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Inspirational Reads

Where the Wild Things Are II: The Return of Max

November 4, 2009

Max put on his wolf costume and stomped around the house.

"I'm the King of the Wild Things!" he roared.

"Keep it quiet in there," his mother called from the other room, "I have a migraine."

"The King of the Wild Things answers to no one!" Max roared, leaping from the couch like some sort of wolfskin-cloaked ninja.

"I'm warning you," said his mother, an edge of threat creeping into her voice.

"No, I'm warning you!" Max shouted. "The King of the Wild Things will eat. you. UP!" Max roared in triumph.

"I don't need this shit right now," said Max's mother. "Just go to your room until the pizza guy gets here."

So Max went to his room and sat plaintively on his bed. He folded his arms across his chest. He sneered at the door. The King of the Wild Things pouted.

"She's so mean," he said to the wall. "She doesn't appreciate me." A look of wonder crept into his eyes. "Not like...they do!"

So Max climbed into his boat and sailed across the sea, in and out of a year, until he came to where the Wild Things lived. He quickly climbed the beach and up over the hills of sand until he came to where the Wild Things were.

He saw them, huddled and shivering around a wan fire. They were quiet and despondent. Max positioned himself strategically upon a little knoll, so that he could overlook all of them and they could see him.

"Your King has returned!" he announced loudly. Suddenly, all eyes were focused on him. Max was happy. He growled in an attempt to reassert himself as the alpha wolf.

"Let the wild rumpus begin!" he shouted and began to dance there upon his knoll of return and victory.

"Wild rumpus?" said the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail-like legs. "We don't have time for a wild rumpus!"

Max stopped dancing. He stared out over the Wild Things, who all stared at him with their huge, golden eyes. Shadows from the flames flickered and danced across their features.

"Where the hell have you been?" demanded the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail legs. "Things went to shit after you left. The economy has completely collapsed. Unemployment is hovering around 45%, inflation is running rampant, and a bunch of barons have started holing themselves up, fighting petty squabbles over small tracts of land to increase their meager hegemony and inflate their massive egos while the rest of us starve out here. We've been dealing with a drought for the past five years, and a famine for the last three. And just this year, we've been hit with a severe case of the Wild Thing Flu. People are dropping like flies. And without a king to protect us, barbarians have become emboldened and are now crossing our goddamned borders. And the best you can offer us is a wild rumpus? Get your scrawny ass back to the castle and start leading us, oh King of the Wild Things."

"Wild...rumpus?" offered Max weakly. He knew not what else to say.

"Didn't you hear a word I just said?" crowed the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail legs. "Listen, you scrawny little French bastard, we are not in the mood for a wild rumpus. What we need now is more leadership, less rumpassing. Oh, you know what? Screw this and screw you. We don't need a king anyway."

"But...the wild rumpus..." Max said. An unshed tear stood in his eye.

"Come on, guys," the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail legs said. "Let's get out of here."

"What should we do with the king?" asked the Wild Thing that looked suspiciously like Sweetums the Muppet, but with horns.

"Let's eat him!" said the Wild Thing with the eagle's head inexplicably mounted on the mammal's body.

"Yeah, let's eat him!" consented the rest of the Wild Things.

And so they did.

"You know," said the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail legs, "he wasn't so bad for a king. I mean, he did focus a little too much on his own desires to lead a wild rumpus, but after that he was kind of nice. He wasn't too cruel." He leaned back against a log, crossing one leg over his knee and picking at his teeth with a twig. At this side, the Wild Thing that looked suspiciously like Sweetums the Muppet, but with horns, played a harmonica.

"So, now what should we do?" asked the Wild Thing with a goat's head and the human's body.

"I dunno," said the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail legs, "all this feasting has kind of killed my desire to be part of an angry mob."

There was a rabble of general consensus around the fire.

"Tastes like chicken," said the Wild Thing with the eagle's head mounted inexplicably on a mammal's body as it worried that last bits of food from a bone.

"Dude," said the Wild Thing with the orange and brown stripes and chainmail legs, "that's just wrong on so many levels."


Sass said...

A much better story, if you ask me.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

This post makes me so happy. I want so badly to copy this idea, and maybe rewrite Ramona Quimby and Howie into a scene from my childhood...maybe one of my "playing doctor" sessions.

This was awesome.

My name is PJ. said...

Many thanks for this. It's much more my speed.

Hi! I'm PJ,host of the Amazon giveaway. You're one of my new followers and I like to meet and greet those I haven't met and gret yet! :) Welcome!

I'm following along on your blog now too!

otherworldlyone said...

Very nice!

I'm liking this idea myself. Looks like you might be getting blog post robbed...

Joshua said...

Excellent. Now do "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.

avalanche said...

I thought I'd be angry, you messing with one of my favorite books of all time and all. Turns out it was hysterical! So I ain't mad. You got lucky. But don't you even think about messing with Goodnight Moon! That's just crossing a line. ;)

Seriously though, this was great. Thanks!

moses said...

