Oh, The Things that Lurk in the Light

There are monsters that lurk in the shadows.

My four-year-old son has to turn off the light to go to the toilet. Inevitably, he’ll miss. But it has to be this way or else Bim Bam Boom will catch him. So don’t turn on the light. This giant lurks in the shadows of its shine.

“Don’t be silly,” I said, flicking on the light.

“No,” he squealed. “Bim Bam Boom!”

So off the lights go again. Fast!

I asked him where this terrible thing is and he pointed to the tiles. I thought, ah ha. Out the window and in the darkness between the city high-rises. “No, there,” he said, pointing to a clump of tiles. “Oh, don’t be silly,” I said. But he’d already run off to his bedroom and ducked under the covers.

I asked his sister, who at six is older and wiser, about this creature that causes such fright. She told me it lives in the clouds and eats dinosaurs and small houses, with everybody inside. All down the hatch. Gulp! Bim Bam Boom loves to roast dinosaur eyes in the oven as a snack. For breakfast he’ll whip up pancakes the size of a city block with hundreds of blueberries and dinosaurs inside. Then he reads big books and plays with his pet, a golden horse. Before he goes to bed he eats bananas, pears and strawberries, hundreds and thousands at a time. He has no money for such a large appetite. He steals everything from those aware and those unaware.

So watch out for Bim Bam Boom, she told me.

To prove it, she took me to the bathroom and told me that when it is night you must keep the lights off because Bim Bam Boom lurks in the light. You can see his terrible profile on the tiles when the light goes on. There he is, she said, turning the lights on for but a few seconds and then off again. I caught a glimpse of his giant chin and great big eyes and his forehead that rises to the ceiling and his mouth that looks wide open and ready to snatch and gobble you down. He was there. So keep the lights off!

Or find another bathroom.

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