Clean Your Den, or No Maidens For You

Clean Your Den, or No Maidens For You

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2009

"Buddy, is your room clean yet?"
"How much have you—oh jeez, you guys! I asked you to clean your room two hours ago. This looks worse than it was."
"Sweetie, you were supposed to help him. What have you two been doing this whole time?"
"But you weren't supposed to be playing. You were supposed to be cleaning your room. Weren't you guys working together?"
"Playing together is not working together. I told you before things go faster if you can both work together. It cuts your work time in half."
"Right, Sweetie, that's called cooperation."
"Yes, Buddy, just like you learned on Sesame Street."
"So why weren't you cooperating?"
"No, I don't care what Ernie and Bert did on Sesame Street today."
"Because I want to find out why your room's not clean."
"What do you mean, she was the bad guy?"
"Huh, I didn't know you guys played knights and dragons. I used to play that as a kid. I remember one time—wait, that's not important. You need to get your room clean, Buddy. Let's stay focused on the issue right now."
"No, I didn't know she could imitate a dragon."
"Okay, Sweetie, show me what dragons sound like."
"Wow, that's pretty scary."
"Yes, I'm being patronizing. That's a pretty big word for an 8-year-old."
"I know you're smart."
"Yes, and you know big words. So what do big words have to do with dragons?"
"But you weren't supposed to be playing knights and dragons. You were supposed to be cleaning your room, remember? That's what I asked you to do after lunch."
"You just had lunch two hours ago. You don't need to eat anything else."
"But dragons don't need to eat that often."
"Dragons don't eat cookies."
"They eat one big meal every two weeks, and then they're finished for a while."
"Princesses. Sometimes cows, sometimes knights, but mostly princesses."
"No, we're not going to make gingerbread princesses."
"Because you're supposed to be cleaning your room, Buddy. What part of 'clean your room' don't you understand?"
"What do dragons have to do with cleaning your room?"
"But dragons are not supposed to mess up your room even more."
"I'm sure it was a great castle. But you were supposed to—"
"Well, dragons crashing into a castle wall can be pretty devastating. But I asked you guys to—"
"You need a giant bow and arrow. I mean, you can't just bring down a dragon with regular bows and arrows, and a catapult isn't accurate enough to hit something moving as fast as a dragon. You need what's called a ballista."
"It's sort of like a catapult, but it's a giant bow and arrow. So how did you shoot down this one?"
"Guns? Buddy, castles don't have guns."
"Well, they just didn't."
"Yes, Sweetie, I know you're using your imagination."
"Yes, I know dragons aren't actually real."
"You got me there. If you've got dragons, you might as well have guns. So what do guns have to do with cleaning—"
"Well, Buddy, your wall crashed because it was pretty weak on the north side here. Your walls are pretty thin. You need to reinforce them a little."
"Because Legos can't withstand the impact of a dragon. I think if you shore up that north wall with Lincoln Logs, you'll be able to handle another blast. Ooh, and we need some GI Joes with their laser rifles. Send your Hot Wheels around on the left flank, but don't send them until I give the word."
"Now, Sweetie, give me five minutes to assemble these Lincoln Logs, and then you get back to your original—"
"What? I'm helping them clean the room."
"Well, they were playing knights and dragons, and the castle wall wasn't strong enough, so I'm helping him shore up his defenses."
"Hey, dragons have everything to do with cleaning a room."

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  1. That is awesome. I have two grown sons, and I can't count the times their mother walked in and I was complicit in neglecting their duties.

  2. Erik:
    Have read with great interest many of your SI opinions. Just want to say you definitely used your and your daughter's IMAGINATION on this one lol.
    Continued success,
    Duke Snyder

  3. Thanks Duke and Chuck. I appreciate it.


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