Register Wednesday | June 19 | 2019

No Shame in a Navel

Castaway Writing Contest winner Jeff Pew of Kimberley, BC dreams a little dream of Jeannie...

Barbara Eden was not allowed to show her belly button on "I Dream of Jeannie" because of NBC’s ‘No Navel Edict’. Even at eleven, I knew there was something wrong
with the picture. Not fooled by the illusion of laugh track
nor blinded by the Technicolor charm
and fresh pressed pyjamas of Major Nelson. I wanted to fly to Cape Canaveral
uncork her bottle (in a purely literal way)
insist she wouldn’t have to call me Master
save her the humiliating tic-like blink of an eye.
I’d do dishes, vacuum shag, wax the Firebird
vow she wouldn’t get in trouble for being curious.

I’d unveil the scoundrel Larry Hagman became
warn her never to trust the bumbling best friend
stick a hose in the nosy neighbour’s mail slot
declare how cute she looks hidden in a cup full of pencils. Things would be hard at first:
I’d get an extra paper route
live in the bottle when things got rough
summon her magic, if it meant missing a meal
cover her in down during cold Canadian winters. I know my parents would just love her. But at times if her glance missed mine
I’d wonder: is she really happy?
Is she dreaming of him and his Cheshire grin?
The two of them weightless,
floating above the moon

flashing her forbidden belly button to the world.