We’re all familiar with Mr. Nobody; we’re introduced to him as children. A drink spills on the carpet, a vase smashes to the floor. Our parents ask us who did it and we say we don’t know, we weren’t there, it wasn’t us.
‘I guess it must have been Mr. Nobody!’
Most kids don’t think much about Mr. Nobody, they’re too focused on the impending spanking or the confiscated Playstation. But the smart ones don’t sulk. They get even. Those same children who stay up late Christmas Eve to catch Santa or go hunting for the Easter Bunny are the same who take being grounded as an opportunity to demonstrate the many crimes of Mr. Nobody.
My son was one such child. He spent weeks searching for Mr. Nobody: hiding for hours, setting traps, leaving cameras in every room. He was always so excited about it, always telling me how close he was to finding proof. And one day he just stopped. Stopped asking questions, wouldn’t argue back, and started spending all his time playing outside. At first I thought he was just growing up, putting fanciful things behind him. Now I’m not so sure.
Last night a plate fell off the kitchen counter. Junior took the blame, swept up the pieces and begged me to punish him. I was in the back yard at a time, so I didn’t see who did it. But I know it wasn’t my son; he was in the back yard with me.