The Legend of Charlie

I usually try to get at least some Halloween decorations up by October 1st, but this year I let it slip until Columbus Day.

We’ve just added a big jack-o-lantern decoration for our street light. We got it at Bronner’s, the giant Christmas store, in Frankenmuth. I love it both in the daytime and at night.

But I know we’re really getting into the Halloween spirit when the stories of Charlie start up again around the dinner table.

Who is Charlie? See these bits of skeleton:

When we first got this creepy thing as part of a Halloween set about 3-4 years ago, I didn’t want to put it out. I thought it might be too scary for the then-preschool-aged C and E, not to mention the little ones who come trick or treating.

The twins wanted to know who the skeleton was. I kept saying, “It’s just a decoration,” and “It’s not real,” but they wouldn’t let it rest until they knew who it was.

On the 100,413th time that they asked, my oldest child, the mild-mannered M, suddenly piped in with, “That’s Charlie.”

Well, as you can imagine, that really got their attention. Who was Charlie? What had happened to the poor guy and why were we keeping his (styrofoam) bones?

“Charlie was my older brother,” M told them. “You never knew him. He was gone before you were born.”

C and E were riveted. “What happened to him?”

M leaned in and whispered something I couldn’t hear. Then the twins shrieked, and M shushed them, saying, “So learn from him. Remember what I said.” And with that they ran from the room.

I asked M what he’d told them, and he said, “I told them that he messed with your knitting and was never heard from again.”

Isn’t that equal parts awful and brilliant? I crack up every time I think of it. At any rate, it’s been very effective. The twins used to pull the needles out of my knitting, and draw long strands from the edges and center of the yarn cake, twisting them into a tangled mess. That all changed after M told them that horror story.

The Legend of Charlie grows a little bit each year. Anytime someone refuses to eat his/her dinner, help clear the table, do homework, etc, etc, M (or my husband S) will chime in with “Well, Charlie used to do that too, until….” And usually everyone breaks up laughing and talking about their fake older brother that they never knew.

If you have the funds for what I’m sure will be a hefty therapy bill later, I highly recommend M’s tactics.

Between you and me, I love the Charlie stories. It wouldn’t be Halloween without them.

About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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15 Responses to The Legend of Charlie

  1. Oh my gosh!!! That is hysterical!!! I would keep Charlie up all year just for the constant reminder!!!

    • thethingaboutjoan says:

      I wonder what the neighbors would think. Either: 1) those people are crazy about Halloween; or 2) those people are too lazy to take down their Halloween decorations.

      It’s enough for me to pull out a Charlie story when the going gets rough at the dinner table. πŸ™‚

  2. themommyquad says:

    Totally hysterical but you may be right about the hefty therapy bills to come…

  3. susanbahr says:

    what a hoot… have to remember this post next time one of my teenagers gives me lip… My sister-in-law uses Barbie parts in a little black cauldron stuffed with white batting… creepy but very effective.

    • thethingaboutjoan says:

      LOL! Okay, that Barbie-parts-in-a-cauldron thing is hysterical. I’m going to have to tell E to hide her dolls before her brothers get wind of this….

      • susanbahr says:

        If you need parts I’ve got plenty – my daughters only bought Barbies at yard sales so they could trash them. Is this a good idea to say on the internet? That my daughters never played with Barbie the way they were supposed to? That they took great joy in drawing tatoos on them with permanent marker and rubbing their hair till they had dreadlocks? Please don’t tell the Barbie makers…

      • thethingaboutjoan says:

        That’s so funny about your daughters and their Barbies! Their secret is safe with me. πŸ™‚

  4. CTW says:

    “Don’t mess with Mom’s knitting or you’ll never be seen again!” LOL!! Reminds me a little bit of an example of family lore from John Irving’s book The World According to Garp — the part about the Undertoad.

    • It’s been forever since I read “The World According to Garp,” so I had forgotten that part! I’ll have to re-read it.

      M is terribly proud of his contribution to our family’s history, and his pragmatic side is thrilled that the twins have not only NOT touched my knitting again but that they’ve also warned every other kid who enters the house about it. I think that’s why no one wanted to rat the dog out when he chewed up my glove in progress. πŸ™‚

  5. susanbahr says:

    Please forgive me for being a bit forward as we’ve only recently been inroduced, but my little blog was recently given a nod for an award and I wanted to pass it along to you. I understand if it’s not something you’re interested in – it can be a lot of work to accept, please know, I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing…
    to see the award, you can go to:…e-lovely-award/
    take good care-

  6. lexiesnana says:

    I love this story about Charlie! Brilliant and don’t worry about therapy,most insurances cover it.

  7. Bipasha says:

    ROFL, that’s hilarious! wait till they get older and find out the truth!!

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