by Eildon Rhymer (rhymer23)
Rating: PG-13 for the main story, but the optional ending has some horrifying double entendre
Words: 2800, plus pictures, educational activities, and optional alternative ending for the truly incorrigible.
Characters: Rodney, John, some of their little friends, and a baddy Wraith
Summary: Does Rodney look like a happy Rodney, or a sad Rodney? That's right, he looks like a sad Rodney. A grumpy Rodney. A not-very-happy-at-all Rodney. I wonder why he's such a sad Rodney. Let's find out, shall we?
Note: This story is so not what was intended by this challenge. This story is quite irredeemably wrong. This is in the same vein as See John Run, my equally wrong "Shep whump for 3 year olds", though you don't need to have read that one first. The story is gen, but – yes, it gets worse! – for those entirely and utterly without shame, I even offer an alternative slashy ending (John/Rodney). Yes, slash for 3 year olds*. I'm going to that special Hell, aren't I?
* Needless to say, this is quite definitely not really for children. Or grown-ups. Or anyone, really.
This is Rodney. Say hello to Rodney, children. "Hello, Rodney!"
Oh. Rodney isn't saying hello back. I wonder why not. Does he look like a happy Rodney, or a sad Rodney? That's right, Joshua, he looks like a sad Rodney. A grumpy Rodney. A not-very-happy-at-all Rodney. Rodney's a real Mr Grumpy-boots, isn't he? I wonder why he's such a sad Rodney. What's that, Charlotte? You think somebody's playing with his favourite doll? What about you, Daniel? You think he's sad because his best friend took the Superman costume and now poor Rodney has to dress up as a princess, and it's not fair?
They're both very good ideas, but you're both wrong. No, Rodney is sad because he's just come up with a Grand Unified Theory (this is a bit like chocolate ice-cream with sprinkles on), and he really should be getting a Nobel Prize (which is a bit like a smiley sticker), but he can't, because his work is classified (which is a grown-up word that means that it's secret and he can't tell anyone about it, because people who tell secrets get eaten by a bear and torn into little tiny bits, don't they, Samantha?)
How do you think we can cheer Rodney up and stop him feeling so sad? What do you think, Lydia? He should get a cuddle from his mummy? That's a really good idea, but unfortunately Rodney's mummy is very, very long way away and can't cuddle him. This is what happens when you grow up, and it will happen to all of you one day. Your mummies will go away and you'll be all by yourself in the big scary world, where, by the way, all the monsters under your bed are real, after all, but fairies and Santa Claus aren't.
Where were we? Oh yes. We're trying to stop Rodney being a sad Rodney. What do you think Rodney should do, William? He should go and find a friend to play with? That's a really good idea! Look! There's Rodney setting off to try to find a friend to play with, walking along like this: plod, plod, plod. I wonder who he'll find.
Oh! Look! I can see somebody hiding behind this door. Who do you think it is? It's got bushy hair, a bit like a scarecrow, and shiny glasses. You think it's an elephant, Katie? Mmm, it could be, but I think… A giraffe, Adam? I don't think you're very clever, are you? I suspect you will go off the rails and come to a bad end. Let's open the door a little bit more… and a little bit more…
It's Radek! Now, there's a funny thing about Radek. When he's excited or scared, he speaks in his native language, and we can't understand what he says. What's that, Joshua? When your daddy drops something on his toe, he shouts funny words, too? Yes, that's exactly the same thing. I'll tell you what: after storytime, you can teach everyone else your daddy's funny words, so they can go home and say them to their mummies and daddies. Won't their mummies and daddies be surprised?
There's a funny thing about Rodney, too. He talks a lot, but a lot of his words are words that are not in your vocabulary. (Vocabulary is a long word which is in itself not in your vocabulary, which is at best confusing, in one of those "error! error! error! boom!" sort of ways, and at worse a paradox, by which I mean those birds that sit in the jungle and go squawk. Can you squawk like a paradox, children? Very good!)
