Editorials

Seven Dreams Involving "Super Nanny" Jo Frost
by: Max Burbank

I AM ON TV

The crew of Super Nanny is filming at my house. I'm not sure I understand why, as my daughters are a model of behavior. They are offering the soundmen tea while my wife looks on with pride. I am trying to fix our toilet, lying on my back underneath it, but none of the tools seem designed for what I am trying to do. I notice that the crew is filming me. They make me nervous. There seems to be an enormous amount of very small, intricate and ancient ductwork involved in the workings of our toilet. I begin using tiny clamps and a series of small hanging magnifying lenses, but I can't be sure I am doing it right. I begin to think perhaps I should stop and call a plumber, but with the crew filming me I am too embarrassed to admit defeat. I ask them if they shouldn't be filming my children but they tell me this footage is for the very important "B roll". At last I am finished. Now the entire crew is crammed into my bathroom. Two cameramen, a boom guy, the director. I ask when Super nanny Jo Frost will be arriving. "Oh, she's on her way. She should be here pretty soon." Says the sound guy and a few of the crew stifle laughter. "You probably need to test that out, see if it works." I pretend not to have heard him, start packing up my tools. He is adamant and insists I test the toilet. Feeling sick, I slowly lower my trousers and sit on the toilet. The flesh on my thighs is very white and rises in goose bumps. "I meant you should flush it," says the director, "But this works too." I can hear the camera rolling. "Super Nanny Jo Frost is gonna love this," The boom guy tells me. "She has a real thing for this kind of footage. This is the kind of footage she can't get enough of."

OUT OF CONTROL

Super Nanny Jo Frost has come to my home because my children are out of control. She stands in my poorly lit hallway staring at me. Did I ask her to come here? I don't know. The children are everywhere, filthy, frenzied, partially clothed, swarming like rats. Can all these children be mine? How did it happen? I don't think I even have a wife. I am like a crazy cat woman except, instead of cats, I have children. Super Nanny picks one naked, squalling child up by the nape of the neck. It howls and flails. I tell her its name is "Eustace". She asks me how old he is, but I don't know and all I can do is shrug and grin stupidly and sweat. He's covered in dirt and grease, you can clearly see his ribs and he seems to be completely feral. I try really hard to remember a single thing about him beyond his name, and tell her he likes Twinkies, being left at the bus station and The Weather Channel.

"That's not enough," Super nanny Jo Frost tells me. "That's not nearly enough."

I know.

NOT MY FAULT

The Andersons are an active couple living outside of Buffalo, New York. Sven and Barbara Jean Anderson waited sixteen years into their marriage before having children, and now are at the mercy of their three girls. Audra, a five-and-a-half-year-old, dominates the household with her tantrums, demands, violent outbursts and intermittent amateur cello practice. The three-year-old identical twins Laura and Owly cry all the time and communicate only with each other in a secret twin language that sounds like mice being killed with a hammer. Complicating things is father Sven, whose job as an eighteenth-century harpooner on a whaling vessel takes him out of town for years at a time.

"He's so distant with the girls!" Barbara Jean tells Super nanny Jo Frost. "He exercises no control at all." Sven looks haunted and rattles carved ivory balls in his hand.

"And what do you bring to the mix?" Super Nanny asks me. I try to tell her I do not even know these people, and I don't, but it seems unlikely, crammed as we are into their breakfast nook. Sven and Barbara Jean stare at me. Super Nanny Jo Frost stares at me.

In the kitchen, Audra plays Chopin's Cello Sonata in G over Owly's burning remains.

"Did you do that?" Super Nanny asks her. "Did you set your sister on fire?" No one asks where Laura is. All eyes are on me.

THE NAUGHTY STEP

I am sitting on the naughty step. I don't now what my offense was, or how it's appropriate for me to be in a time out, as in the dream I am a grown man. Super Nanny Jo Frost stands at the bottom of the stairway and asks if I am ready to come off the naughty step. I tell her I don't know what I've done, but she says I do. I tell her that I am forty-five years old, that I have a job, children of my own. She just stares at me sternly, and it is then I realize I am not wearing a shirt, and only shorts that are way too small for me, and made of some sort of bathing suit material, though they are not a bathing suit. She asks me if I am sorry I did the bad thing and again I tell her I don't know what I've done. Super Nanny Jo Frost laughs. She is very tall, so tall that even though I am halfway up the steps and she is at the bottom, I have to look up to see her face. "All little boys do the bad thing," She tells me. "There is not one little boy who does not. It is in here nature. A little boy could not keep from doing the bad thing any more than they could keep from breathing." I realize I am holding a C clamp, and while I still do not understand what 'the bad thing is' I'm fairly certain you can't do it with out a C clamp, so I offer it to her. Then without transition we are together on the deck of an ocean liner. She tells me we will soon dock in Cabo San Lucas, where a doctor she knows will "Install a shunt" that will "drain my black liquids".

