Category Archives: Scooby Doo

Don’t Try This at Home

Snags has the imagination of a crazy person’s reality.  A schizophrenic’s perhaps.  I don’t know if he actually hears voices, but he certainly holds conversations with invisible people — people that aren’t exactly real, like Darth Vader and The Mystery Gang from Scooby Doo.   He once spent weeks, or maybe it was months, talking to Eric and Dr. Kaufman and the Phantom Virus, characters that were in Scooby Doo and The Cyber Chase.  Most recently, he’s been holding his hand to his ear as if it were a telephone and having conversations with Darth Vader and The Emperor.  And he’s been known to suddenly shout out in the middle of dinner for someone to “STOP FIGHTING OVER THERE WITH YOUR LIGHT SABERS!”  Then of course, there’s the fact that Snags has changed his identity many, many, many times over the past few years.  I’m not sure how it’s taken me this long to wonder why I haven’t ever hauled him off to the doctor to get this checked out.  A visit with a psychiatrist perhaps, to reassure myself that this is just his imagination at play and that he’s not actually CRAZY…

But anyway, given his imagination, I thought it would be fun to make up a story, something utterly impossible and fun, and share it with him.  After all, Snags usually likes my made up stories.  He often requests them.  “Mom,” he asks most nights before bed, “Can I have a telling story? Please? Just one short one before I go to sleep?” 

So one afternoon a few weeks ago, I found myself a little bit bored and dare I say sick and tired of listening to Snags having one sided conversations with Darth Vader and the Emperor on his hand phone, and I decided to tell him a story…

But before I tell you more, let me give you a little bit of background on my inspiration for the story, which I took from Pinocchio, my own mother, and Bill Cosby…  Pinocchio, you may recall, is the story of a wooden puppet that gets turned into a real live boy. My mother, well she used to tell my brother when he was a kid, that she got him from a shelf in a department store and that she could return him at any time… And that sort of reminded me of Bill Cosby, and that bit where he says something like “…I brought you into this world and I can take you out, make another one that looks just like you…” 

It was with those thoughts in mind that I came up with this story. This story that I made up on the spot and thought was a pretty ingenious idea: both brilliant AND funny.  So funny, in fact, that I was chuckling in my mind the entire time I was telling it.  But oh, the wrath I brought down upon myself!

See, I told  Snags that he was originally a baby doll and that I bought him at Toys R Us. Everyone, I told him, all of our family and friends, and even strangers, thought I was crazy for carrying a doll around.  So I started to pray to God to turn the doll into a real boy and when he was 7 ½ weeks old, God did!  But, the night before that happened, right before I went to bed, I had tossed Snags the doll into my toy box because, well, he was just a doll… But then in the middle of the night a noise woke me up.  I heard something crying and there was a bad smell in my room.  Our dog had started barking, so I turned on the light to see what all the commotion was about and saw the dog barking at the toy box.  I got out of bed, went over to see what was going on, and lo and behold, there was Snags, alive and waving his arms and crying.  And he’d pooped his diaper!

I went on to tell Snags that the scar over his eye, the one we’d always told him he got from throwing himself on the floor and hitting his face on a toy when he was a baby, was really from the dog taking him out of the toy box and playing fetch with him when he was still a doll.  That, you see, is where the dog’s teeth had scratched his doll head…  Now, I thought this was all very funny, but apparently I was wrong.

Snags totally freaked out and screamed and yelled at me.  He was so stinking mad I couldn’t believe it.  “No!”  He screamed.  “You’re lying!  That’s not true!  I was never a doll!  Why would you say that?  I’m not going to trust you anymore!”

I was taken aback at his outburst and suddenly I felt very defensive.  It was just a story, after all.  A story I kind of liked, you know, since I made it up (even if Pinocchio and my mother had sort of been the inspiration for it). But still…

In my defensiveness, I’m a little ashamed to admit, I turned into a bit of a child myself and kept insisting the story was true, and that Snags shouldn’t be so upset.  In fact, I told him, “You can ask your dad and Uncle Dan when they get here.  They’ll tell you this is all true!”

And of course Snags did.  He ran screaming to my husband and his Uncle the moment they walked in the front door.

“Dad!”  He yelled. “MomsaidIwasadollandGodturnedmeintoaboyandIknowsheslying!”

“What?!” my husband responded. “She said what?”

“MomsaidIwasadollandGodturnedmeintoaboyandIknowsheslying!” Snags repeated.

My husband looked at me, shook his head in disgust and said, “Now WHY would you tell him THAT?” and my brother, Snags’ Uncle, started laughing.

“It’s NOT FUNNY!” Snags cried.  “It’s not true, either, is it Uncle Dan?” he insisted.

