Invisible Kid: The Noodles O’Callahan Story

Noodles Out On The Swings During Recess

Noodles O’Callahan is a bright, good-natured 8-year-old boy.  He is a third grader at John Q. Poindexter Elementary School in Tupelo, Mississippi. He likes ice cream and pizza, loves his 2 pet dogs and dreams of one day becoming an astronaut.  He is a healthy, happy young man who suffers from one terrible problem that deeply effects every aspect of his life.  You see, Noodles is invisible.

Invisiblilty may seem to be a strange ailment for a young person to have, but it’s more common then you know.  1 in every 10,000 Americans are born invisible. These young people often are made to feel different and unwanted.  In many cases, invisible children are ignored by everyone in their lives including their parents. People bump into them without bothering to apologize, they are never picked to play games with the other kids and in some cases they are not even picked up from school.  People simply forget about them.  Noodles is one of the forgotten.  This is his story.

Noodles was in my kindergarten class three years ago.  They train you for all different types of scenarios when you are at the Academy.  You know how to deal with loud, aggressive children, you know how to deal with the ones who struggle to learn to read, you know how to work with the shy ones, but they never tell you how to teach an invisible child.

At first, I let Noodles keep to himself, ignored and avoided by other children.  One student even stepped on his foot and did not apologize or even acknowledge he had done it.  I let Noodles play quietly in the corner for a few hours, but after a while I couldn’t take it.  I started calling on him during class discussions only to be met by an icy silence. The other students were perplexed as to why I was calling on a student that they claimed wasn’t even there.  I was called into Principal Murphy’s office.  When he asked me why I was talking to a student that didn’t exist, I nearly hit the roof.  How dare he dismiss Noodles’ existence!!!  What gaul the man had!  I exploded at him.  The nerve!  To just pretend an invisible student didn’t exist was the worst crime an educator could commit in my eyes.

After that, I took an unscheduled vacation.  I spent a lot of time around the house thinking about what had happened.  Surprisingly, Noodles started showing up at my front door at 8 AM everyday rain or shine.  He should have been in school, but I think he felt like he’d be better off spending time with and adult who actually paid attention to him.  He would come in and have tea while we discussed what it was like to be invisible.  That was nice.  It made me feel like I was making a difference.

All of a sudden, things started to get very weird.  Furniture started moving around my apartment.  I knew he was breaking in to my house when I was asleep and trying to intentionally confuse me.  He would start hiding things in places I’d never bother to look.  My keys showed up in a flower pot, my wallet showed up in a pair of pants I hadn’t worn in months.  One day, I woke up with a bloody knife in my hand.  I have no idea how it got there.  Noodles must have done it!

I spent hours in the interrogation room trying to tell my story to the police.  They simply didn’t believe me.  They claimed that I had stabbed Mr. Morganfield and put his head in my own refrigerator.  In spite of the fact that Mr. Morganfield was a secret disciple of the Pod People and was planning to begin infecting the human race with a DNA altering virus, I would have never harmed him. Clearly, Noodles received the same information as me and simply acted on it.  He had a good amount of pent up rage from years of being unnoticed and must have just snapped.

I now spend most of my days in a heavily medicated stupor eating different varieties of Jell-o.  Noodles still comes to visit me.  He snuck into my cell last night and began singing old Duke Ellington tunes.  I told the guards to shut him up.  They just looked at me like I was crazy.

These invisible children walk among us everyday.  They are forgotten and unloved.   Three years of eating Jell-o and staring at old episodes of Gunsmoke gives you a lot of time to think.  When I am released in the year 2041, I plan on dedicating my life to helping them.  Their story doesn’t have to end up like this.  Help them.  For Noodles.  For me.

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  1. #1 by Miz Grimm on October 9, 2011 - 5:04 PM

    This makes perfect sense to me!!

  2. #3 by Jim Wheeler on October 9, 2011 - 5:28 PM

    I keep hearing you’re concerned about my happiness.
    All that thought you’re giving me is conscience, I guess.
    If I were walking in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none.
    While you and your friends are worrying ’bout me, I’m having lots of fun.

