Jim McLennan is…asleep (again!)

[Sorry for the non-update. I’ve just come back from a rather good anime convention in Birmingham, where I was up 40 hours straight – no, make that 41, the clocks went back – including running an all-night film show. I am thus incapable of writing anything coherent. Luckily, here is our American ambassadress to pinch-hit…]


This American Ambassador had her first taste of a ritualistic form of female bonding involving many types of distractions, leading up to, but fortunately for this group, not quite including, eventual slaughter and sacrifice. Not by the participants themselves, but by the aforementioned American Ambassador, whose only function was to make sure that the event ran smoothly, the natives well-fed and the rituals kept fair, mediating all differences of opinions (fights), administering first aid when necessary and diagnosing all manner of odd hypochondriac symptoms.

I am describing the horrible details of a pre-pubescent female slumber. I lived through it! I have always said “no” over the years whenever my daugher asked if she could have a slumber party. But it was her 11th Birthday. And those Bambi Eyes…pleading with me, begging me…”Ohhhhhhhhh Pleeeeeeeeeassssse”
Call me sentimental.
Call me a good mother.
Call me stupid.
I caved. I said “yes”. 10 small women showed up. Yes they were small, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t have personality. They were drenched in personality. And they were loud. And each had distinguishing traits. And all played the weirdest games…. I watched in horror as they played:

  • THE SANDMAN: One person lays down on the floor. The rest sit around her body and watch as one person kneels by her head and massages her temples then other parts of her body as she recites this: “I am the Sandman, I will be operating on you today. First I will cut off your legs and fill them with sand” (run fingers lightly over the victim’s legs, then press on them) “Then I will cut off your arms and fill them with sand” (run fingers lightly over the victim’s arms and then press on them) “Then I will cut out your stomach and fill it with sand and cement” (runs fingers lightly over victim’s stomach and presses on it) “Then I will cut out your face and fill it with sand, cement and bricks” (runs fingers lightly over face and presses on it) After this ritualistic chant, the victim is then asked to get up, whereupon she says she can’t. They all laugh.

A couple more games similar to this one were played entitled:

  • CAT SCRATCHES: Victim is led to believe her back has been scratched by a crazed kitten
  • LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD: Victim is led to believe they are light as a feather and the rest of the group can pick up the body with two fingers

All very strange to observe. Then, of course, I was asked to participate in a few other activities entitled:

  • FREEZE DANCING: they dance, I pause the music, whomever moves is out until only one person is left
  • HAND IN THE BOX: feel inside and guess what is inside the box
  • BLIND MAN’S COTTON BALLS: really… Don’t ask.

I ordered Pizza and Hot wings for dinner. They ate snacks consisting of crackers, cheese, chips, salsa and apples (hey, they’re my kids, I can feed ’em whatever I want!)

Ten girls. Screaming, running, dancing, displaying and comporting themselves borderline between still being children and giggling that some boy is in love with them and hysterical giggling when one of them points to a water balloon with a tail and screams that it’s a BOY, causing them all to shriek. Oh, brother… What new and exciting adventures await all these budding pre-women in only a few years (or from what I observed, in the case of a couple of these, only a few months!).

Jim, eat your heart out! [Who, me? JhM]

Of course, the end of the evening brought them sprawled on the floor of the living room in their nighties and sleeping bags, watching “MERLIN” with all the lights out, and whispering spooky stories, playing pranks on the ones that had already fallen asleep. Ahhhh…. I remember those pranks in my youth. We used to put shaving foam on the open palm of the unsuspecting sleeper and tickle their nose. Or place their fingers in a bowl of really warm water, watching carefully to see if they would pee on themselves as they slept… Yes… the good ‘ol days.

Well, in the end I didn’t murder the little pre-menstrual darlings even though there were a couple of bitchy moments there that I had to quelch. All in all, a very good time was had by all. Well, most. One of them kept walking around the house, holding her neck, making strange noises, saying she felt sick, and had asthma, and her stomach hurt, and she had a sore throat, and could she go swimming?

Quite an experience I must say. I am not a party “pooper” by any stretch. But if I hear “YMCA” one more time, my PSYCHO knife is coming out of the drawer ……

REE!!! REE!!! REE!!! REE!!!

Chris Fata