The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

Humor Writing Contest Winner:
December, 2002/January, 2003 Contest
Best Very Short Humor

The Bathroom Batallion


Phyllis Johnson

My sad little willow was weeping. There was no doubt aboutit. Its lower limbs had been stripped and prepped for use as weapons. Threeindustrious little fellows were in the midst of some great strategy and Ihated to interrupt their play to reprimand them for stripping the tree.

Standing at the kitchen sink, I watched as they filed past,going who knows where to do who knows what. Like stair steps, theymarched, beginning with the biggest and straighter–faced and ending with thesmallest and smirk faced. The stripped willow branches were carried with pride. Ifought the urge to disarm them and instead turned my attention to myhousehold duties.

As I rolled dough for chicken and dumplings, the next thirtyminutes went by without a hitch. Only an occasional hoop or holler from theother end of the house reminded me that I was not alone.

With chicken and dumplings simmering in the pot, I made amental checklist of my household duties. Glancing at the basket offreshly dried clothes, I decided that I would tackle the laundry next. I beganto sort and fold clothes. It must have been my imagination but I could havesworn the laundry had doubled in quantity.

It seemed as though the socks had multiplied. There musthave been 70 pairs to match. After making five separate piles of clothes todistribute, I decided I'd better check on the warriors.

With my arms full of folded laundry, I walked past thebathroom door and froze in my tracks. I heard a lot of splashing going on in thereand a young male voice shriek, "Kill those stingrays!"

Dropping clean clothes on the spot, I seized the doorknoband barged into the bathroom. Three brave souls poised strategically over a tubfull of white stingrays. Their busy little hands maneuvered willowy harpoonsthat were flailing madly away.

"We killed 'em Mom! All 26 of 'em!" my six–year old proudlyexclaimed.

Taking a deep breath, I started scooping the wet"stingrays," a.k.a. winged sanitary pads, out of the tub, threw them into the trashcan and pulled the plug to discourage further water play.

"Mop up the water. It's all over the place," I told afrowning imp. I tossed a towel his way and went out of the bathroom, closing thedoor behind me.

I walked down the hall and put away some of the foldedclothes. On the way back by the closed door, I heard some paper rustling and thesound of something being ripped open. I paused for a moment to try andguess what they were getting into this time. Then I heard an excited voicesay, "Hey, this skinny tube would make a great bean shooter!"

I was afraid to open the door to see what the warriors haddiscovered. One unpleasant, unexpected surprise per day is enough excitementfor this gal.

The next time the Bathroom Battalion strikes, if I'm lucky,maybe they'll tie each other up with dental floss and I'll have a little peaceand quiet.

© 2003, Phyllis Johnson

About the author:

Phyllis Johnson is a freelance writer who admits to not even having sons. She only imagines the chaos possible in a house with three of them. She avoids taking dental floss to school for fear of being tied to her chair.

She's involved in a poetry group that has been working on a 200poem chapbook. She's also in a romance writer's group. I write freelance for 2 newspapers and have written 4 feature stories in a monthin addition to working at school.She's been published in numerous magazines (including Woman'sWorld and being a freelance writer for two newspapers) and she has published nationally.

About the illustrator:

The artist, Lori Boocks received a master's of art degree fromOld Dominion University in Virginia. Her work has appeared in places asclose to her hometown as close as Norfolk, Virginia and as far away as China.

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©Margie Culbertson

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