News

KILLER INSTINCTS

As a child of the Sixties
Who was into love and peace,
It, like, wow, man, really bummed me
To see global strife increase.
So I long ago decided,
If I ever had some sons,
That never would I buy them
Any war toys, any guns.

That's a vow I stuck to
Once I finally had a boy;
Never have we given him
A weapon for a toy.
But what I didn't count on
Was a young lad's innate knack
For wanting to do nothing more
Than search, destroy, ATTACK!

We first got him a rattle,
But we had to trash it quick
When he used it as a blackjack
The next Christmas . . . on Saint Nick.
And then he got a teething ring;
No harm in that at all . . . Until we caught him garroting
His cousin's Barbie doll.

Soon all sticks were viewed as swords;
The short ones viewed as knives
(Two of them made nunchakus,
Which are swell for taking lives).
Marbles made great bullets,
And balls, bazooka shells.
Play-Doh made explosive clay
To blow things all to hell.

Now that the lad has started school,
The problem still persists;
Our son can make a weapon
Out of anything you list.
Not just toys and playthings,
But any random stuff
Becomes, to him, a handy tool
To torture, maim and snuff.

Give this boy a lemon,
He will not make lemonade;
Instead, that citrus will become
A deadly hand grenade.
Or barbecue a hot dog;
He'll take it from the bun
And spray the house with fire;
It's an all-beef Tommy gun!

Of all the errors that we've made,
The biggest one as yet
Was when we gave our little man
A harmless LEGO set.
Soon he was constructing
A complete munitions center,
Within an eight-foot fortress
Audie Murphy couldn't enter.

Safe inside, he built himself
Some full-size flame projectors.
Rifles, cannons, howitzers
And fireball ejectors.
Browning automatics, Smith & Wesson .37s,
Each with bayonets attached,
From one up to eleven.

When I hollered, "This is it!
Get out of there right now!"
He merely laughed a wicked laugh
And dusted a stuffed cow.
"I'm going in!" I told my wife,
As flak whizzed past my knee.
"You stay here. Protect yourself.
And for God's sake, cover me!"

Dodging crayon missiles
And anti-aircraft blocks
And rockets made of Golden Books,
And land mines made of socks,
I hit the wall with all my might,
And damn near blackened out.
"Ha ha! Good try! But no cigar!"
I heard the monster shout.

The boy's assault continued from
Twelve-thirty till past three.
That's when the perfect, foolproof plan
At long last came to me.
"Son, it's almost four o'clock,"
I yelled out through the noise, "It's time to watch your favorite show,
The Barnyard Death-Squad Boys!

"After that comes Mutant Ninja
Sniper Slugs at War . . . And then Guerrilla Chipmunks
and the Psycho-Killer Corps . . . Followed next by that cartoon
You really, truly love:
Stark-Crazy Sociopathic
Paratroopers From Above . . . "

Suddenly, the shooting stopped,
The smoke began to clear . . . A white flag raised above the fort
Said, yes, the end was here.
He scampered from his bunker,
Ran straight to the TV set,
To watch his favorite programs;
He has never missed them yet.

That left me with some quiet time
To contemplate and wonder
Where my son learned that it's fun
To kill, destroy and plunder.
From whence he got this instinct,
Well, I haven't got a clue.
It must've come from Mother Nature . . . Not from anything I do.

Give this boy a lemon,
he will not make lemonade; instead, that citrus will become a deadly hand grenade.

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Michael Burkett