Friday, October 13th, 2006
Monster Extermination Product Roundup
Monsters come for you on your third birthday. That’s what I’ve read. I shook my Magic Google Ball and every article that floated to the top stated that bed and closet monsters attack kids 3 to 8-years-old.
I retain one monster memory from sometime after I turned 4-years-old. As I lay in bed, in the darkness, I saw something moving in the shadows. I called out to my mother. "Mom! Mommmmm! I’m nyctophobic! Mommmm!" She came into the room and turned on the light, but the monster turned out to be a lamp or a chair or another innocuous object. We repeated the process of crying and turning the light on a few times until I eventually fell asleep. That was before I knew about shape shifters. How I’m alive today to recount this story, I don’t know.
As far as I’m concerned, there are only four ways to handle monsters. Scare ‘em, trap ‘em, banish ‘em, or drag them out from under the bed kicking and screaming and kill them in cold blood. (They are cold blooded, you know.)
Unfortunately, the monster extermination industry is still quite young. Here are a few products I dug up.
Monster Ban is a spray bottle filled with water and aromatherapy oils which "produce a soothing, calming fragrance." Monsters hate the smell of lavender and orange blossoms, or so you tell your child. The bottle has a drawing of a monster with a red circular "banned" symbol over it. Just don’t let your child know that a monster with a head cold loses his sense of smell.
Monster Go Away Spray is also a spray bottle filled with a natural aromatherapy mixture, but this bottle is shiny metal. It doubles as a billy club in the event your child comes up against a coughing, aching, stuffy-headed monster who can’t smell the spray. The manufacturer’s web site contains this disclaimer: "We don’t test on animals, only family and friends!" I wouldn’t trust a monster spray that has not been tested on monsters. Why gamble with your child’s life?
Boogieman-B-Gone is yet another spray bottle, but this one bears the cartoon image of Luke Liberty who "became a super hero on Planet Baroopy by eliminating the Boogieman and Monsters while under attack in the Maddian Galaxy." If it worked for the Maddian Galaxy, maybe it will work for your home. Luke subscribes to the Dorothy worldview that says wicked witches and all other evil can be vanquished with a spritz of regular unscented water.
Magical Monster Trap (warning: embedded audio) is the most fiendish option available. Your child recites an incantation (or devil’s spell, if you’re a religious fundamentalist) from a storybook, waves a magic wand and pours a magic potion (water) into a gold box. Your child then places this lethal trap in the area where the monster usually appears. You, the parent, covertly sprinkle food coloring in the box and sometime later have your kid open the box to see that the monster has been liquefied. You then flush the monster down the toilet like a dead goldfish. In other words, the Magical Monster Trap is a solution for a delusional kid who just thinks a monster is in his room. This "trap" doesn’t really super-heat a monster to achieve liquefaction. It doesn’t even use batteries.
No More Monsters Sign is provided free by the good folks at the Simmons Bedding Company. Who understands monsters better than the very folks who manufacture monster habitat? The company’s plan for avoiding product liability lawsuits in toddler deaths is to have its customers visit the No More Monsters Sign web page. Once there, choose from a menu of options to specify the type of monster living in your home. Spots? Wings? Horns? Fill out the details and type your child’s name into a web form to have a sign instantly generated for printing. It reads, "No more monsters allowed under (your child’s) bed! KEEP OUT!" We are so lucky that the monster population has a 99% literacy rate.
That’s it. This handful of products is all free market capitalism has done to protect your child. If you fancy yourself as a modern day MacGyver, check out the following communistic do-it-yourself article for monster management using everyday household items.