He spent the better part of his day working jigsaw puzzles. Told the neighbor kids he was Spanish. And that they should stay off his deck or risk suffering a curse that turned their dreams black and white the rest of their lives. He could do it too, he assured them. He could turn any one of them into a duck with a few filthy words. He could bury them alive in the front yard if he wanted to and get away with it as he had an agreement with the magistrate.

His hair was black and his mustache two right triangles. He wore a short cape which the kids called his dress and roared disapproval when they showed him drawings they had made of his house. He didn't care for the way they drew animals with sympathy and, he noted, they had wrongly depicted him in a helicopter. Took him the better part of an afternoon to correct these mistakes and refile them with the patent office.

He had put almost everything into a magic carpet business that didn't work out. He enjoyed simply laying on his concrete porch with a copy of Gambler magazine draped over his face. It didn't last. The kids appeared and began hurling rocks at his body screaming sonofabitch and nogoodbastard like he was a demon bird. He'd finally get up and trap one of them under his foot and begin a bellowing lecture about power dynamics and Freud. We're going to learn together. We haven't any choice!

He eventually got a job pouring sand on old ladies and calmed down. The spirit had left him.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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