Friday, August 31, 2007


Once upon a time, a man wearing green flannel pajamas with orange polka dots on them lived in an underground house, the walls of which were lined with old rubber tires. He called himself John.

His parents didn’t give him that name. Mr. Twindle, John’s father, had no say in placing an appropriate title upon his son. Mrs. Twindle, without rising from her birthing chair, proclaimed her male offspring, Samuel Harrison Ignatius Twindle. Her sense of humor rivaled that of her mother-in-law who had bestowed upon her son, John’s father, the glorious name, Stanley Howard Inigo Twindle. Stanley’s father wasn’t around to object or to give Stanley his own surname so Miss Twindle gave Stanley her maiden name.

Mrs. Twindle, John’s mother, liked to refer to her son as The Little SHIT and her husband as The Big SHIT. Miss Twindle, John’s grandmother, never did, but she giggled whenever Mrs. Twindle called her men SHITs.

Mrs. Twindle did other things she found funny. She sent John to school with an empty brown paper bag for his lunch. She replaced his English essays with her old love letters from old beaus. She sent him to the drug store to buy her feminine products. She castigated Mr. Twindle in public while John stood by, unable to defend his father who never defended himself.

Mrs. Twindle did other things too but John knew by instinct they should never be talked about with outsiders. He kept things to himself. He never attempted to bring anyone home. He hid what he could.

When he was eight, he began calling himself John. He would not respond to anyone if they did not call him John. This made Mrs. Twindle mad. Mrs. Twindle began beating John. She called him Little SHIT. He ignored her. She took the toilet cleaning brush, called him John and hit him so hard with the bristled end of the brush it left bloody dots where it landed on his bare skin. She thought her use of the toilet brush as weapon to beat John funny. Mrs. Twindle wasn’t really smart enough to go beyond bathroom humor, but that didn’t stop her being effective in her torture.

John ran away from home at the age of twelve. He didn’t get far. The town came together for Mrs. Twindle to search for John. They found him at the bus station trying to buy a ticket with coins he had scrounged together for two years. They returned John to Mrs. Twindle’s bosom along with twenty-three fifty in pennies, nickels and dimes, housed in an old sock. That night Mrs. Twindle used John’s running away money as a cudgel on his thighs and buttocks. When she raised heavy welts on his legs and the bruises pleased her simple nature, she sent John to the store to buy her douche and he had to pay for it with his own money.

Mr. Twindle died a few weeks later, followed closely by Miss Twindle. John’s grandmother left her entire estate to her grandson. She even mentioned in her will she did it to make Mrs. Twindle furious.

Mrs. Twindle went to court and had herself made the executor of John’s estate. She began proceedings to have John committed.

That night, John crept into Mrs. Twindle’s bedroom while she slept, climbed on top of her, his knees pressed into her chest and placed a pillow over her face. She fought like a banshee but John, desperate, held that pillow down until Mrs. Twindle was dead.

John straightened up Mrs. Twindle’s hair and bed clothes, smoothed out the blankets and went to bed. He slept until eleven in the morning. He ate breakfast, brushed his teeth, dressed and walked to the police station. He announced to the officer on duty that his mother had died during the night in her sleep. No one ever questioned Mrs. Twindle’s death. Mrs. Twindle left all of her money to a home for wayward girls specifically to purchase red high heeled shoes.

John lived until the age of eighteen in a group home just outside of his hometown. When he came of age, he took all of his money from his grandmother and bought camping gear, a shovel and a piece of property in Montana.

John began collecting used old car tires and digging a hole. When his hole was large enough to suit him and his dog, he lined the hole with the tires he had gathered. His home remained the same temperature throughout the year. He wore green pajamas with orange polka dots, slept in a sleeping bag on the ground and he never had indoor plumbing.


  1. I'd vote for him! Proven survivors are good people to know.

  2. Nessa, you are nothing if not original.

    Go John! Reminds me of someone I know.

  3. Great work! I could almost smell the rubber tires.

    Btw, would you have a way of contacting Jenn? I think she changed the settings of her account and I couldn't access it anymore. Blogger prompts that I should be invited to be able to read. If in case an e-mail address is needed, mine is


  4. Bert: Survivors are the bomb.

    Jenn: There are many damaged people in the world.

    John: Thanks. I will email Jenn and have her email you.