Anyway, because Rodney's words are not in your vocabulary and because he says a lot of them, and because we want this story to be finished nice and quickly so I can go off and have a stiff drink, I'm not going to tell you exactly what Rodney says. Instead we are going to use this Random Rodney Word Generator, otherwise known as a paper bag, to give you a flavour of it.
"Citrus B-team minion," Rodney says.
Do you think Rodney wants to play with Radek? You do, Abigail? You are stupid, aren't you? Didn't you listen to what he said? No, Rodney likes Radek a little bit, but he doesn't want to play with him at the moment. Radek can't cheer Rodney up and turn him into a happy Rodney. Bye-bye, Radek!
I wonder who Rodney will meet next. Oh! I think I can hear Woolsey coming along the corridor. Yes, Jake, Woolsey does sound like a woolly sheep, doesn't he? However, just like everyone else, you're totally and irredeemably wrong. One day soon, fear of ridicule will teach you all to stop making suggestions and just sit in cowed silence. Yes, Zoe, cows do go moo. Let's all go moo. What fun this is.
Here's Woolsey! Woolsey isn't a sheep, is he? How silly Jake is! Yes, Sarah, his head is very shiny. Do you think Rodney wants to play with Woolsey? Shall we ask him?
"Arrogant Mensa cat explosion," Rodney says.
"Conference book rules evaluation suit," says Woolsey. Bad Woolsey! He's stolen Rodney's Random Word Generator and added some words of his own. Bad Woolsey! Bad! Bad! Bad! I don't think Rodney wants to play with him. Bye-bye, Woolsey!
Poor Rodney! He's still a sad and grumpy Rodney, and he still hasn't found a special friend to play with. Oh! Look! Here comes Teyla! Rodney likes Teyla. Maybe Teyla will make Rodney happy.
Oh. Teyla's got something in her arms. What do you think it is? Yes, Nathan, it's a baby. Teyla won't want to play with Rodney because she's got a nice new baby to play with. Has anyone got a baby brother or sister at home? Ooh, what a lot of you! Then you all know that when a new baby comes along, your mummies don't like you any more. No, Jake, I know your mummy tells you that she loves you just as much as she used to, but she's lying. Grown-ups lie all the time. In fact, this might be a lie, too. There's another paradox for you. Squawk, squawk!
"Fear drop doom kids," Rodney says.
The baby starts crying – waah! waah! – and Teyla goes away. Bye-bye, Teyla!
Rodney still looks like a sad and grumpy Rodney, doesn't he? I wonder who he'll meet next. Oh! What's that noise? Can you hear something? Let's all cup our ears and see what we can hear. Someone's coming – someone with big, stompy feet. Who do you think it is? A giant? It might be a giant. It might be a big, scary giant, who like to eat little girls and little boys for his dinner, because lots of people do like to eat little children like you. There's a book just over there called Cooking with Kids, after all.
Oh. It isn't a giant, after all. It's Ronon. I wonder if Ronon will want to play with Rodney. Ronon looks a bit scary, doesn't he. Can you see that picture on his arm? Yes, Daniel, Ronon got a little bit silly with his crayons and poster paints and forgot that you're supposed to paint things on paper, not on your arm. Silly Ronon!
"No no no, yes, no, yes, no, whale," Rodney says.
Ronon gives Rodney an eloquently enigmatic look (which might be an oxymoron, which is a bit like a llama, which is a bit like a goat, which is a bit like a mouse), and goes away. Bye-bye, Ronon!
Oh dear. I don't think Rodney's ever going to find a real friend to play with. He's going to be sad and grumpy for his whole life, all alone, lonely, unrecognised (that means that people don't know who he is, and mistake him for an elephant or a giraffe, for example.) Plod, plod, plod goes Rodney. Plod, plod, plod, sad and dejected and grumpy.
