A new childrens’s novella by first-time author Sally Salisburg: THE ADVENTURES OF SQUEAKY CLEAN STEVE AND YOUNG PRINCESS PANSY!
Boys are usually loud, obnoxious, and most of all dirty. Bits of dirt and grease seep under their fingernails, and it never gets out. This is not a problem for the hero of this story: Steve. While the other second graders play around in the yard, he sits by himself next to the drinking fountain looking at his clean skin. He is so clean.
How did Steve get started on his quest to be clean? It is actually pretty silly, the reason. His father. His father worked for a multinational industrial water softening company selling water softening equipment. He brought home industrial and commercial grade water softening equipment that made Steve’s tap water especially hard-ion-free. He loved the way this special water felt on his pale skin. Never would he ever let himself wash himself with hard mineral rich water. It always had to be extra clean.
One random Saturday, a small posse of rude boys from downtown knocked on Squeaky Clean Steve’s door. They wanted to tease him. He got out of his bubble bath (he takes exactly one (1) bubble bath per day), put on his bathrobe (which he had cleaned and dried with bleach just before running the bath water), and went down the stairs and opened the door. The boys were laughing. One after another, each hollered, “Feeling clean?!” “What kind of soap do YOU use?!” “Is your skin soft like a girl’s?!” Steve was embarrassed and didn’t know what to say.
Steve’s neighbor was a princess, and her name was Pansy. Her parents actually, literally descended from Scottish nobility (like only 5 generations ago, OK?) and Pansy had bought some geneology software and traced her heritage back to a real Scottish patriarch. She thus saw it fit to buy herself princess jewelry from the mall, and make everyone call her Princess Pansy.
Pansy would always look across the street at Steve’s house. She especially admired his pale, squeaky clean complexion. And she liked the way he lathered himself up in the bubblebath. (She could see in his bathroom.) Nobility should be clean, she thought to herself.
Steve didn’t even know she existed. He is pretty oblivious to other people.
When the boys were approaching the Steve’s house that fateful Saturday morning, Pansy followed them. She knew they were trying to do something threatening to her favored prince-to-be Steve. As they knocked the door, she crouched (well, courtesied actually like royalty) behind a nearby bush. She listened (pretending to use one of those earhorns that old fancy people use when they are hard of hearing).
“I dunno. I dunno,” stammered Steve in a squeaky voice. The boys were intimidating him. These rude boys, raised in the grid-iron of soccer fields during recess, knew how to sense weakness, and they sensed it here. With one hand, they each reached into their back pockets, took out clumps of dirty grass and mud; with the other, they reached for Steve and grabbed his head. Steve squirmed, but even his slippery clean skin couldn’t squirt away this time. They put the clumps of dirt into his perfectly polished, just shampooed hair. He screamed, and in this moment Princess Pansy intervened.
“I order you to stop. By the powers vested in me, the scion of the throne of Scotland, you must release the boy. He is my charge and you are subverting the law of my kingdom,” she said, coldly. The boys didn’t understand her vocabularly but they went away, they knew she was boss. Princess Pansy had saved Steve and they lived happily ever after.