    Counting flowers on the wall,
    That don’t bother me at all.
    Playing Solitaire till dawn,
    With a deck of fifty-one.
    Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.
    Now, don’t tell me I’ve nothing to do!

    😆 😆 😆

    • #4 by Keith Spillett on October 9, 2011 - 5:36 PM

      This may be the only response that could make any sense. I always have the part about Captain Kangaroo in my head. 10 times a day or so. Statler Brothers understood a thing or two.

  3. #5 by Keith Spillett on October 9, 2011 - 6:11 PM

    We are really outside of the known universe here. All the books on the subject feature enlightened but invisible chapters on the matter.
    Dr. Spock covers in on pg 641 of his baby book when he says “The invisible infant is to be treated like other children. The only major difference is that the child must not take baths for fear of sliding down the drain.”

    Don’t worry too much about Noodles. He’s currently supplementing his income as a pickpocket on the French Riviera. If the Cold War were still going, he could have made millions as a spy.

    I’ve seen all good krispies turn their heads each day so satisfied they’re on their way.

    Thanks for the read!

    Visibly enjoying our surrealist verbal jousting,

    -Keith

  4. #6 by Keith Spillett on October 9, 2011 - 6:22 PM

    I think this is the part of the episode where I realize my doppleganger is taking over for me. Expect a good ten minutes of brooding and reflection on the nature of identity before I figure out a plan to prove to the world that I am me.

    The plan will fail and I will be left curled up in a ball singing the David Bowie song from “Cat People”.

    Fade To Black….

    Roll Credits

  5. #7 by John Erickson on October 9, 2011 - 6:57 PM

    There is a clever way to both help this misunderstood minority AND to protect yourself against those who would punish you for aiding them. Simply inform people that you mutter to yourself simply to keep things straight in this hectic world. Start off speaking very softly, to no one in particular. Once you have established this pattern, then you can start reaching out to those poor invisible souls, while the world at large will simply believe this is just your “strange little habit”. Slovenly behaviour helps, as well, because it is harder to tell if things have been moved if you can’t find them in the first place. From there, you simply kid with people about a “choir of voices” in your head. This allows the invisible folk to find a voice, even a voice outside themselves, and allows them to interact with the world. The internet has truly been a blessing for these poor, ignored people.
    What’s that?
    Sorry, got to to. The boys …. I mean, some of my “inner voices” are saying dinner is ready…..

    • #8 by Keith Spillett on October 10, 2011 - 2:00 AM

      I like this plan! I’ll be ready to implement it immediately when the Drackoons from planet Zorbula free me tomorrow evening.

  6. #9 by Keith Spillett on October 10, 2011 - 6:15 AM

    Fasten stepdads,

    Three quarks for Muster Mark!

    riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs…..

    Here Comes Everybody
    Help Create Earwhigs
    Hurt Correct Eliminate
    Howth Castle and Environs
    Have Cats and Emus

    while ye have night for morn….

    2/3s of 3/4 of nothing is nothing more than the whole….

    venceremos,
    sincerely,
    dionysian,
    apollonian,

    Humprhey Chimpden Earwicker
    and a cast of thousands

  7. #10 by afrankangle on October 10, 2011 - 7:15 AM

    Ah ha … I mowed on Friday, and two days later one side of the house is covered with leaves. Noodles must have shaken the trees … but why me?

    • #11 by Keith Spillett on October 10, 2011 - 7:25 AM

      He has a soft spot in his heart for the people of Ohio. He worked for the Jerry Springer For Mayor campaign in the early 1980s. He stopped Woody Hayes from using anthrax on his players in the 1970s. He spends much of his free time trying to get LeBron to come back to Cleveland. He practically bleeds Ohio.

      • #12 by afrankangle on October 10, 2011 - 8:09 AM

        Wow … and Springer was a successful mayor! But he wasn’t there to stop Woody from punching the Clemson player or to get Jerry elected governor.

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