VEN (GUEST COMMENTARY) — When I was a little boy, I made a point of declaring jihad on Nellie Sterling and her little friends for not inviting me to their tea parties.
From my concealed coign of vantage — seething with anger and resentment — I’d watch patiently as the little girls and their mothers set up Nellie’s silver plastic tea service with little cups of tea and trays filled with beautiful little cakes and scones and cookies on Nellie’s beautifully flowered patio, and then suddenly — as soon as the mothers went inside — out of nowhere — I would attack, upsetting the tea service, wreaking as much havoc as possible, pulling the little girls pigtails, and making them all run away crying before their mothers came out to chase me away.
Later, to celebrate, I’d peddle my Petite Renault out near the pond at the edge of the woods, and savor my victory with a pack of candy cigarettes, a juice box, and — if I had been lucky enough — a cookie or a scone from the now vanquished tea party.
It did not end well for me, however.
The ever-increasing severity of punishments greatly outweighed whatever benefits I might have enjoyed from further tea party raids, and so — eventually — after the Petite Renault was taken away and I was forced to quit candy cigarettes cold turkey, I moved on to other less overtly violent things, like playing doctor with Nurse Nellie and her little girlfriend patients, which — oddly enough — resulted in more invitations to tea parties than I could ever possibly accept!
But as bad as I was as the uninvited guest, this is what I didn’t do — kill or maim the little girls with a machete, rape their mothers and little brothers and their little dogs, peddle my Petite Renault onto the sidewalk and try to kill as many little girls as possible, hold my sister down while my father decapitated her for allowing a little boy to kiss her on the cheek, blow myself up in the middle of a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, or watch in horror as my father strangled my mother to death for exposing her face in public.
Sometimes enough really is enough. And imagination, the only weapon in the war against reality.