Oh! Look what we can see over the page! It's John! Rodney can't see John yet, because John's in his room. John's just had a shower. John's skin is all moist and covered with gleaming droplets of water, and John's hair is all tousled and damp. Unfortunately, most of John is covered with a towel. It isn't a little towel, is it, children? No! It's a big towel. It's an enormous towel. I wonder why John needs such an enormous towel to wrap his naked, damp, smooth body in. What's that, Charlotte? You think he's hiding something under his towel? Something big? Something enormous? You could be right. But it isn't nice to hide things, is it, children? You know what I think? I think John should drop his towel right now and show us what he's hiding underneath it.
No? Oh well. It was worth a try. Still… Oh! Oh! Oh! It's a touch-and-feel book, children! Does anyone want to feel John's hai-- No, I didn't think anyone would. I'll just feel it myself for a while, just so the illustrator doesn't get sad. And the soft texture of the towel over his… Run along and play for a while, children. I've got… er… storytellery things to do. Important things. Run along.
Okay, children. It's time to gather back on the story mat. Twelve o'clock? How time flies! I hope we haven't lost too many of you.
Where were we? Oh yes. Rodney. Rodney being sad. Yes. Well. Here's Rodney knocking on John's door. John seems to have put his clothes on now, which is very silly, because I think that John is very hot, and it's silly to wear so many clothes when you're hot. Silly illustrator! I bet she's in league with the clothes manufacturers. Product placement, and evil things like that.
"Despair work-out sad friend," says Rodney.
I wonder if John will play with Rodney. I wonder if Rodney wants to play with John. Let's see, shall we? Oh, look! John is picking up some beer. (Beer is a bit like lemonade, but you're not allowed to drink it until you're much older, like seven. It's very good for you, and you should drink lots and lots of it.)
I wonder where Rodney and John are going. Tramp, tramp, tramp they go. Tramp, tramp. Stupid illustrator! She's showing us Rodney's sad and grumpy face, when we want to see John from the rear, his black-clad hips going tramp, tramp, tramp just like a tramp.
Here they are at the Stargate. The Stargate is round door that takes you to far away places. Sometimes, though, it takes you out into the vacuum of space (vacuum is a grown-up word meaning a place with lots of spiders) where you die horribly. You should always be careful when you go through a door, just in case.
Rodney and John go through the door, and… Oh no! They've died horribly! It's the end of the book!
Only joking! No, here they are, in a verdant paradise of a planet, thick with flowers and littered with jewel-like streams and positively replete with purple prose. (These are all grown-up words meaning it's like fairyland.) Let's see what happens on the next page. Oh, look! Rodney and John are sitting beside a pool, drinking beer, and engaging in friendly banter (which is a bit like playing Ring a ring o' roses.) Does Rodney look a bit happier now? You're right, Abigail. I think he does. Beer always make you happy; remember that. It will serve you well in later life.
Now John's going to go for a swim, oh, yes, he is. He is going to go for a swim because I say so, and I don't care if the illustrator doesn't co-operate. John is taking his clothes off. He is, he is, he is.
He isn't? Oh. Stupid book! Oh well. We know what to do in situations like this, don't we, children? That's right. We use our imagination, which in this case tastes even better than chocolate.
Oh no! You weren't watching carefully, children! I was distracted by grown-up things, and you didn't shout out a warning. A Wraith has come! Wraiths are horrid. Wraiths like to eat people and drain their life-force out of them (this is a bit like sucking the jam out of a jam doughnut) which kills them in a hideous and agonising fashion (which are grown-up words meaning horrible horrible horrible do not want.)
Wraiths have long white hair, and… What was that, Zoe? Your grandma has long white hair? That means she's a Wraith for sure and you should scream whenever you see her.
What do you think the Wraith is going to do to Rodney and John? Oh no! The Wraith has knocked Rodney to the ground, but here's John coming to the rescue. What do you think John's saying? Adam? "Go away, you naughty Wraith, or I'll tell my Daddy on you?" I think you're probably right.