But my brother, well, he’s a lot like me and can’t resist a good moment when he sees it.

“Well yeah it’s true!” he said, with a big smile spreading across his face.

To which, Snags got even angrier.  My husband had to calm him down, and I had to admit that it was just a story.  But I still maintained it wasn’t such a big deal and he shouldn’t have gotten so upset about the whole thing.

And my brother, he seemed a little deflated when the truth came out. But I think that’s because up until the point where I had to come clean and admit that the whole “Snags was once a doll” story wasn’t true, my brother was probably thinking that if my mom ever did return him to that department store, at least there was a chance his nephew might be sitting on the shelf next to him. 
 

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Filed under dog, God, humor, identity, insanity, parenting, Scooby Doo, Snags, Star Wars, telling stories

It’s an Evil World in Here

Snags watches a lot of Scooby Doo.  He’s particularly fond of the movie Scooby Doo in Where’s My Mummy featuring Cleopatra’s Tomb, an army of the dead, and a curse.  Cleopatra’s Tomb, in case you didn’t know, is located in “Ancient Egypt”.  Snags has decided he wants to go there one day.   To Ancient Egypt, that is.

There’s also a necklace featured in the movie; it serves as a key to unlock both the tomb and a curse.

Now I hadn’t given that movie much thought lately, but perhaps I should have paid closer attention. You see, Snags had mentioned something to me about necklaces and jewels, and building a tomb, and unleashing an army of the dead to guard the tomb.  Those broader aspects I remember, but the specific details, not so much.  Because what you have to understand is that Snags, like most 5 year olds (at least I think that other kids his age are like this), can talk and talk and talk and talk until your ears start to bleed.  So sometimes, I’m not proud to admit it, but, uh, I think I’ve more or less confessed to this before… sometimes I’ll nod and agree and hope he tires of the conversation before I’m bled dry.  At any rate, whenever this tomb and army of the dead issue came up, I figured he was probably just going on about the movie again.

Snags also likes to write.  If he’s not talking about a Scooby Doo movie then he’s asking how to spell something so he can write a letter about it.  Or, if he’s thinking really grandly, a book.  Sometimes he asks you to spell just a word or two, and you can breathe a sigh of relief that your work is done.  Other times he’s got whole sentences, whole catalogs, whole encyclopedias worth of things he wants you to spell out for him.  This gets tiring rather quickly, so in those instances, I demand that he tell me the thing he wants to say in its entirety so I can write or type it all out for him at once.  And then he can copy it.  Occasionally I have fallen over from the sheer exhaustion of this never-ending spelling bee and he’s been left to ask his father to finish spelling things for him.

And here I should mention that I find it disturbing that when Snags asks his father how to spell a word, his father spells it for him.  But when I ask him how to spell a word, he tells me to look it up in the dictionary.  And this has been a thorn in my side for oh, the past 14 years.  Because, I think it’s perfectly clear that if you don’t already know how to spell a word, then it’s a bit hard to find it in the dictionary.  By way of example, I have been needing to write the word cupboard a couple of times lately, but the problem was, I didn’t know how to spell it.  I typed it as cuppard, and cubbard, and every strange variation thereof, but I was so far off that my computer spellchecker was no help at all, and the dictionary wasn’t either. 

Do you want to know how I finally figured out the proper spelling?  I read the story Friends Are Sweet to my son and there it was in a sentence:

“Belle turned toward the cupboards and said, ‘Who wants to help make cupcakes for Mrs. Potts?”

And I thought, Oh!  So that’s how you spell it.  Cup board.  Okay then.  And now you see, I’ve used the word here, although this wasn’t the place I’d originally intended to use it.  But no matter. Now at least I can spell it.  So where was I?  Oh yes… 

Snags also likes to draw pictures of the things he sees.  Such as Scooby Doo.  Or the monsters from Scooby Doo.  Or the Mystery Gang from Scooby Doo.  Or… Scooby Doo.  Well, you get the picture.   He has pads and scads and reams of drawing tablets for this, but goes through them faster than you can say “Goodbye Forests!”  He tears unfinished drawings from the tablets while crying, “I need more paper!  I messed up this picture!” And he leaves mounds of half drawn pictures lying in his wake as he sneaks down to the basement to snatch a few more sheets of paper from the printer next to the computer.

And so it was that I was listening to Snags go on and on about Scooby Doo while I was cleaning up piles upon piles of drawings and writings that were strewn across the kitchen table.  We’d taken to pushing the pile back each night so that we had room to eat dinner, but it had gotten so big that I finally had to dive in and start pitching the creative works that weren’t quite masterpieces.  Which I must admit, was most of them.

