womb buddy (That's me.)
If you ask me, Noodle was loved a little too much. The poor clown has gone through at least a dozen surgeries, has had stuffing implants like you wouldn't believe, is completely bald, has these awkward fuzz balls for eyes, has had a couple of new mouths sewed on and God knows what else.
Noodle has a small wardrobe as well, which consists of a Mizzou T-shirt and a green and pink T-shirt with an N on it from Limited Too. He has been left behind at times, fallen under the bed, been dragged around the house and in my opinion, looks completely and utterly disgusting.
(And also pretty stoned, if you ask me, but don't tell her I said that.)
My clown, which suffered quite a bit of neglect, is in pretty decent shape. She has half of a mouth left, some color, her original eyes and a few hairs on her head. So for 20 years of living with the Prangs, she's in tip-top shape.
And now, she's off to Afghanistan, in order to protect the other beloved Noodle from harm and for Sam to have a substitute clown to sleep with. The thing about twins, is they have a use for everything with each other. She steals my clown, I constantly ask her for interviews with soldiers for stories. It all works, right?
Plus, my clown will now get to explore the world, and hopefully can forgive me for the 20 years I neglected her.
Because let's face it--my stuffed Barney was SO much cooler.
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