Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | October 16, 2009

Tip Top Street

New Boston, NH. April, 16 2007.


The day the flood came to Tip Top street, I decided to leave town.

I put on my best red sweatshirt, stuck some string cheese and pistachio nuts in my pockets, and grabbed an umbrella. I’d head for the highway. Hitch a ride, and be outa-there-foreva, thank you very much.

Who wants to stick around a place where your best friend thinks you’re a joke and your only family is a batty old aunt with a voice (and face) like a hyena’s.

That’s her, up on the roof. Shouting like it might stop me.

It won’t.

It’s been raining six days straight now. The first they said it was a passing shower. The second they started talking records. The third, the neighbors got a truckload of plywood and started building an ark. Not kidding!

My best friend–remember him? The one who can’t take a thing I say seriously?–went over and asked if they wanted help, and he really meant it. He wouldn’t help me when I wanted to build a scaled down replica of fort Knox in the backyard.

I think I’ll head for Florida. It’s warm there. I could get a job at Disney, maybe. Be Sneezy from the Seven Dwarves or Dumbo or that Warthog from the Lion King. There can’t be too many people trying out for jobs like that, right?

The problem with the flood was, Tip Top street had become an island. As you might have guessed from the name, my street is at the top of the biggest hill in town. And the water was washing right up over the road. My aunt had carried all her precious china dalmations up to the attic over the last few days. I lugged the furniture and electronics. And I hope the rain eats all that crap up, thank you very much, chomps on our ancient TV, and spits out the pieces.

I stepped into the sea surrounding the street. It wasn’t too deep – not yet at least. Within a dozen yards, I was swimming – using the umbrella to keep tabs on the road down below. Pistachio nuts floated up and out of my pockets, but the cheese seemed fine in its plastic packets. I stopped on a floating log to have a snack, and that’s when she happened by.

She was wearing a purple raincoat and bright orange boots. She was rowing a metal boat, and singing “Baby Beluga’ at the top of her lungs. Did she know that was my favorite song as a kid? The one my mom and dad used to play for me before they both disappeared mysteriously when I was only three?

“You swim so wild and you swim so free!” She shouted, swinging the boat around to pull up next to the log. “Need a lift?”

“Only if you’re going away from Tip Top street.” I said.

“This is the Beluga express. We can take you anywhere you need to go, as long as its over water.”

“How about Florida?”

She smiled and reached out her hand to pull me in.

“Welcome aboard.”



  1. interesting

  2. cute story, Kathryn!

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