my own best of 2002, par1t whatever: the golden rule
Continuing with my own favorite posts of 2002, I think this one ranks right up there with the best I've come up with the past year. Mostly because the story also appeared in print, in Macros2000 (issue#8), right next to a story that was illustrated by Evan Dorkin (who has a BLOG!)
I know most of you have already read "The Golden Rule: Don't Pee in the Millenium Falcon," so you have permission to skip it if you must.
Every family has those special sayings. The ones that only the people in their family know the meaning of, usually related to some inside joke or a story that is the family's version of an urban legend.
Yes, we have them. We have several, actually, but this is my most often used saying and my favorite just for the looks I get from other people when I say it.
When DJ turned four (you just knew this would have something to do with DJ, didn't you?) he was a Star Wars freak of the highest order. Ok, we all were. For his birthday that year, he got a whole batch of Star Wars toys, including this humungous replica of the Millenium Falcon, complete with flashing lights and sound effects. He enjoyed this present immensely, often playing with it for hours at a time. He would sometimes take his figures from other toy sets - knights and pirates and cowboys - and put them in the Millenium Falcon. He would then have Han Solo boss them around. It was fun to watch.
So one day I go in his bedroom and I notice a strange odor. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, and I start looking around the room for moldy food or drink cups or small, dead animals. Finally, I pinpoint where the smell is coming from. The Millenium Falcon. I look into it, and see that a small flood has invaded its interior. Han Solo and Pocahantas are floating together in a stream of.....of....what's that? Piss?? Piss in the Millenium Falcon? I went ballistic. I screamed and yelled and acted sufficiently horrified, all the while fighting the urge to let out this maniacal laugh. The laughter that comes from witnessing the absurd.
DJ stood there watching me, a small grin playing around the corners of his mouth. He wanted to smile. He wanted to laugh. Hell, he wanted to do a jiggy dance right there because his little antic served its purpose. He wanted a reaction. He got it. I didn't really know what else to say at the point. So I put my hand on my hip and pointed sternly at him. "Young man," I said. "You do not pee in the Millenium Falcon!" He nodded his head in agreement, still stifling that laugh. I made him take the offending toy outside, hose it down and the throw it in the garbage can. Which, of course, made him cry and realize the gravity of his action.
A couple of days later, we are in Chucky Cheese. They have one of those big, winding tunnels that the kids can crawl through and torment each other. It's suspended about 8 feet above the rest of the play area and it's basically impossible to get to the kids when you want to leave. The kids know this. I read my kids the riot act before they go to play. Coming here is a privilege, I explain. When I say it's time to go, we go. So an hour later it's time to go and they look down at me from the opaque orange tube of kiddie hell and stick their tongues out at me. I go to the end of the tube and yell at them. They laugh. I say something about taking good things for granted. They laugh. I then yell "Do not pee in the Millenium Falcon!" Heads turn, the place goes quiet. Everyone is staring. Two seconds later, the kids are down the slide and in their coats. They knew what I meant.
The phrase has found its place in the twisted lingo of our family. We use it at opportune moments, in our home and in public, and it always makes its point and gets the job done.
Do not pee in the Millenium Falcon. Our family's golden rule