Friday, October 12, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Cleansing



This absolutely did not happen, and is especially not about me or anything I said to my niece, no matter what anyone tells you. It is entirely a work of fiction.

Once there was a family of three, a mother and father struggling with their impulsive daughter. Despite buying her anything she wanted and bribing her with trips to the movies and theme parks, she refused to do any chores. This girl loathed cleaning her room with the passion that God loathed sodomy. Eventually they said she could not have dessert on any night when she didn’t at least make her bed. On the first night, she tore the sheets from her mattress and screamed so loud the neighbors phoned the police.

This girl had a loving and helpful uncle. He went over for dinner on the second night and witnessed her punting her iPhone across the house. When he inquired why, she yelled, “It’s a form of protest!”

After her parents explained things to this loving and helpful uncle, he asked for a moment alone with her. He shut the door and had a private chat in her room. When he re-opened the door, her anxious parents found their little girl hastily putting toys away in her closet. The parents took it as a miracle and hugged this genius uncle with a gratitude he wishes they remembered now.

When they inquired what he’d done, he said he’d merely talked reasonably to her.

When they inquired to his niece, she pursed her lips together, avoided their gaze, and asked if dessert were available.

Immediately after school the next day, she put her Adventure Time knapsack in exactly the right spot. After her father made her a sandwich, she washed her own plate for the first time in her life. As dusk rolled in, she rushed to her room to make sure it was tidy, and no sooner was dinner over, then she nervously circled the table and ensuring her parents’ chairs were pushed in correctly.

This routine lasted a few days, until an unusually strong storm knocked out the power in their neighborhood. The entire family woke up late, and she almost missed school. Her father honked from the car twice before going back indoors, discovering her hastily smoothing the sheets on her bed. He had to drag her away from the room, at which point she punched him square in the groin and threw an incomprehensible tantrum, yelling something about “him finding us.”

When her father asked who “he” was, she froze up and babbled that she couldn’t talk about him. He’d come sooner then.

While her father was befuddled, her mother was suspicious. She’d never been as nice to her brother as she could, and needlessly sought to blame him first. She phoned him in the middle of a very busy writing session, completely breaking his train of thought. It was only because he was preoccupied with writing-thoughts that he let slip that, maybe, he’d told his niece a fib.

The mother asked, as rudely as humanly possible, what story he’d told.

The uncle answered, as polite as could be, that there might have been an axe-murdering clown loose in the city, psychically attracted to families who left their rooms dirty. He tended to sleep in closets that were not properly organized or beneath unmade beds.

The mother went utterly hysterical, forcing the kindly uncle to drive all the way to their house and explain to his niece that there was no such clown. It took two hours of his day to convince her that the whole thing had been a joke and none of her family were at risk of axe-based homicide. Even after using his whole afternoon to debunk it, her parents showed no gratitude, screaming at him on his way back to his car.

The kindly uncle has since heard that his niece is back to leaving the entire house a mess, and that she broke some expensive plates when they asked her for help tidying the garage. He chooses not to believe the story. Let his sister and her husband learn on their own that monsters are absolutely real.

31 comments:

  1. "That's funny, I don't care who you are!"

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  2. Was really worried half-way through that the uncle had hurt her, but luckily just told her a little fib. We all need monsters to get by in life! ;)

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    1. Exactly! It's no different than the tooth fairy. Not that it happened.

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  3. And here was I believing that the parents were, if not the monsters themselves, creating an absolutely real one.

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    1. That's not an unreasonable conclusion, in the kindly uncle's experience.

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  4. Or as the late, great British comedian, Benny Hill was wont to say: "Ooh, you are naughty! But I like you!"

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  5. We've all got something lurking in the closet.
    I think it was Dick Emery who said those lines of Natalie's.

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  6. This may well be my favorite piece of yours, if only because it speaks to the older brother that I was to my two trusting younger sisters...

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    1. Did you use your Horror-authority to scare them into line, or more to torment them?

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  7. I know a few spoiled brats who could use a kindly uncle. You know, if you're (oops, I mean he) isn't doing anything...

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    1. I'll check the kindly uncle's schedule.

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  8. :D This reminds me of certain moments in my life. So much fun to read!!! Wish I had a kindly uncle when I grew up :)

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    1. More kindly uncles should be encouraged to assist their sisters' families.

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  9. I'm pretty sure my father told me a monster would come get me if I kept sucking thumb do this seems right in line with regular childhood milestones. Plus aren't all the Grimm fairy tales based on monsters and trolls and other such nasties killing or maiming children who don't do their chores anyway?

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    1. I guarantee there are no monsters that devour thumb-suckers. It may lead to some mild fetishes, however.

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  10. I don't think I was ever told any stories as a child because my parents just used to explain the principle of 'cause and effect' - even as a kid, if I could see the logic in doing something, then I'd do it (with the exception of the time my dad told me that the insistent church bells in Austria during a storm was because the vicar hung himself and was swinging back and forward in the wind). But when you've got a kid who just won't do what they're told...well, then, I'd have to side with the uncle.

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    1. In my experience very few children grasp cause and effect early on, and then, usually only when it's to the benefit of what they want. I know I was rotten, if not solipsistic about it. I may well have deserved to be the uncle I've become - not that I'm this uncle.

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  11. Monsters raise monsters.

    Great story, John, no matter how much of it was fiction.

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  12. This is bomb! And reminds me of a younger... and present me. Minus the uncle.

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    1. How would the young you have handled the uncle's information?

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  13. This is completely fiction. And it will also be completely fiction when the time comes (and I suspect it will) for my youngest brother to tell a similar story to our nieces, for similar reasons and doubtless with similar consequences.

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    1. I'll vouch for your brother. Give him my e-mail address.

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  14. I love you, John.
    As a father of four very different and individual children I understand the need to find the appropriate discipline for each individual child. Too many parents just put it in the "too hard" basket.
    I think you would make an excellent parent. If I ever bring my family to America, you can be their honorary uncle for a few days.

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    1. Haha, I love you too, Judge. You seem like a fine father. I'll be happy to meet the kids if we ever get to cross paths, and promise to be on my most helpful behavior.

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  15. Parents (And probably uncles too) have used tales of the bogeyman, and the like to keep kids in line for ages...

    The truth always comes out eventually, and hopefully by then the good lessons have been learnt.

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  16. As an uncle several times over, I heartily approve of the kindly uncle's actions.

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  17. Bravo John!

    My mom used to tell me the bogeyman would come and take me away if I missbehave. Quite weird as I never really missbehaved. Plus she gave up on that story when she realised I'm not scared of fiction monsters. But I did tell other children of the bogeyman and what he does once he gets hold of little boys and girls. That had some effect. Not the desired one I think!

    I feel bad for parents such as the ones you describe. And I wonder how are they so oblivious of the monstrocity they have created and keep on feeding. Good God, anyone should have an uncle like this!






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  18. The parents would've been wise to play along with the story of the axe murderer, and to thank the uncle instead of berating him. This was a fun read.

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  19. That's a good story, and I've know a monster or two in my time ^_^

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  20. Real pint sized 'monsters' and hmmm a suspiciously 'loving, gentle and genius' uncle at large, make for a greatly funny little story! :)

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  21. Surely the kindly Uncle is only doing what religion has been doing for years. They should probably give him a special outfit and a grand building so more people can gather and hear them. The cult of the kindly uncle! Anyway, cute story.

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