all thumbs-less

If you haven’t been reading the comments section lately, you missed the conversation about Little Suck-a-Thumb, what might be the most disturbing children’s story ever told. (Thanks to Hillary for getting the ball rolling.)

One day, Mamma said, “Conrad dear,
I must go out and leave you here.
But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don’t suck your thumb while I’m away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs.
And ere they dream what he’s about
He takes his great sharp scissors
And cuts their thumbs clean off, – and then
You know, they never grow again.”

So, now I’m wondering if we might be able to come up with something even more disturbing, perhaps a rhyme about a witch that digs out the eyes of children that don’t know how to tie their shoelaces, or something like that… That was just off the top of my head. I know we can do much better if we put our minds to it. Shall we?

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  1. Ken
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I can see why they came up with such vivid imagery. We have been working on getting our 4 year old to stop sucking her thumb and let me tell you, the thumb is little kid crack cocaine! We are two months into it and we have to wrap her thumbs in fabric Band-Aids and then dip them in vinegar to keep them out of her mouth. It seems to be working. Now I know I could of made a well placed call to a certain tailor.

  2. mark
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Can someone tell me why the giant mushroom comes floating in behind the tailor? Is that some kind of reoccurring theme? Levitating vegetables?

  3. Posted January 11, 2005 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Cute, Mark, but I’m pretty sure that’s his hat (as you well know). I know that I sucked my thumb as a kid and it drove my parents to distraction. My sister sucked her fingers at the same time. They resorted to putting this godawful tasting stuff on our thumbs to get us to stop. Didn’t take me long to figure out that I needed to pee just after I went to bed, because we all know you have to wash your hands after you pee. I was so clever.

  4. Kristin
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    When little Karl

  5. Posted January 11, 2005 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Those scissors would never work. They’re almost fully closed and there’s a gap down the blade. Shoddy workmanship, that is.

  6. Posted January 11, 2005 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the tall tailor bent his scissor handles trying to cut through Conrad’s fat little thumbs?

    IMO, “The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches” was a more disturbing story, though my brother and I weren’t thumb suckers. Even more frightening to us was the threat that my parents would sell us to the mean farmer down the road, or a traveling band of gypsies. They used to use one of those on us once a week.

  7. Tony Buttons
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m not much of a poet, but I’m working on a piece for you. It’ll be like this thumb-snipper story, in that it’ll be focused on getting kids to do what you want them to. My story, however, will have as it’s goal cutting down on the incidents of sibling incest. In my story, a brother and a sister kiss, and then a witch comes out of their radiator vent and makes them consume one another one limb at a time. First they cook up the boy’s leg, and the girl eats it. Then they cook the girl’s leg, and the boy eats it. This goes on and on until they’re just torsos, and then the parents sell them to a carnival, where an evil, sadistic clown becomes their chaperone. The clown, after a while, grows weary of them, however, and decides to bury them alive. It goes on from there, but you get the idea.

  8. chris
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Tony, I have changed my mind. PLEASE, do not share. And, why try to stop making your children stop sucking their thumbs? What is wrong with thumbsucking? Can’t we all just suck what we want when we want?

  9. Posted January 11, 2005 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    As long as you don’t charge money, I don’t see a problem.

  10. Posted January 11, 2005 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    chris must be an orthodontist.

  11. mark
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    What about a story involving a nasty old man (I

  12. mark
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    And, Kristin, I loved your poem… The “razor-toothed gimp” should be a reoccurring character in children’s literature.

  13. Posted January 11, 2005 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Tony ups the ante on Lemony Snicket.

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