Creative Writing Contest Winner: Jeremy Ball

April 9 winner

Jeremy Ball


Jeremy Ball is a senior at Central Michigan University who is currently pursuing a B.S. in English with a Creative Writing Concentration. He enjoys writing either pieces that make people laugh, or laughable pieces. Most of Jeremy’s life revolves around Red Wings’ hockey, and he is also an avid fan of an asinine array of music. Someday he hopes to either become the omniscient ruler of space, time, and dimension, or write novels in a secluded Canadian town.

I Love Beaver

I was conceived at Washington Apartments, raised at Century Place Apartments, relocated to Maplewood Square Apartments, and I currently reside at Timber Creek Apartments where a dog, cat, or Komodo dragon requires a $300 pet deposit to the management. I’ve never had a real pet, just fish. Scaly, wide-eyed fish that I’ve only felt as much attachment to as the classy waterfall picture that hangs adjacent to my toilet, which coincidentally is where the fish end up after a two week to two year stint of eating flakes, crapping, and stinking up any non-ventilated area. This might be why I’m confused when a dog’s death is treated like that of a family member. I was probably the only one in the theater mad at Owen Wilson for simply not flushing Marley down the toilet.

I do have an animal I’m fond of, though. Beaver. Good old warm, fuzzy Beaver. I’ve loved Beaver since age five, and I still wax poetic in his flat-tailed presence. (Wait…you thought I was talking about…wow, that’s really mature.) I acquired my little plush pal from the Target Store in Mt. Pleasant. When I was younger, a weekend trip to a sprawling metropolis of 22,000 was classified as a vacation, and vacations entitle people to souvenirs. Beaver was purchased for a since forgotten amount, and our relationship steadily grew into one analogous of Lassie and Timmy. Sure, we didn’t save any drunken uncles from dying in a burning barn, but we soon developed a trust that transcended his disability of not having a brain.

Much like my high school crush, Beaver was too cute to need a brain. His felt buck teeth formed a permanent smile, and his black plastic eyes saw none of my inner evil. He was a good listener, good at cuddling, and probably would have made a decent cheese log, if given the chance. But, around the time my voice got all deep, and I started getting fuzzy, hanging around with a guy like Beaver didn’t seem socially acceptable. The poor little fella was eventually crammed into a trash bag with Bugs Bunny and other plush animals I had deserted earlier in life. This bag first rested in my cluttered bedroom closet, but then it was pushed further into the nether regions of a storage locker, near a broken bicycle I never learned how to ride.

For the next seven years, Beaver sat alone in the dark, ever watchful for spiders with his never-blinking eyes. But, in a testament to his character, Beaver lost his toothy smile. While I struggled to make friends in middle school due to my fear of unknown people, Beaver waited, struggling to make friends with plush Bugs Bunny. When I went to court for truancy in high school, Beaver waited, without the pleasure of forced monthly visits with a probation officer. When I totaled my beloved first car which was my family’s sole source of transport and wallowed through a year-long depression, which entailed taking public transportation or staying home, Beaver waited, stranded in his trash bag.

The transition from one apartment to another was what set Beaver free. Our storage locker needed to be vacated, which entailed sorting through metric tons of musty memories. Most of it was useless shit; some of it was almost useless shit; but a familiar set of buck teeth caught my attention. Beaver had survived his exile in pristine shape. He smelled a little strange, but most of us would after living in a storage locker for seven years. Most importantly, his plastic eyes still saw no evil, and portrayed an instant, blissful amnesia.

Beaver has his own chair in my current apartment. After missing over 300 days of public schooling, I never envisioned myself in college. Too often I let my natural pessimism dictate my attitude. Every test I take receives an automatic “D” until I see otherwise. Every time my van shifts hard, it’s due to the beginning stages of transmission failure. Beaver knows no pessimism. He sits in his chair and smiles, knowing that life may throw him in some dark storage lockers, but eventually his toothy smile will allow him to gnaw through any trash bag. I guess I can understand the attachment to a dog now, but I’m fortunate that Beaver will outlive me, and he doesn’t crap in the yard.