Life advice, via Are You Afraid of the Dark (index) (random)

Dear Kiki,

I’m staying at a vacation home with my parents for the weekend.  The boy who runs the house appears to be 12, but his reflection reveals him to be decrepit and elderly.  This is easily observable, as the house is obsessively coated in mirrors.  Moreover, I feel certain that the mirrors contain cameras.  For instance, during the initial tour of the mansion, one of the mirrors gave me an electrical shock, and the host told me and my parents that it was probably just “old wiring.”  Also, I broke the bathroom mirror, and there was a camera behind it.  What’s worse: I have come to the conclusion that the host is using these cameras to suck out our youth via mad science.  Among other things, looking into the mirrors causes our watches to move at extremely high speeds—as though time is going faster.  After spending a single night in the house, I’ve gone through puberty, and my parents have aged approximately 40 years.

Another weird thing: there is a humongous pile of bodies in the backyard.

I would prefer not to die of old age in this kooky mansion.  However, whenever I bring this kind of stuff up to my parents, they act like I’m crazy.  I’m not crazy.  I may be 10, but I appear to be hitting menopause.  Isn’t it time my parents started treating me like an adult?

Forever yours,

Youth in Decay

* * *

Dear Youth in Decay,

I know you may feel old, but understand that, to your parents, you will always be that little girl who loved a good game of catch.  That doesn’t mean, however, that they have to keep treating you like a child.  Likely, the best way to garner respect from them is to talk reasonably through whatever issues you may have with their parenting.  For instance, perhaps you could prepare a written report on the mysterious circumstances afflicting your present vacation.  Consider, e.g., skimming through the microfiche at your local library for reports of the many disappearances relating to this particular vacation home.  You said there was a pile of bodies out back—surely those people must have families who missed them and knew that they had gone over there to vacation but never returned.  Your parents may be amazed at your resourcefulness!  Remember: respect isn’t given; it’s earned.

Hope this helps,


  • 3 October 2012
  • 4