By Shelley Sweeney
Connie’s parents were night owls. Going to bed after 1 a.m. was normal for them. They had just settled under the covers when disheveled Connie came bursting through the rickety door of their apartment. She ran hurriedly through all the rooms.
Connie’s younger sister had just turned off the television and her twin brothers were already asleep.
“What’s going on? Where have you been? The mother said. “Didn’t we tell you not to come home so late? Look it’s 1:30 in the morning.”
“I can’t believe it, ohmygod,” Connie said, “It’s amazing! You won’t believe what happened! Ohmygod, for real!”
Connie collapsed into her father’s lazy boy chair. “It’s unbelievable,” she said, searching her phone for the news.
Her twin brothers peered out of their room with ruffled hair, rubbing their eyes.
“What on earth has happened?” the father insisted.
“Are you drunk? You look a hot mess” the sister smirked.
“Drunk? No, well sort of. I mean I was but not any more. That doesn’t matter -- what matters is that the whole country knows who I am now!”
Connie was hurriedly swiping up and down on the cracked phone screen.
“Last night only y’all knew Connie Jean Johnson, Banjo Barista from Littleton County. In a few hours the whole world's gonna know me.”
“Get a hold of yourself and tell us what happened,” the father said.
“You have not gone viral,” the sister surmised.
“What are you talking about? What do you mean: viral?” the father insisted.
“Y’all live like hermit crabs. The world knows who I am, Dad. I’m a celebrity now. That’s what viral means. On the internet...videos, viral. I’m living that dream.”
The Dad turned pale. The mom held her head in her hands. The twin boys tippy-toed trying to peak at the phone.
“Look! I found it. Here, read for yourself!”
The father put on his reading glasses.
“There it is! Look there’s my name, Connie Johnson... Shh, listen, here it comes.”
The whole family gathered around Connie’s right hand.
“Watch, shh, here it comes.”
A police car and ambulance, lights flashing, startled all of them. The mom and dad gasped. The twins raced back to their bedroom.
A rookie news anchor, Meredith Day, cut in saying, “Just after noon today, a 21-year-old woman emerged from a restaurant right down the street.” Miss Day turned and pointed to Hooters Restaurant over her right shoulder.
The dad rubbed the top of his head and coughed.
“Shhhh, here it comes, my name, you’ll see me walk away with the cops.”
“...the young woman, being in an intoxicated condition, fell into the center of an impressive cookie-box pyramid that five 9-year-old Girl Scouts had spent much time building. Thin Mints, Caramel Delights, Peanut Butter Patties, and Thanks-A-Lots were some of the delicious flavors that came crashing down on top of the girls’ heads. Troop 1991 leader, Barbara Bedenford, ran as fast as she could to save the girls but, unfortunately, didn’t make it in time.”
Connie’s sister giggled.
“Y’all I’m famous! This is all over the news and the internet. Don’t you see?”
The video continued: “The intoxicated woman was taken away and the girl scout injuries are reported to be minor but they were taken to a nearby clinic to have them tended to.”
“No one pressed charges. I just had to sober up some.”
Connie rushed her phone to a charger. “I have to share this. Nobody will believe it. I’m going to put it on all my spots.”
The family went back to bed.
Connie stayed up saving, sharing and counting views. There would be plenty of time for sleep. She chatted with old and new friends. The video went out to all of her platforms.
Connie ignored unkind comments, filing them away in a just-jealous compartment.
When the family awoke the next day, Connie was sleeping.
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect - Romans 12:2.