And Now... The Thing.

In the process of recounting childhood stories, I've touched many times on the various methods of punishment my parents used to discipline us. They were pretty innovative, and rarely used physical force. We got sent to The Dog House, or to my parent's room, or sometimes we were forced to do something really horrible like clean stuff.

I was reminded of another punishment the other day. No Thing.

This particular punishment affected The Snitch more than it affected me or Houdini, mostly because as the human vacuum cleaner among us, he was the one who looked forward to it most.

Let me take a moment to explain about The Thing. Any given night at our house, about an hour or so before The Snitch, Houdini and I were shuffled off to bed, you might hear any of the following:

(1) "What do you want for your Thing?"
(2) "Can I have my Thing now?"
(3) "No. I told you no Thing tonight and I meant it."

Our bedtimes were staggered, however The Thing usually happened all at once. We'd all line up and get our Things, then go watch another ten minutes of TV. I know that sounds like some bizarre Scientology ritual, but it wasn't.

Here's the story. Once, when our minds were young and impressionable, my mother said, "You can each have one thing to eat before you go to bed, and that's it."

"I want a Popsicle for my Thing," I replied. "Green."

"I want a cookie for my Thing. With some ice cream," The Snitch said.

"No fair! That's two Things! Cookies and ice cream is two Things," Houdini said. "You're only supposta get one Thing."

Eventually this word rubbed off on my mother and she started saying it too. "What do you want for your Thing?" she would ask us, without batting an eye.

Even dinner guests didn't interfere with the this nightly ritual. When we all started clamoring for our "Thing" it completely mystified the guests and embarrassed my parents, who very quickly explained exactly what it was we were asking for.

Logically, you'd think it would have morphed into "What do you want for your snack?" but sadly, that didn't happen.

"Thing" it was, and "Thing" it ever shall be.

What was it that prompted me to tell you this story? Well, I happened to stumble upon this a couple of days ago and it made me laugh:

It MUST happen. IT MUST....IT MUST!

I'll have the coffee ice cream and KahlĂșa. Oh, and a vote. Or is that one too many Things?

What do you guys want for your Thing?


  1. No way, first??? Really? Wow, I feel so honored...

    I'll have a big fat bowl of Ben & Jerry's for my Thing. Nearly any flavor. Love that stuff but hardly ever buy it. We eat too damn healthy.

  2. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Well, the Big Guy just got home after being out of town for a little while, so I think my Thing is covered for tonight. But I've gotta admit, most nights it's a piece of Entenmann's chocolate cake and a glass of ice cold milk.

  3. Wow, gotta love those magical expanding underpants. That guy must shop at the same undies store as The Hulk.

  4. For my thing I want a big cup of Sonic ice. My mother says that's a sign of anemia so don't tell her. I don't want her to worry.

  5. POPCORN..and it even looks a little like The Thing!

  6. As a child, the Thing was a 16oz glass of chocolate milk. (I don't recall pissing the bed nightly, so this was apparently not the horrible mistake it sounds like.)

    Now, it's a shot of Jamesons. And yes. I do get out of bed at least once per night to avoid pissing in bed.

    Life is not fair.

  7. Anonymous1:52 AM

    You got the vote... and that's your Thing for tonight! And now I want a bowl of Cheerios. I know... nothing really fancy there!

  8. Can I have The Thing for my Thing? Not to eat, of course, but because he'd be handy to have around. You know, to clobber things.

  9. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Coffee ice cream smothered in hot fudge!

  10. Anonymous8:39 AM

    I just ate a piece of fudge, which I think might have to be my Thing.

  11. Hrm..

    Some nice cheesy nachos would be a good one for me!

    Maybe add a bit of spiced beef, and some olives?

    Oh, and of course salsa, sour cream, and guacamole!

    No green onions, though. Gotta make sure I don't have the dragon breath before going to bed!

  12. scotch and water over ice....
    Is that three things? But Ice is frozen water, so is that two?
    If it must be ONE, then scotch.

    I like my special wood verification...."chaste". Sort of a Monty Python thing....

    Wait....it's "chashe"? Is that a nut or something?

  13. Well prior to being pregnant, it was a small glass of sherry. Now, I'm lucky if I get some water, but not too much or I'll be up all night...

    And apparently for my word verification, I'm 'mazin - why thank you very much!

  14. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I like the idea of coffee ice cream and Kahlua. I always liked White Russians and that sounds good to me. So that will be my new Thing.

  15. I'm getting all kinds of good ideas from this post. I like them all, except for maybe UB's Big Guy Thing and Jorm's nachos.

    Damn, just reading that and going to sleep would probably give most people the shits.

    BAG, if you have to go that way, I suggest Sue Storm. One, she's hot, and two, although not made for clobberin', she can turn invisible if you get caught by your girlfriend.

  16. Anonymous1:05 PM

    heh heh heh... upstate said "my Thing is covered for tonight" LOL

    I'll take a handful of M&Ms, please.

    Nite Nite!

  17. I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I drive my husband crazy because I get into bed and the realize that I need a "Thing".

  18. i agree with the cookies and ice cream request!

    or a makers and water. that's my "thing" these days.

  19. Anonymous12:20 PM

    I love that tradition! I'll take a tall glass of chocolate milk for my Thing, please.

  20. Anonymous3:57 PM

    I'll have some Guthrie's chicken fingers, pleaseandthankyou.

    Damn, I miss Tallahassee.

  21. Anonymous7:05 PM

    That comic reminds me of the line from the book - "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!"

    My "thing" would be a piece of Black Russian cake. Mmmm - best cake in the world.

  22. gin and tonic, extra lime...

  23. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Oh, easy: Blue Bell Ice Cream. Either Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Caramel Sundae Crunch. Yum.

  24. A Samuel Adams. My dad used to say, "Go buy your daddy a beer." Which meant to get a beer from the fridge for him. Old Milwaukee-- gack!

    Pretty cool to be able to say the same thing to my son now.

  25. In my family, we didn't get a "Thing" before bed.

    Any time I was allowed to have a cookie, though, I always wanted "one for each hand."

    It was never referred to as "two cookies." That would be silly.

    One for each hand please!

    Wow, that sounds kinda pervy as a grown up...

  26. Lately it's been some chocolate or derivative of chocolate. Since it was just Halloween, it's Reeses' or Snickers (guitar, please) or butterfinger. Oh, and they're frozen.

    Expanding underpants? How about buffet pants or gym shorts for buffet night !!!