When I was small and still growing upwards, I used to read the newspaper comics religiously. I only understood about a quarter of them, but that did not stop me from laughing at all the points that seemed appropriate. The truth was that a lot of the jokes simply flew right over my head. I had to finish growing up in order to reach them. And other jokes required children for true appreciation.
In the classic comic strip “The Family Circus” by Bil Keane, I needed my own children to fully understand the “Not Me” ghost.
While I was still young and my mother was upset over a mess, if I had not made the mess I would tell her it was not me. And she would sometimes respond, “Then who was it? The Not Me ghost?”
I knew better than to answer out loud, but I would think, No, that’s silly, it was one of my siblings. We don’t have a ghost in our house. Our house isn’t old enough to have a ghost.
Many years and a few children later, I understood my mom’s sarcasm.
Now that I’m all grown up, and my growth is currently directed outwards, I now have to deal with a “Not me” ghost of our own. No, that’s not quite true, Wife has to deal with the ghost causing a mess. And it must be “Not Me” because none of our children know how all the toys made their way out of the toy box. They are unsure who tossed the cushions off the couch, and spread blankets around the front room. And they all, every single child, vehemently deny dropping food onto the carpet and declare “Not Me!” He has even taken up slamming doors, an occupation Wife takes quite personal.
We need to take care of “Not Me” before this gets out of hand. I considered writing Bil Keane to find out what he did; however since “Not Me” still appears in the comics, I figured he has yet to rid his household of the ghost. My mother said that “Not Me” is always attached to the children. So… considering the youngest is six weeks… plus the bad job market… equals a very long time. Unless “Not Me” is attached to me, in which case I should give him the guestroom.
Let’s face it, we either need a ghost-buster or an exorcist… who ya gonna call?