News

Bedtime for Bonzo IV

Yet Another Compelling True-Life Sci-Fi Docu-Drama in One Act
(overheard from the next room)

The curtain rises.
The time: 9 p.m. The place: the spectacularly messy bedroom of a four-year-old boy, who is being tucked in by his spectacularly pregnant mother.

BOY: Mom, will you read me a story?
MOTHER: Yes. But just one. A short one. You have to get a good night's sleep tonight. Do you remember where you're going tomorrow?

BOY: Yeah! To the railroad park. With my friends Martin and Kelsey. I've never been to the railroad park with them, have I?

MOTHER: No. The last time you were there, they weren't even born yet.
BOY: Where were they before they were born?
MOTHER: You know. They were in their mommies' tummies. Just like our new baby.
BOY: I mean before that.

MOTHER: Oh. Well, um, they were, aah . . . they were angels. They were angels waiting for just the right time to come to earth to be with their mommies and daddies.

BOY: They were angels?
MOTHER: Uh-huh.
BOY: They were in heaven? With God and Jesus and my goldfish and all the other angels?

MOTHER: Um . . . well, yes . . . BOY: So they died?
MOTHER: No, no, no . . . they just, um . . . which book did you want me to read? How about Three Billy Goats Gruff?

BOY: How did they get to heaven if they didn't die? I thought you had to die to get to heaven.

MOTHER: No, you don't have to die. You see, aah . . . we all come from heaven. That's where God makes us. And then we, um, wait for our turn to come to earth. (Clears throat.) Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once upon a time there were three billy goats gruff . . . BOY: When the baby comes to earth, how does it get into the mommy's tummy?

MOTHER: Well, mommies have these tiny little eggs inside them . . . BOY (suddenly excited): You mean you're gonna lay an egg?!?

MOTHER: No, sweetheart, I'm not going to lay an egg. You see, mommies have these little eggs inside them, and, um, daddies have something inside of them . . . and when you, er, put it all together, the egg turns into a baby.

BOY: Really?
MOTHER: Yes. That's how you make babies.
(Long pause.)

BOY: I'd rather make candy.
MOTHER: I don't blame you. Okay. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once upon a time . . . BOY: So God doesn't make the baby . . . MOTHER: Yes, He does. He just needs the Mommy and Daddy to help Him. Now, c'mon. It's getting late. If you want me to read you this story . . . BOY: Does the egg hatch inside of your tummy?

MOTHER: Um, sort of, yes.
BOY: When our baby is born, can I keep the egg shells?
MOTHER: Oh, honey, there aren't any egg shells. It's all very complicated. You'll understand when you're bigger. I promise. All right? Let's read the story. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once upon a time, there were three . . . BOY: How does the baby come out of your tummy?

MOTHER: Well, do you remember the movie The Adventures of Milo and Otis, about the cat and the dog who were best friends? BOY: Yes.

MOTHER: And do you remember the part where we saw the puppies being born?
BOY (shocked): You mean when they came out like poop?
MOTHER: Uh . . . BOY: Our baby isn't going to come out like that, is it? MOTHER: Well, aah . . . BOY: Oh, gross! I don't want to be there. I don't want to see it. I'm gonna stay with Grandma. Gro-ooo-sss. (Pause.) Mom? Where are you going? Aren't you going to read me Three Billy Goats Gruff?

MOTHER: No, honey. It's very late, and I think you've had enough stories for one night. Good night, sweetheart. (She exits.)

BOY: Mom! I didn't come out like that, did I? Mom? Mom? (Pause.) Oh, gross! I should have let her read Three Billy Goats Gruff.

(Blackout. Curtain.)

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Burkett