Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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As The Dollhouse Turns - Boy Trouble

Episode 3 - Boy Trouble

As the scene opens, Buzz comes home from work and finds his oldest daughter, Charmeuse, is entertaining a visitor in the living room.

"I like you because you don't judge me
when I tear my shirt open and smash things at recess.
I just hate getting picked last for kickball.  It make me so angry!"

"This is my friend, Jimmy," Charmeuse tells her father, blushing and giggling.  "He's in my class at school.  We're... studying."

"Mmm hmm," replies Buzz, who is trying to burn holes directly through Jimmy's head with his eyes.  He leaves the room, but hopes their brief exchange has expressed his complete willingness to rip Jimmy's arms out of their sockets should it for some reason become necessary.

Later that night, Buzz asks Sunny why she would allow that boy in their house.

"Oh Buzz, don't be ridiculous.  He's the youngest of the Hulk boys.  He's harmless."

"He doesn't look  harmless.  Isn't he a little... developed  for a fifth grader?"

Sunny can't contain her irritation and rolls her eyes,
but plays it off like she was looking over at the window,
which is oddly low and makes useful furniture arrangement impossible.

"You know kids today, with their Wheaties and free weights and anabolic steroids," Sunny says dismissively.  She has a growing concern that this conversation will drag on until one of the kids gets out of bed to complain about monsters in their nonexistent closet before she has time to pour herself a glass of wine.  "Things are different now from when we were their age," she calls over her shoulder, as she scurries to polish off the bottle she'd opened at lunch.

"Well, I don't like it.  Not one bit," Buzz says to no one in particular.


The next day, Jimmy stops by again - but this time, Buzz is there to answer the bell.

"Come in, m'boy," Buzz says warmly, ushering Jimmy's ample frame through the door using four sticks of butter, a bottle of canola oil, and a crowbar.  He closes the door quietly in hopes Charmeuse hadn't seen her new beau ride up to the house on his Schwinn.

"Thanks, Mr. Indenial.  Golly, I'm glad to see you aren't mad at me.  The last time I was here," he continues with a chuckle, "somehow I got the feeling you wanted to rip my arms off.  Hahaha."

"Riiiight," Buzz replies.  "Look, Jimmy - I'd like it very much if you never spoke to my daughter ever again.  You're both so young - you'll have plenty of time for this sort of thing later.  Much, much  later.  Or never."

Buzz climbs up on a chair and gives Jimmy a fatherly pat on the shoulder.

"On the plus side, your breath is
surprisingly minty fresh."

Jimmy tries to put up a fight, but he's respectful of his elders.  Besides, as a fifth grade boy he was dangerously close to getting cooties anyhow.  With a final shrug, he lets Buzz guide him toward the door.
Cut to a close up on Charmeuse, who has been hovering over them on the invisible staircase landing.  As Jimmy leaves, tears well up in her eyes.

"You never loved me!  You've ruined my life FOREVER," she screams at her father before stomping to her room, slamming the door, and throwing herself dramatically onto the bed.

"This is the end of the world and my life is over
and blahblahblah," Charmeuse sobs, being totally rational.

Several days pass, and Buzz foolishly thinks that his fatherly concerns and preferences have had any impact whatsoever on the situation.

However, as he drives by the ice cream parlor one afternoon, he sees Jimmy buying his daughter a cone.

"One scoop with sprinkles for the lady, and for me,
I'll have ALL THE THINGS!!!!!"

Instead of erupting in a volcano of parental hellfire, however, Buzz decides to play it cool.  He doesn't trouble Sunny with his discovery, nor does he lecture Charmeuse.  Instead, he invites Jimmy to go for a drive so they can chat - man to man.

Once they're a considerable distance into the rural countryside, Buzz pulls over in a wooded area to get a few things from the back of the minivan.  "Jimmy, you're a strapping young lad.  Would you help me with this sack of shovels?"

Jimmy obediently hauls the sack out of the car, as rolls of duct tape and a few Tasers spill over the top.  "It sure is nice to get out and stretch my legs, Mr. Indenial.  I think I might be a little big for your car."

"Not to worry, Jimmy," Buzz reassures him.  "It might be cramped now, but it'll be much roomier on the way home."



Everything goes exactly according to Buzz's plan, and Jimmy stops coming around to see Charmeuse.  Buzz congratulates himself on some top-notch fathering one morning over a bowl of cereal, but nearly chokes when he takes a closer look at his carton of milk.

