Last night I was a little tired and my 8 year old son kept begging me for a bedtime story until I caved in and told him the tale of a guy named ‘Harry Mann.’
I almost always make up these stories for my kids as I go along because sometimes, the wackiest stories are the best. I try to fill up the tall tales with plenty of things they can visualize and almost always, I hit the nail on the head and my kids go to sleep satisfied. I have no idea what there is in a bedtime story that puts a kid in La La Land almost immediately after they hear it, but it works.
What I do know is this; spending this time at night with my kids shows them how important they are to me and how much I cherish them. I know it also stimulates their brain into visualizing all the scenarios I paint for them with just a few words and their vocabularies are able to expand exponentially. These stories also give me a chance to teach them values as I always try to include a moral to the story.
Here’s the goofy story about “Harry Mann” I made up last night:
Harry Mann was hard-working man with two kids and a wife and he had one feature about him that no one could ignore; he was really hairy! He had long hair, hair in his nose, his ears, his chest, his back, his arms and hands, his legs, and even his feet. Some people believed he had hair coming out of his mouth that he would shave off every day. Harry would look in the mirror every day and say to himself, “I can’t help the way I look. Why are people so mean sometimes?”
One day, because Harry had grown sick and tired of people remarking and making fun of him being hairy, and while his wife was at work and his kids were at school, he cut off all his hair from head to toe. It took him 5 hours!
Immediately after, Harry went to the supermarket and tried to buy some groceries. As he passed through the frozen foods section, he said hello to his friend Bob, who worked there. “Hi Bob,” said Harry. Bob looked at Harry and said, “Do I know you?” Harry said, “It’s me, Bob….Harry. Harry Mann.” “I know Harry and you sir, are not him!” quipped Bob as he shook his head and walked away.
Harry tried saying hello to a few other friends and acquaintances and all of them simply ignored him. Harry became a little frustrated and figured he would simply go pay for his items and get out of the supermarket before he felt even more uncomfortable.
As the cashier began ringing up all of his items, he noticed he had forgotten his wallet with his cash, checks, and ATM card but remembered he had a credit card in the glove compartment of his car. He politely excused himself and proceeded to his car to get it. When he returned, there were 6 angry customers waiting behind him and he gave the credit card to the cashier. The cashier looked at the credit card and asked Harry for some identification. After all, it was a pretty hefty amount he was about to pay; $257.89!
Harry told the cashier he had forgotten his wallet and the cashier politely informed all the other shoppers that her lane was closed and to please proceed to the next one. A few moments later, the store manager arrived with a police officer and Harry said to the manager, “Jeff, it’s me.” “Who are you? I have never seen this guy and I don’t know who he is,” said the store manager to the police officer.
Harry said, “But, but.” “Okay, that’s enough there big guy,” said the cop, “You’re coming with me.” Harry found himself in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car. He couldn’t believe it.
While at the police station, Harry begged the police detectives to call his wife. They did and she came down to the station. Harry’s wife entered the room and said she didn’t recognize this hairless man and she whipped herself around and thanked the detectives for wasting her time. “That’s not my Harry, my Harry has hair coming out of his eyeballs,” she said. “But Barbara, it’s me” pleaded Harry, as she disappeared down the hall saying, “Yeah, right, mister.”
Harry pleaded with the detectives to call his mother and they did.When Harry’s mother arrived, Harry asked, “Mom, will you please tell them who I am?” She grabbed his face with her hairy hand and said, “My Harry has so much hair on his face he looks like a Sasquatch.” Harry’s mom pulled his shirt up and said, “My Harry has so much hair I can’t tell where his neck starts and his belly button ends.” Harry was sweating bullets and becoming more nervous. His mother grabbed his ear, pulled it, and said, “My Harry has so much hair in his ears he flips it over and covers his chin with it to make it look like he has a beard.”
Just then, Harry’s mother turned away and the detectives asked, “So this is not your son, is it Ma’m?” while Harry felt a lump in his throat.
As she started to disappear in the hallway, she shouted back, “Oh, that’s my Harry alright, I just can’t believe what he’s done to his body. He was perfect the way he was before he removed all his hair!”
The detectives couldn’t stop laughing and released Harry to his mother. Later that night Harry apologized to his mother and his wife and kids.
The moral of the story is; be yourself, love yourself for who you are, and don’t try to be someone you are not!
And they all lived happily ever after!