I feel ill.

SO MANY DRAWERS

My wife returns from a business trip and discovers I have lost the children.

"I never should have trusted you," she says "You can't keep track of anything."

We look all over the house. There are Post-It notes everywhere, reminding me of things I am supposed to do. "Clean the Catbox!" "Do not wear the same undershirt to work two days in a row." "Get Sour Cream." "While I am gone, do NOT send the children to school without scraping them!"

I am thinking about calling the police when I hear my wife shouting she has found them. I find her in the basement, standing before and enormous chest of drawers shaped like Super Nanny Jo Frost.

"Honestly." my wife says, grinning at me the way she does when I can't find my keys. She pulls open a drawer. It is filled with what appear to be dead, stuffed tropical birds.

I tell her those are not the children.

"Not yours, maybe." she replies.

TERRIBLE HEADACHE

I see a Doctor on account of a terrible headache. He straps me into an ancient medical chair and begins to probe vigorously in my ear with an ornate pair of tweezers. After a moment he pulls something out and says, "I thought this might be the problem."

In the tweezers is a tiny, perfect Super Nanny Jo Frost. Her chest has been crushed. She appears to be dead.

"It's super hard to get them out alive," the doctor says with a sickly, guilty grin.

He does not charge me, but asks that I keep the visit 'under my hat'.

PERFECT BABY

In some kind of post-apocalyptic future, I am tremendously old and living with my extended clan in an enormous, fossilized skeleton of a giant Super Nanny Jo Frost. I am feeble and delicate, I can barely move at all. I am lying in some sort of very comfortable nest, surrounded by, perhaps made of my fine white old man's hair and beard. Tubes run from me to bags of liquid hanging everywhere, but I am very comfortable. A procession approaches me, led by a sort of fairy-like teenage girl with antennae. She is holding a swaddled infant, which at the moment I can't see at all because of the blankets. She addresses me as great grandfather, but I understand she is my distant descendant. She tells me they have journeyed for three days from the pelvis without sleeping to show me the baby, this baby, who is perfect, everything we have worked for. She pulls back the blanket. The baby's' head looks like a big flesh-colored, sleeping bug. Somehow it's not disgusting, but it certainly doesn't look like I thought it would. I guess I make kind of a disappointed face, because everybody starts crying.

"You old shit!" The girl with the baby screams at me, "You stupid bag of old sausage!"

The baby starts to cry, a thin, awful accusatory sound. Now everyone is mad at me because I woke the baby up. They all leave, though I beg them to stay, tell them the baby is really cute, which it definitely is not.

Eventually the lights go out. I can hardly see anything. I need to go to the bathroom. I call, but no one comes.

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:


Husbandry: Chapter 1

Reader Comments

OH GOD
Jan 22nd, 2008, 12:46 PM
i loved this

the whole thing
is hopped up on goofballs
Jan 22nd, 2008, 01:09 PM
Wow...Max, that was really, really weird.

Good, but weird.

By the way, how's your toilet ductwork?
Can You See Me Now?
Jan 22nd, 2008, 01:30 PM
Whoa...I mean..just...wow!
Cthulhu Fthagn
Jan 22nd, 2008, 02:31 PM
Oh hoh Max, that was bizarre, even by your standards!
But don't get me wrong, i'm not complaining. Insanity makes brothers of us all.
hanging out
Jan 22nd, 2008, 02:42 PM
I can't tell if you made some shit up or if you really had these dreams.

Cuz these seem to follow an insane dream logic and not resemble the "its a dream so everything crazy" fake dreams stories

So if its fiction bravo, if its true you watch too much supernanny.
Bane of Zombies
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:01 PM
The hordes of undead applaud you! This is one of my favorite pieces that you've ever done.
My horridly bad day at work has now been remedied by your masterpiece.
Bravo!
#1 on the ignore list
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:17 PM
That was your ass on the jumbotron!
Forum Virgin
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:44 PM
Outstanding. It just kept getting more surreal and strange, and I loved it.
OH GOD
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:49 PM
i read it again, and still liked it
That damn kid
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:03 PM
Thank god none of these were some kind lf weird fetish wet dream




...




...



right?
The Magnificent Bastard
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:16 PM
That wasn't just comedy. That was art!

I loved it.