WoW! I enjoyed this wonderful and interesting story!

Nice post. I will be back to read more:)

BeckEye said...

So, your version of Where The Sidewalk Ends would just have a bunch of stories involving people walking off the edge of a sidewalk and falling to their deaths? I like.

Ed Adams said...

I'd buy that for a dollar!

red said...

Sendak would be proud.

erin said...

Listen you scrawny french bastard!

That's my new favorite line ever. Jeremiah's family are all recent Irish immigrants, but I'm still going to constantly call him a scrawny french bastard! Yay!

Gwen said...

Following the lead of previous commenters, I'd like to see what you could do with "Are youmy mother?"

Dr Zibbs said...

I have action figures of these characters from a few years ago.

They're in my attic. They're totally gonna be worth something someday.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

If you're taking requests, will you do one for "Everybody Poops?"

Maybe it could be on TMI Thursday.

Anonymous said...

E.J. Corey rocks my world every night.

snowelf said...

I'm so digging the orange and brown striped Wild Thing with the chain mail legs.


p.s. I accidentally typed Wild Thong at first. Tee hee hee...

adrienzgirl said...

Thanks for destroying my childhood memories with this updated mockery of all that is sacred...what's next, you going to destroy The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe? Perhaps, Charlotte's Web, going to have Wilbur eat the spider?

Dude, my youngest went on a Field Trip to see this movie yesterday, he was soooooo unimpressed.

Joshua said...

adrienzgirl - He doesn't need to do "Charlotte's Web" because "Family Guy" covered it when they gave Charlotte tourettes and had her weave "bitch" into her web.

carissajaded said...

I realllly hope you are working on getting this one published. That was just amazing.

Oh and pictures! More pictures! With details of them eating him!

And to that Joshua fellow who suggested you do "the giving Tree" I agree full-heartedly. We had to read that every year at my sorority imitation (i dunno if that's a secret ill get shot for) but it is literally the most unintentionally funny book I've ever read in my adulthood. Or my mind is in a gutter. Either way.

Jimmy Bastard said...

You sir... have a definite talent.

Harmony said...

Very good! Max deserved to becomes someone's dinner. What with all the threats he gave of eating his Mother. The little puke!

We took the kids to see the movie a couple of weeks ago. Holy wild rumpus, not a kid movie. Very twisted and dark. I laughed my ass off throughout the entire movie (the only one in the theatre to do so btw). It wasn't a, that is hilarious laugh. It was more of a holy shit wtf? laugh. Perfect.

Kari said...

"More leadership, less rumpassing."

And there's my next tattoo.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ Sass: How did you know I was going to ask? You must be psychic. Like, Sass the Psychic. Has a bit of a ring to it, doesn't it? No, you're right. It doesn't.

@ Steamy Kid: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Plagiarism means that you love me.

That sounds like a t-shirt idea...

@ PJ: Hi, PJ! Well, just to warn you, things take a turn for the worse on Thursdays...

@ Otherworldlyone: Oh, you love me, too. Hooray, plagiarism!

@ Joshua: Uh, well...I didn't know I was taking requests. This was kind of spur-of-the-moment. You might need to give me a chance to refresh my memory.

@ Avalanche: Oh, okay, well, um...I'll just stop penning this story where the Moon is really just a peeping tom...

@ Moses: Just to warn you, it's not like that all the time around here...

@ Beckeye: Complete with imagery of water balloons filled with ketchup.

@ Ed Adams: Really? Hmmm...maybe I've found my calling...

@ red: I'm sure he would. Mo and I are tight like that.

@ Gwen: I'm seeing a story about crack whores and pimps.

@ erin: Wait, he's Irish? Crap. If it gets back to him that I'm the originator, I'm seeing a brawl like at the end of The Quiet Man. Can we at least stop off for a drink midway through?

@ Dr. Zibbs: Don't open them. And, yeah, I found some places selling them online. I thought, "Really?"

@ Amber: I dunno. I don't like talking about poop very much on this blog...

@ Anonymous: You're a sick, depraved man. Or woman. Or automaton.

@ Snowelf: A chainmail thong? Yeah, that IS wild. And pinchy.

@ adrienzgirl: You know, I thought more people would be like this. Thanks for bursting my little bubble and returning me to Earth.

Okay, I lied. I'm still ego-fueled from all the praise.

@ Joshua: No, if I rewrote Charlotte's Web, there'd be a lot more bacon in it.

@ Carissa: You know, with the movie being popular and all...maybe I should try it.

@ Jimmy Bastard: Oh, man! I haven't heard from you in a long time! Good to see you. And, thanks.

@ Harmony: Sort of a "Wow, that's a lot of creative license they took with this movie" kind of laugh? Or more of a "Really?" laugh?

I kind of had the same reaction to watching Wolverine.

@ Kari: That's also the second t-shirt idea I've cooked up in the past couple of minutes.

Cora said...


Can you do Goodnight Moon too?!

Nej said...

"I hope she chokes on that pizza."

I about choked on my subway sandwich while reading that! :-)