Who Invited Sparky?

Earlier this week, I shared this photo on my Facebook page.


Sparky the pre-school class mascot is a stuffed elephant.  I was hopeful we could dodge him for the rest of the school year.  But alas.  My son walked out of school the other day, grinning widely and carrying Sparky.

My grin was not so wide.

First of all, I’m not a big fan of the “look who’s coming to spend time at your house, even though you didn’t invite him” angle.  Maybe it’s all that time I spent living in New York City — I’m not particularly hospitable when taken by surprise.  Unless you’re Ed McMahon with one of those big checks.

Also, if you don’t already know this about me, I’ll say it again:  I should sit on Purell’s Board of Directors.  I’m, shall we say, highly cognizant of germs.  Not at the level where I need my own special on TLC.  But enough to make me cringe at the sight of Sparky and know exactly where he would be spending the first two hours of his “family time” in Fordeville.


The need to introduce the washing machine to Sparky became even more urgent when my son said “Sparky really wants to sit at the table and eat with us.”

{Audible blinking.}

And, “I can’t wait for Sparky to sleep in my bed with me.”

{OMG, internal screaming.}

I immediately moved the laundry dial from Normal Cycle to Two Hour Heavy Duty Sanitize.

{Note to self: When I bought a new washing machine, why didn’t I get one with a Hazmat setting?  Wait, can you imagine if I was still on my six months of laundry deprivation?  I can’t even think about it.  Hands over ears. Lalalalala.}

So.  We had 48 hours with Sparky.  I immediately promoted the idea of Sparky camping outside.  After all, it was unseasonably warm and he would be much more comfortable sitting outside with a bowl of peanuts, wouldn’t he?

This idea fell flat.

He was already lovingly tucked under my son’s arm.  I had to just roll with it.

Fine, pre-school teachers.

Fine, Sparky.

You win.  You want family time with us?  You got it.

First, Sparky, the  kids have invited you to sit and watch them sing the theme song to Jake and the Never Land Pirates on an endless loop.  Because you are fresh blood and a new audience.  Have fun — those big ears of yours will start to melt off your head soon.  They’ll go for about 40 minutes without taking a breath in between verses, FYI.


Then, you will be inducted as the newest member of the Fordeville Pirate League, complete with hat (nice fit over your ears) and hook.

Your mission?  Help my son find the lost treasure on the map.  He’s counting on you.


After your pirate activities are complete, I think I’ll take you back down to the washing machine.  Just because the sight of you all over my kids and furniture is shaking to me to my very core, and I have practically Purelled my hands raw.  Hm, I wonder how you’ll handle the Super High Power Dry setting that seems to be reserved for unnaturally resilient fabrics.  Only one way to find out, right pal?


It’s been a long afternoon, hasn’t it, Sparky?  I, for one, am feeling all sorts of traumatized.  And since you’re relatively clean now and we’re enjoying some family time together, maybe you can make yourself useful and grab me a bottle of Pinot out of the wine fridge.


God, I hate when a house guest comes over and then drinks way too much.  It’s so uncomfortable for everyone involved.  Unfriggingbelievable.

You sort of suck, Sparky.  How am I going to explain this to my kids?  I would think that by now, with all of your “I’m inviting myself over for two days,” you’d know how to conduct yourself.  Maybe that third run in the spin cycle was just too much for you.



Finally, our 48 hours were up and it came time to return Sparky to school, along with our journal page documenting how he spent his time with our family.  In an act of mercy, I decided to save his ass so he could retain his Class Mascot title.  So I handed in an appropriate write-up for my son that went something like this:

“I was so happy to have Sparky come and visit my family!  He slept in the bed with me, had his own special visitor seat at our table and played Pirate Treasure Hunt with me!  He even wore his own pirate hat!  I hope that Sparky can come back again to visit us soon.”

But I kept a copy of the real version, for blackmail purposes:

“My mom says that Sparky could really stand to learn a few things about manners.  She’s not really sure why he invited himself over and was pretty upset to see that he hadn’t bathed before his arrival.  Mommy mumbled something about a public health hazard and told me it would be fun to take Sparky for a few rides inside our shiny new washer and dryer.  He even got to test out the highest settings that we never, ever thought we’d have to use!  He played pirates with me and slept in my bed — at least until my mom pried him out from under my arm while I was in a deep REM sleep.  The second night, Sparky helped Mommy get some of her special juice out of the fridge and then he got really sleepy on the basement floor for a long time.  He still looked very tired this morning and complained of a headache.  I hope he feels better soon.  Also, my mom wants to know why the class mascot isn’t a book.”

Yeah, you’re welcome, Sparky.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.


Did you like this? Share it:


  1. Jo says:

    just wait for the class hamster … still traumatized!

  2. Beth says:


  3. Brett Minor says:

    Despite your protests, it sounds like you really enjoyed the weekend with Sparky. He got to do all sorts of things.

  4. Erica says:

    That is SO funny!!!! 😀 I’ve gotta be honest, though: I wouldn’t be able to do it. I would say, “Due to extreme germ concerns, unfortunately Sparky is not welcome in my house. His fraternal twin brother Spunky, however…my door is open!!” Then I would have purchased a similar-looking elephant stuffed toy from a store, and I would have “Spunky” write a note to his brother telling him about his adventures in his new home. ; )

  5. LMAO! This is TOO FUNNY!

    Yep, good thinking of throwing this furry friend in the wash a couple of times 🙂

  6. Can’t believe Sparky got all liquored up. WTH?
    My 2nd grader has a class mascot named “Dino” who’s a stuffed dinosaur who looks like he has never ever been washed. Dino’s come home with my son 3 times this year. Three! I want to throw up every time I see that thing.

  7. Much like Sparky, I have spent many-a-nights prostrate on the floor of a host’s home.

    Hmmm….This could explain a few things.

  8. Kelley says:

    I love your blog! Truly. You always crack me up. Sparky is sort of gross with all of those germs. If you had that many germs, wouldn’t you want to drink a bottle of wine every chance you could? Oh, wait…

    (Thanks for linking this up over at #findingthefunny with us this week!)

Speak Your Mind