BTW, Max, you should totally make a short film or something out of the last one.
Forum Chaos Lord
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:59 PM
That.... It was so beautiful...
after enough bourbon ...
Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:02 PM
I can see it now, in big, bright friendly letters: "Impressions of Jo Frost" by Max Burbank --- Starring David Hasselhoff as Max and Roseanne Barr as Jo.
Z?
Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:36 PM
If Freud were to examine you, he'd probably say that you had mother issues.
Your Illegitimate Child
Jan 23rd, 2008, 02:54 AM
My dreams have never involved the Supy Nanner.
Esq.
Jan 23rd, 2008, 04:36 AM
that was beautifully strange, thank you
GoldMember
Jan 23rd, 2008, 09:44 AM
The short film idea comment was genius, that would be awesome.
Great work Max.
Feel the guilt
Jan 23rd, 2008, 01:12 PM
Wow, those were even more fucked up than some of my dreams, and that's saying something! Bravo, sir, bravo!
<me|yourmom> = you
Jan 23rd, 2008, 04:50 PM
Reading this felt like looking at a Jan Svankmajer piece.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 23rd, 2008, 04:54 PM
OMG, I friggin LOVE Jan Svankmajer.

I would have said that even if I didn't know who he was on account of the name, but in point of fact I am wild about him. I'm totally going to have to rebiew one of his films for the films section now.

Oh, and thanks. That is some high praise.
<me|yourmom> = you
Jan 23rd, 2008, 08:28 PM
It'd be awesome to get a review of Alice. I loved that movie. Damn rabbit was so creepy.
From the Home of MST3K
Jan 23rd, 2008, 08:38 PM
We're all just waiting for her to pose for porn.
age 8 1/2
Jan 24th, 2008, 05:38 AM
Karl Jung - Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido
age 8 1/2
Jan 24th, 2008, 05:41 AM
Spelled wrong for a reason
The Goddamned Batman
Jan 24th, 2008, 06:10 PM
Max, this was brilliant!

"'Install a shunt' that will 'drain my black liquids'" made me laugh out loud for a long time.
magical sea leprechaun
Jan 27th, 2008, 11:47 AM
remember max, it's OK to drink bleach, and it's OK to drink ammonia, but you should probably stop drinking both at the same time
Dr.Acula MD
Jan 29th, 2008, 12:13 AM
Great article....

On a side note, I've got seven wet dreams involving Jo Frost.....

Be right back....
Official Punching Bag
Feb 3rd, 2008, 08:11 AM
I had a dream once when I was working on a speculative fiction piece where Oscar Wilde was running for Mayor in the future (It's too complicated to explain how he survived the bad curtains debacle here). In the piece I was working on he was working on some legislation to allow Gay marriage. For some reason, to me, this didn't feel right to be meddling with Wilde's political beliefs beyond reality: in real life he would have hated marriage of any sort, let alone the idea of Gay Marriage. So I went to bed that night feeling uneasy. Something was floating around in my head as I tried to sleep. At 2am in the morning I finally get to sleep, but I don't realise I'm dreaming when I end up in this massive library full of old books. It's freaking huge, no matter where I go the bookcases never end. So I go into this part of the gigantic library, and see Oscar Wilde smiling at me in his chamber-coat thing that he wears when he's reclining on a Victorian couch. His cane is rested on the side of the couch. Then Wilde laughs, as he turns the pages of a massive green book. The only print I can see clearly is the name "Oscar Wilde" on the spine. I look at what he's looking at as he laughs, turning the pages which have the text printed not in the traditional paragraphs but in snaky, spidery lettering that winds across the pages like a crooked road or more accurately, those weird spirals you see in Tim Burton movies. I try to read the words but it looks French (and I can't read French), and when I track the words with my finger some of them run away on me. Wilde laughs again, and hands me the book, with a big smile. The look he gave me was somewhat comforting, in a way. He didn't look angry at all. But for the entire dream he doesn't say a single word, because his attitude says more than words ever would in dream-logic it seems. I take the green book from his hands, turn the page, and then I feel the reality I am experiencing melt away. You know that panel in The Sandman #1 where the little Black boy is climbing the castle in his dreams, and everything falls away? It was like that, only I floated down onto a soft landing. Then I woke up.

I read De Profundis the next day on Gutenberg Project and instead of making Wilde a traditional Gay Rights campaigner in office, I made him a campaigner against wrongful imprisonment who cites the example of his own experience of injustice to strengthen his cause with voters. In this alternate reality I had for the serial, it seemed to work better than having him as a stereotypical protester. Wilde hasn't bothered me since. Maybe he's happy with the changes.

Moral to the story is: Don't fuck with dead people's personalities for Sci-Fi stories that have them in alternate realities. From my experience, trust me on this one. They know where you live...
from a vending machine
Apr 18th, 2008, 02:08 PM
I had a dream like the first one, only while fixing the toilet there is no bottom to it and she comes in a sits down on it... the rest I really don't want to say what happens.
Who? Me?
Mar 4th, 2009, 02:20 PM
I always knew that old lady was a creep.
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