Tonight’s activity is covering yourself in wood. Anywhere there’s bare skin, slap on some wood pieces. Nothing fancy, just hunks and sticks and sheets torn from trunks and branches. No sanding. Rough. Visible bark. Use carpenter’s glue and rubber bands. After it sets, tear off the rubber bands and shoot them over the fence. Walk away slowly. Don’t run. Friction could ignite the kindling now stuck to your thighs.

This new wooden suit of armor will require a lot of changes in behavior and attitude. It will require varnish. Possibly weather-proofing. But you will be better for it. A better man. If people ask, tell them you are Nature. Not of nature or from nature. Tell them you are Nature. Nature itself.

They will fear your judgement. Many will assume you can now summon hurricanes and swarms of wasps. Let them think that. Then let them start to question their own Activity Nights. How their lack of planning led them to be dominated by you and your wooden arms. They might’ve dipped a foot in molten rubber. They never went all the way. They just bought a kit. Made themselves look like the picture on the box.

You decided you wanted something more. You wanted to be a living tree or totem pole. Except you didn’t want to marry an eagle and tie a sea lion to your waist. So you did the next best thing: You covered your human parts in wood. Then you started coughing. Non-stop for four hours. Then you came over here and I told you, “You should’ve worn a mask. Hickory dust is an eye irritant. That’s OK. You still covered your backside in wood. Hardest part to reach. Probably needed a mirror. And you respected me enough not to borrow mine. I admire that. I use my mirror for taking trick photos of little toy figures out near the garage. They fool a lot of people into thinking I run some kind of gang. Let them think that.”

I’m so glad you covered your body in wood. Now go downstairs, I’m going to take my bath. 

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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