Keeping up with the Jones | Teen Ink

Keeping up with the Jones

April 4, 2009
By kylove GOLD, Sacramento, California
kylove GOLD, Sacramento, California
11 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Principles only mean something if you stick by them when they're inconvenient,"
- Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) in The Contender (written by Rod Lurie)

“Gosh, Lillian, how many times have I told you not to leave the bottles out?!” Drew Jones called out to his wife. Lillian Jones walked into the room, ready to go to her job as a part time teacher and retorted, “Drew, what’s the big deal, it’s not anything important!”
“We pay for the recycling, that’s important Lil.”
“I don’t understand…” Lillian said pulling her long black hair back into a ponytail.
“There’s this guy, Greg something or whatever. He’s homeless and he comes and steals people’s bottles then sells them to recycling plants.”
“And, what’s the big deal? Let him keep the bottles. As long as he isn’t doing anything else, who cares?”
“I care, honestly its not a good thing. I hear Mr. Thompson threatened to kill him if he was found on his property again.”
“Look, I can’t talk about this right now I have to go to work!”
“You don’t even have a class today!”
“Yes I do, and a prep period!”

“Mom, did you get new headphones for my ipod?” asked Jamie Jones.
“I’ve been a little busy honey,” said Lillian, wishing her daughter would say something else when she got in the car with her mother after school.
“Mom, I told, and I gave you half the money! I can’t go to Michelle King’s party without them! I told everyone I got this cool new song but they can’t here it on my new one cause my headphones broke.”
“Fine, after we pick up Sophie from daycare we’ll get the headphones, alright?” Lillian said, exasperated with her daughter.

Sophie Jones, the youngest of the Jones family, was waiting outside of her daycare center when her mother arrived. “Sophie! What are you doing outside?” Lillian cried.
“Jeremy hit me!” Sophie cried angrily, showing her mother the invisible scar.
“Jeremy Burns? But I thought you two were friends…what happened?” asked Lillian, pretending as if she saw an enormous bruise on her daughter’s arm.
Sophie pouted for a little while then blurted out, “Well… he didn’t exactly hit me first.”
“Mom, the store is only open for another half hour!” Jamie called from inside the car, motioning her mother to make haste.
Lillian Jones pursed her lips then looked at Sophie again. “Okay, well we’re going to go inside again, I’m going to talk to your daycare teacher, and you go apologize to Jeremy, alright?”
Sophie looked down and muttered, “All right…but it wasn’t my fault Mommy.”
Lillian smiled then held her daughter’s hand and walked into the building. Sophie ran over to a young, crying boy about her age with brown hair and a small red mark on his arm. A woman sat over him trying to comfort him. Lillian recognized her as the director of the daycare, Ms. Costa. “Lillian sauntered over behind Sophie and then cleared her throat.
Ms. Costa turned around and exclaimed, obviously surprised, “Mrs. Jones! I didn’t expect you to be here for a little while; Sophie said you wouldn’t be here until five o’clock.”
Lillian glared at Ms. Costa, an eternal frown etched over her face. “Ms. Costa, I pay your center $75 a month to take care of Sophie. I’ve been going here for three months and I would expect that with my seventy five dollars contributing to your center you could keep my four year old daughter inside, at all times. If Sophie didn’t have friends here I would take her out right now. If I ever, ever see her outside before I’m here to pick her up again, I’ll alert the parents who keep their children here and the authorities. Is that clear?”
Ms. Costa stared at Lillian Jones in openmouthed awe. “It won’t happen again Mrs. Jones,” she finally uttered.
“Good. Sophie, did you apologize to Jeremy?” Lillian asked, her voice changing from its earlier sternness. Sophie nodded and walked out with her mother, Lillian nearly slamming the door when they walked out.

“These are great, thank you so much Mom!” Jamie cried; hugging her mother when they walked outside of the Wal-Mart. She fitted the new headphones into her ipod, listening to the song that would make Michelle King die. A soft guitar melody started with soft words beginning the song. Suddenly, mother and daughters were stopped by three men and a woman carrying picket signs which read, “WAL-MART UNFAIR”.
“Please,” said the woman, “Don’t shop here anymore. Not only did Wal-Mart have underage employees in their stores in New Hampshire, Arkansas, and Connecticut who did heavy loading, but they pay wages that end up with families earning annual wages below the poverty level, with families barely meeting the living standard. One out of every six Wal-Mart employees doesn’t have health care. In addition seventy percent of Wal-Mart’s products come from China, and none of those employees are paid minimum wage. In fact, clothes makers were denied pay for their first three months of working.”
Lillian Jones had walked away with Sophie and Jamie after the woman said one. “Mom, should we shop here if that’s true?” Jamie asked, having heard some of the speech.
“Jamie don’t be ridiculous! People are always spouting that stuff, but where can I shop? Wal-Mart is moderately inexpensive considering our lifestyle, where do they suggest? Honestly, I care about people, from China and here, but most of it is just a figment of their imagination.”
“Well, anyways Michelle is going to be so jealous. I mean I don’t want to take the spotlight away from her, but she is way too conceited. She needs to get a little taste of her own medicine. This is a really cool band and no one was able to find the song, but they weren’t looking hard enough. But I was looking on every website…” Jamie chattered on, staring out the window. Lillian smiled at her daughter’s happiness and headed home.

“We’re home Daddy!” called Sophie as her mother opened the door. Drew Jones walked over to, and hugged Sophie.
“How was your day pumpkin?” Drew asked, tickling her stomach.
“Good, right Mommy?” Sophie asked, looking at her mother, and wondering whether she was going to tell Drew what had happened.
Lillian smiled slyly and nodded in assent. “Well what did you guys get for dinner?” Drew asked, confused by their silent conversation.
“Pizza!” Jamie cried, walking in with a huge pizza box from the local pizzeria. The Jones’s sat down to pizza and root beer watching their favorite show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” It was the $32,000 question, but it went to a commercial suddenly.
“Turn it to the news Drew,” Lillian requested, cheese dangling from the side of her mouth. Drew grabbed the remote and turned it to channel three.
“…and in other news a local homeless man was found shot dead this morning. According to the authorities he was shot in an attempted burglary by a Mr. Charles Thompson. Mr. Thompson will not be charged. In other news…” said Allison Jay; the newest addition to the KMBG news casting team who was able to say the best and worst things without any changes to the tone of her voice.
Drew grabbed the remote from off the kitchen table and turned the channel immediately. “Do you think that could’ve been…?” Lillian asked.
“No, no. Charles wouldn’t do that. Besides that Greg shouldn’t have been lurking around. He was bound to steal something, I wouldn’t feel safe.”
“But Drew, he wasn’t doing anything. We should go to the police if-”
“He got it right!” Jamie cried, interrupting her mother when their game show came back from its commercial, “It was D!”
“No! I could’ve sworn it was C!” Lillian exclaimed.
Drew looked into her eyes and realized the topic of Greg something or other was forgotten…

The author's comments:
I enjoyied writing this piece a lot. It was my first obvious satrical piece. I didn't include a lot, because originally the entire piece was focused on Greg. But I thought, why not keep up with the entire "All-American" family, and see all the things they do?

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 8 2009 at 4:41 pm
Denae Worcester BRONZE, Castle Rock, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 31 comments
I really liked it and thought it mostly portrayed the average family, except that at least this one had time to settle down. It worked that they were unconcerned and had to have the newest things, but the average American family has maybe one night a week together. People do too many sports and outings and friendly parties and people over.

Plus, I don't think ANY Wal-Mart ever closes. All are open 24/7.

Good job showing how tired the average mother can be, and how little the family talks about things.