FIRST BOOK FOR TERRIBLE CHILDREN
HOME OR FIELD REFERENCE
NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS, ENGRAVINGS,
AND HORRIFYING STORIES
TO WARD AND GIRD OUR CHILDREN
ARM THEIR MAD RESISTANCE
Chapter One: Lessons in Starvation
Thank you for purchasing this refurbished Ravenous Router™! All routers have been thoroughly inspected by the Starvation Street™ Specialists, and include all essential parts and accessories.
Should your router be unable to access the internet, check that your internet connection is active, and then use the router status lights on the front panel to troubleshoot ongoing issues as follows:
If all lights are red:
First, abase yourself.
Array offerings at the router’s feet
(Port 80: gold, rice.
Port 25: meat.)
Sacrifice local lymph to router’s health.
If two lights are red:
Shun router (ten days).
Power cycle and hold button on rear
until three nictitating eyes appear
and recite your thirteen-word access phrase.
If all lights are dark:
Please, do not despair.
Approach the router clad only in silk.
(Abstain from eating twelve hours before)
Adorn front panel with lock of your hair.
Recite (in Sanskrit) settings to restore.
(Remember to siphon out router milk.)
Excerpt from 5-star TripAdvisor review of the famous Motel Moon
I don’t know if you remember there used to be a motel south of the bowling alley on Destiny Way. You were only four when it got an overnight remodeling.
It was a pretty nice place before that, had a big gold sign out front stamped with a rabbit and a moon. They had rabbits for pets. Then they had a rabbit problem. And then the rabbits started attaching themselves to the walls like buzzing, furry leeches, driving their teeth through the drywall to get at the pipes. The owners were trying to convince an exterminator to take a look when, one late night with a full house and a fuzzy lamprey suckling at the radiator, they went to sleep in worn linen and woke up like very kings… draped in furs.
They pushed aside the furry quilt and rose from the furry mattress to stand on the furry floor, which was warm under their feet. The end table’s long ears twitched with the sound of a light switch, and emitted a soft glow that lit up their bedroom. Every surface gleamed with sable fur, and the walls around them subtly pulsed with a huge heartbeat.
In the end, though, it didn’t affect their business model – in fact, the rabbits ended up being labor-saving devices in most cases. And people liked the new rabbit pillows so much they have a side business breeding and training them now. At first there was some concern about an eighty-foot rabbit asleep in a commercial zone, so they propped up the head and put the check-in office underneath; clarified the entryway, y’know? Since the sign was gone. Don’t much need one – it’s not as if you could mistake it for another fractally nested god-rabbit containing a bed and breakfast.
I hear it’s doing much better now than it was when I was a kid. Obviously if you have a dander allergy you’ll want to avoid it, but the Motel Moon was among the best motels in town before the world ended, and now it’s unmistakably the best.
“Some kind of rabbits,” they said. Parasites –
like cicada husks they hung from the walls
along the lines where we had the heat installed –
we found them drinking from the pipes at night.
You can get used to a quivering wall –
give it a kindly stroke from time to time.
As you descend a staircase, scritch its spine.
It leans a bit to catch you if you fall.
One day there was a motel on that street;
the next day a rabbit slept there in its place.
The check-in desk is just under the face –
no, dear, of course the interior’s not meat!
Just rabbit beds and tables, hopping vase –
it’s rabbits top to bottom, every suite.