Thursday, April 19, 2007

Kids Do the Darndest Things

Dad goes into boy's room to tuck him in and notices the boy sleepily hitting himself in the head.
Concerned, Dad asks the boy, "Why are you doing that?"
Boy responds, " I can't stop thinking bad thoughts."
" Bad thoughts?" the dad asks, as tiny beads of sweat begin to form on his forehead, " What kind of bad thoughts?"
In his mind the dad is suddenly adrift on a tiny raft in the cold arctic ocean. Around him are huge, sharp, foreboding icebergs. In their facets he sees tabloid headlines reading: "Shooting Spree at School", "Family Killed by Child", "Bodies found In Shallow Grave". Above his head an iceberg breaks free.
The child notices the dad flinch and asks him, "Are you okay?"
Recovering himself the dad asks again, "What kind of bad thoughts?"
The boy begins to relate all manner of normal childhood mis-behaviors; Not listening to mom and dad, roughhousing, not coming when he's called, small devious pranks and mischief, etc.
Relieved, the dad explains that all these things are normal and that we all think bad thoughts or misbehave from time to time and that's all part of being human.
"Thanks dad." the boy says as the dad heads toward the door.
"No problem." replies the dad as he starts to close the door.
"Sweet dreams," the boy mumbles as he rolls over into his pillow.
"Yeah," a dry nervous chuckle escapes as the dad replies, "sweet dreams."


Anthony Carpenter said...

Excellent artwork, Mr. Snider.
Those big juicy ink lines are great and the painterly use of digital coloring (Wacom?) is very effective.

The tale you've spun points out the fundamental problem with our language. The use of simple terms for vast and complex things leads quickly to misunderstandings. Since "bad thoughts" can mean anything from "I think Lori Jenkins is a stinky-head"" to "The voices told me to kill co-eds and eat their hearts", it's pretty easy to see how a kid could become confused.

It takes a good dad to help a child make some sense of it all without losing his cool.

Jack Snider said...

Thanks, as always, Anthony for your insightful comments!

The artwork was done with a Wacom tablet and pen. I highly recommend one if you haven't gotten one yet. I'm trying lately to keep things simple and graphic. It's an interesting challenge.

You hit the nail on the head as to the story. There's a stark difference between an innocent kid's idea of a bad thought and a world weary adults.