Buzz tries not to panic, but a thousand questions rush through his mind.  Did anyone know about the little drive he'd taken with Jimmy?  Had Charmeuse seen the milk carton yet?  Was he sure he'd shredded all those receipts from the Discount Chloroform Outlet?  Why was his wife suddenly buying him so many boxes of Wheaties?

"In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have marked the grave..."

Buzz knows he has to talk to his daughter, but he must address the subject very cautiously.  He calls her downstairs.

"Honey," Buzz begins, "You've probably don't know this, but Jimmy, um... ran away from home."

Charmeuse nods.  "Yeah, I heard at school."

"Oh.  So I'm guessing you also know that they'll probably never find his body."


"Um, I said he'll probably never come home.  Anyway, I was just afraid you'd be upset, and also wanted to know if you felt like I've been acting suspicious lately, or if you remember hearing me come home late a few nights ago, hose a bunch of things off in the driveway, and then burn my clothes in a barrel."

"Oh Daddy, I'm fine.  That day when Jimmy took me out for ice cream, I realized I could never be with someone who wears clothing that's all tattered like that.  So tacky!  Jimmy and I broke up weeks ago."

"I'm going to need some of your mother's wine."

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Dad said...

No father of a teenage girl can have too many shovels or too much duct tape!

RobynHTV said...

At one point in my life I might have considered that a tad overprotective, but that was before I realized I'm going to need to install razor wire over Zoe's window in the next few years.

Ducky said...

Its amazing what genetically modified food is doing to 5th graders these days.... :D

Marian said...

That is a turn I did not expect the dollhouse to take!
I don't know what I like better, your story or your snarky comments about the dollhouses inadequacies. The placement of the windows DO make rational furniture placement impossible. I tell Ball that's why I can't play with her doll house.

Cat said...

A), I think you are watching too much daytime drama.
2) I have the SAME PROBLEM with the windows in my house...WTH?
Finally, I already have a big stick to beat the girls off my sons. I don't think I could STAND it if I had daughters. I know what *I* was like!

Stacey said...

Nice touch with the milk carton! I had a classmate in teh 7th grade that looked just like Hulk J. Hulk. A dad has to do what a dad has to do.

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

This could be the screen play for Avengers 2. Plus my browser was perfectly aligned so that I read the opening line and then had to scroll to see the picture. When I saw the Hulk I almost spit out the non-existent beverage that wasn't in my mouth.

Mackenzie said...

Oh my word, I don't what part is funnier! The fact that the hulk is the boyfriend or what the dad does to the hulk. Robyn, you hvae a comical gift my friend! :)

RobynHTV said...

Agreed! And that's to say nothing of the crushed-up NoDoze I sprinkle on their oatmeal every morning to enhance their ability to focus at school.

RobynHTV said...

The windows drive me nuts - but of course little kids don't care. They'll cram a hutch in front of a window or put a bed right where it blocks a door. No sense of style, these kids.

RobynHTV said...

I'm in denial that my girls will ever grow up.

And sadly, I haven't seen a soap opera since my freshman year in college, so what does THAT say about me? Never mind, don't answer that...

RobynHTV said...

Not a jury in the world would convict him. Okay, they would, but secretly they'd sympathize.

RobynHTV said...

This might be the first Phantom Spit-Take I've ever elicited, so that's going on my resume for sure.

RobynHTV said...

Thank you! A few days after I took the pictures I found a much more reasonably-sized Hulk in my son's room, but I"m kind of glad I found the gigantic one first. ;)

Plant Seeds of Happiness said...

How quickly the sunny became dark I like it LOL
Buzz could plea self defense and I am excited to see his lawyers?? This is really getting good, so many plots still to unfold, good job Robyn or shall I say ??? dun dun dunnn Happy Wednesday :]

The Meaning of Me said...

OK, the Hulk got me before I even read further - cracked me up! Pretty sure this is how it will play out when my daughter and husband begin to discuss her dating options...which will be zero, if he has his way! Great fun - thanks! :)

Unknown said...

I'm right with The Meaning of Me. I read the title, opened the email and cracked up immediately at the picture of Hulk trying to comfortably lounge in that chair. Absolutely hilarious! Great saga...with all the darkness of a real soap opera. The conversation with his daughter at the end cracked me up too. Very funny! Love your posts!

Amy said...

