As the late Maude Flanders used to say, won’t somebody please think of the children? Somebody other than The Boy, I mean. You see, while the dreaded kid is actually 72 years old, and while he’s known by many other names—among them Randall Flagg, The Walkin’ Dude, and Walter o’Dim—he’s pretty much called The Boy by everybody. Which would make you think he’d leave his fellow kids alone rather than use them as pawns in his dark game. But no, as you’ll see below in the tragic tale of Mandy Rose and her radial-catalyzed trip to the dentist. (Please note: Ms. Rose wishes you to know that Jojo emerged from this situation just fine. Had he not, she’d certainly never joke about it.)
With apologies to Emily Dickinson:
Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The carriage held but just Ourselves —
After avoiding LDB at several stops, my son lost the daily battle of boy vs. playground when a tire swing claimed not one, not two, but three of his teeth. One upon impact, two pulled in the dentist’s chair.
As I held my son still for the numbing shot, it was me feeling the sting of the rum-pa-pum-pum. No salve for my pain tonight. Just the cold comfort of ice cream for dinner and the knowledge that he was too busy being brave to hear the song for himself.
Version unknown, location the seventh ring of extraction.
Tire Swing: 3