Arguments of Tanner & Darrell: The Grandma War

Tanner & Darrell, by Michelle Langston of
Tanner & Darrell, by Michelle Langston of

Note: I wrote the following story in 1997 at the age of 14.

As you know (or will know), Tanner and Darrell are two boys. Tanner is a year older, so he’s taller, leaner and a bit bossier. His hair is perfectly straight and fine, the color of dandelions.

Darrell is a year younger, so he’s shorter, fatter, faster and a teensy bit weaker. His hair is curly and feels like cotton, brown as the Earth upon which he walked.

Now, Tanner and Darrell weren’t enemies, but they weren’t friends either. They lived right across the street from each other, on the same block. One thing Tanner and Darrell did together was compete. This time, it was over whose grandma was better.

It all started one bright spring morning, when Darrell’s mother told him his Gran-Gran was coming to visit. He was so excited he ran to Tanner’s house, knowing he’d be jealous.

But it just so happened that Tanner’s Granny was also coming to visit, and he ran over to Darrell’s house to tell him the news.

They ran smack into each other when each was halfway to the other’s house.

“My Gran-Gran’s coming!” exclaimed Darrell.

“So’s mine!” replied Tanner.

They glared at one another, each realizing that the other wasn’t jealous of him.

“Well at least my Granny’s older!” Tanner declared.

“No, MINE is older!” protested Darrell.

“I am older than you, so my GRANNY’S definitely older than yours!”

“Your Granny may be older, but MY Gran-Gran is wiser.”

“Wiseness comes with age, so my Granny is wiser.”

“Well your Granny may be older and wiser, but my Gran-Gran once published a book. She’s FAMOUS!”

Tanner rolled his eyes. “Famous, schmamous, who cares? My Granny doesn’t go for showbiz. Instead, she likes her family better.”

“MY Gran-Gran likes BOTH!”


“It makes her better and she knows more!” Darrell rolled his own eyes.


“People know her better!”

“No they don’t.”

“Yes they do.”





Before another word was shouted, two cars approached the boys.

“Tanner!” the driver of one called, sticking her head out the window. “I’m here! Let’s go inside and bake some cookies!”

“Granny!” Tanner cried as he leaped into the car.

“Darrell!” the driver of the other car called. “Let’s go home and I’ll tell you more stories about my childhood.”

“Gran-Gran!” exclaimed Darrell, hopping into the car.

“And afterward, let’s all do something together, perhaps a movie or a trip to the park?” Darrell’s Grandmother suggested, talking loud enough so that Tanner and his Granny could hear.

Tanner’s Granny nodded. “I agree. You boys can have some fun and we can do some catching up. I want to talk about that book of yours, it was a fabulous read!”

“Why thank you,” Darrell’s Gran-Gran replied, sounding grateful. “And I’d like to unlock some of the secrets of those amazing recipes of yours. I can still taste those tangy cookies from last time!”

“Thank you,” Tanner’s Granny exclaimed, pleased.

During this exchange, Darrell was blowing air on the window of his Gran-Gran’s car. He made finger prints in the steam his breath left on the window. Tanner suddenly became very interested in the dangling air freshener in his Granny’s car. He batted at it with his right hand, not unlike a cat.

Both vehicles drove in opposite directions, and the Grandma War was over as quickly as it began. There was no point in arguing over it. No one is BETTER than someone else, and that’s that.


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