So glad I discovered this. Am just about to cancel our cable TV and was worried I wouldn't have a replacement for my reality TV/trashy drama fix. Problem solved. Also couldn't agree more on the frustration of dollhouse window placement. Especially when you are already dealing with the challenge of only 3 walls. Sheesh.

hilljean said...

These stories kill me! I look forward to them every week!

Marianne said...

This saga needs to be a book. I'd buy it. And laugh every day.

RobynHTV said...

Thanks! I think Buzz is going to need a whole TEAM of lawyers, don't you? ;)

RobynHTV said...

Same goes at my house - with all their brothers and my husband, my girls' dates will probably never make it onto the porch!

Sue - The Spin Cycle said...

First timer with the ATDT series. And I'll be back for more.

My favorite part? Dad standing on a chair to give Boyfriend a fatherly pat on the shoulder. Great visual.

RobynHTV said...

Thank you so much! I was going to try to position the girl next to the Hulk, but he took up the WHOLE COUCH! :0

RobynHTV said...

Don't tell my TV, but we're thinking about canceling cable, too. Actually, don't tell my husband, either - I'm not sure I've mentioned it to him. And the dollhouse set up is messed up; three balconies but no bathrooms? No way.

RobynHTV said...

Yay - thanks for the encouragement!

RobynHTV said...

Thanks - I'd be happy to print it off for you for a reasonable fee... :)

RobynHTV said...

Thank you! You come on back any time. ;)

Stacey Webb said...

♥ this...
"On the plus side, your breath is
surprisingly minty fresh."

Expecting for more!
from Stacey of http://www.godigging.com/

TNMom said...

Hysterical! I too found the first image funny when I clicked on it! I am happy you found the big hulk first too! Also, I snorted out loud at the caption at the ice cream shop "....I will have ALL THE THINGS!" LOL, great stuff! Cant wait for more!

RobynHTV said...

Thank you so much! I'd love it if you came back for more. ;)

P.S. Stupid Google Chrome won't let me open your website, but I'll try again later... ::grumbles about Google::

RobynHTV said...

Thanks a lot! I can't believe I almost took that Hulk, buried in a huge bag of discarded toys, to the Goodwill before he had a chance to guest star on ATDT. Great, that's all I needed was another excuse to avoid purging things from the house. ;)

One Funny Motha said...

Did you have a career in film production before this? LOVED "you know kids these days w/ their anabolic steroids" & how the dad climbs up on the chair to give hulk a fatherly pat & when the dad questioned the daughter if she noticed anything strange the other night when he came home late & set his clothes ablaze. Good stuff. Can't wait for the next episode, but this is turning into more of a soap opera meets the Sopranos.

RobynHTV said...

I wish - I hope if I'd had a career in film production I would've hung on to it. ;) Not being the kind of person who thinks things through, it never occured to me that I'd eventually need to resolve Buzz's legal issues. Oh well, I'd rather it be a soap opera meets the Sopranos than soap opera meets... well, pretty much anything else on TV. :)

One Funny Motha said...

All you have to do (from the soap opera perspective) is have the Hulk come back from the dead. See, the father never really killed him. He thought he did, but Hulk wasn't really dead so he digs himself out of the dirt grave & reappears on the middle school scene.

RobynHTV said...

G. E. N. I. U. S. It's a good thing my laziness kicked in (as if it ever kicked out), preventing me from taking Hulk to the Goodwill like I was supposed to. Hulk, get ready for your close up!

Nika Corwin, Just Another tired Mommy said...

This is HILARIOUS--you are my hero! Not in the Hulk kind of way...more in the David E. Kelley, Chuck Lorre, or Jerry Bruckheimer kind of way. T.A.L.E.N.T.E.D. Thanks for the laughs!

RobynHTV said...

Why, thank you! Though I have to say, if I'm any kind of hero I'd probably most likely be the kind that smashes stuff. ;)

Kathy at kissing the frog said...

My seven-year-old is dangerously close to becoming your Jimmy. Hopefully I can teach him to share his ice cream and not want all the things for himself. i love this series and I agree with someone above that I would pay for it as a book (and buy one for all my friends who need a laugh). :)

RobynHTV said...

It scares me how big my kids are getting - when strangers ask their ages and then, wide-eyed, exclaim, "Oh, they're so TALL," I smile politely but inside my head I'm screaming, "THEY'RE MY TINY BABIES SHUT UP!!!!!"

Thanks so much for reading - I'll be sure to let you know when I'm offered a book deal (HINT, HINT, publishing industry).

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