So imagine my surprise as I was sorting through these papers and came across a page that said, simply “CURSE NECKLACES”.  And underneath that were several pages of drawings of necklaces in red and green crayon.

I was slightly taken aback, because surely I hadn’t spelled “Curse Necklaces” out for him, and yet, there is was.  I showed the papers to my husband who knew immediately what they were, only he said he couldn’t remember the exact curses that each curse necklace represented!

When I asked Snags about them he said, “Oh!  Those were curse necklaces I was making.  But don’t worry, they aren’t real because we aren’t going to build a tomb anymore.”
And that’s when I realized that the last conversation about tombs and armies of the dead might have been about more than just the movie.  And so I said to Snags, (you know, just to be sure) “I think, if we aren’t going to build a tomb, then we won’t need the army of the dead hanging around here either, right?”  To which he confirmed the army of the dead would not be necessary after all.  And I’m pretty certain that the neighbors will be relieved over that.

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Filed under humor, Scooby Doo

Different Monsters

Who were the monsters that you believed in as a kid?  Or rather, where did they hide and how could they get you?

For my son and I, they must be different. 

When I was a kid, I was concerned about monsters in my closet, under my bed, and in the basement.  I don’t remember the monsters having a particular form or face, nothing I could describe anyway.  If pressed, I’d have to say they were more of a force, a cold, evil air.  And I don’t ever recall asking my parents to check my room for monsters, because I had my own methods of protecting myself from the beings that lurked in the dark.

To keep the monsters from coming out of my closet at night, I piled the decorative pillows from my bed in front of my bi-fold closet doors.  Somehow, I believed, the pillows would be just heavy enough to stop anything residing inside from pushing its way outside.  And so, any monsters who had hunkered down in my closet hoping to attack me during the night would be trapped there until dawn when I made my bed and removed the pillows.  They wouldn’t dare stagger out by the light of day.  

To avoid the cold and brittle hands of the monsters under my bed, the ones who were surely waiting to reach out and clasp their boney fingers around my ankles, I perfected a gymnastics move worthy of an Olympic gold.  I’d turn out the light by the switch near my bedroom door, take three running steps then leap, eyes closed and arms outstrecthed onto my bed.  One time I leapt so high and so far that I actually jumped over my bed entirely, landing in a heap on the floor on the other side.  And then I had to scramble to pick myself up off the floor in the dark, and get back into bed before I could be dragged into that small dark space where the monsters hid.

I had, of course, a backup means of protecting myself in case that wall of pillows failed.  In case one of the monsters was strong enough to push their way out of the closet after all.  I slept with my entire body, head and all, under the covers, the edges held secure around my face by the weight of my head.  And while I might suffocate and die from breathing in my own exhalations all night long, at least my death would not be at the hands of a monster lurching out of my closet or inching his way out from under my bed.

Beasts in the basement I simply outran.  I hated the basement, even when it was finished with carpeting, lighting, and comfortable furniture.  I could manage the basement just fine if I was playing down there, or watching TV, otherwise distracted.  But I knew the moment I started up those basement steps that whatever hid down there would come after me and pull me backwards unless I ran up those steps at the speed of light.  Luckily, I always made a successful escape, emerging from the basement in one piece, but fairly out of breath.

And dare I admit that I still, to this day,  find myself, on occasion, running up the basement steps, or up the stairs to the 2nd floor of my house at night.  When the lights behind me are turned off, THAT’S when the monsters come out.

And while I am content to sleep with my head outside the covers, and without pillows (or anything else, for that matter) piled in front of my closet door, I cannot sleep unless my bedroom door is firmly shut.  I cannot comfortably nap anywhere besides my bed either, if I am home alone.  The family room is too large a space, the kitchen and hallways opening off it might let in an army of monsters while I rest.  But my bedroom, with the door shut, is a safe fortress.

The monsters that occasionally haunt my son are those he sees on TV.  Mostly vampires, witches, werewolves, mummies, and other creatures (The Creeper!) that he’s seen on Scooby Doo. 

Interestingly enough, these monsters don’t haunt his closet or hide under his bed.  Mostly, he believes, they live in haunted castles or creepy farmhouses, and luckily, there aren’t any of those in our neighborhood.  But my son  sleeps with a few lights on and, to my chagrin, he prefers to sleep with his bedroom door OPEN!  Doesn’t he know, I wonder, that monsters can slip in much easier when they don’t have to turn the door knob?  I cannot, of course, point this most obvious and important fact out to him.  And so, after he falls asleep, I turn out his lights and shut both his bedroom door, and mine.

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Filed under life, monsters, Scooby Doo, sleeping