But – oh no! – John's tripped on something, and now the Wraith is throwing him around just like a rag doll. Yes, Charlotte, he is a silly John, with all that ketchup all over him. But here's Rodney, coming to John's rescue, all heroic and determined and things like that. He looks quite scary, doesn't he? And – oh! – some off-camera extreme violence (we can draw that later, in art time) which results in bits of Wraith all over the place.
Yes, Samantha, Rodney is bad, isn't he, not tidying up all those bits of Wraith and taking them to the recycling plant. He's going to destroy the world, just like you are when you forget to turn the tap off. Rodney's good at destroying worlds. Once he destroyed lots of places just like Earth, which killed lots and lots of cute little fluffy animals called things like… er… Cute, and… and Little and… and… Fluffy, and made them scream in agony before their eyes all popped out and their cute little paws and whiskers imploded.
Anyway… Rodney still doesn't look very happy, does he? He looks distraught (this is how you feel after you've eaten too much birthday cake) and – oh goodie! I mean: oh no! – it looks like this is going to be one of those stories that positively wallows in angst (this is a bit like when you play in thick, gloopy muddy, muddy mud). Well, at least Rodney doesn't look like a sad and grumpy Rodney any more. No, he's a distraught Rodney. He's a panic-stricken and terrified Rodney. But at least he isn't grumpy, and we should always look on the bright side, shouldn't we, children?
"Doom!" Rodney is saying. "Friend! Dead! Idiot! Beavers!"
John is stirring weakly. (Yes, Abigail, just like we did in cookery time last week when we made coconut ice.) Now John is sitting up. Rodney doesn't look sad any more, now, does he? No, Emily, you're right. He looks happy. He looks relieved. What's that, Jake? Your daddy talks about relieving himself and you think it's something to do with doing a wee-wee? Well, you can imagine that if you like, but I'd rather not.
So what lesson have we learnt, children? If you're feeling sad, you need to suffer an even greater trauma, then your original sadness won't seem to matter any more. Next time you're feeling sad and grumpy because your mummy won't buy you a new toy, why not send your hamster on an exciting adventure in the washing machine? Believe me, it'll stop you feeling sad about the toy.
I wonder what John and Rodney are going to do now? Oh, look. Here they are drinking more beer and talking about comic books, and John still isn't taking his clothes off, even though he's got ketchup on his clothes, and taking them off would be the only sensible thing to do – the thing that he would definitely do if he was a good John and not a naughty John – and Rodney looks like a happy Rodney now, doesn't he? A really happy Rodney, because he's discovered that losing out on a Nobel Prize isn't half so bad as thinking that your friend has died – I mean, that he has ketchup all over him – because friendship is more important than material possessions.
Oh! Children! What's that over there! It's scary! It's horrid! It's creeping up on you! It's a moral! Can you pull a scary face and make the moral go away? Well done, children!
Oh. We seem to be on the last page, and John still has his clothes on. But Rodney looks happy, doesn't he, now he's found a friend to play with. So let's leave him there, shall we?
Ooh! I've got a wonderful idea! Let's all shout out all at once, and tell Rodney that Radek's won the Nobel Prize that is rightfully Rodney's. That would be fun, wouldn't it, children? I think it will make Rodney into a very, very, very happy Rodney. Let's do it now: one, two, three…
Hehehe! Let's close the book now – SLAM! Bye-bye Rodney! Bye-bye!
For parents and teachers: Ideas for extension activities
Many children nowadays lack the tools with which to understand and describe their own emotional state. Use the following exercise to open up discussion about feelings. Children should look at the smiley faces and point to the one that most closely equates to their current emotional state.
Make a dress-up John doll
In this story, John didn't take his clothes off at all. In this activity, children can make a dress-up John doll, then use their imagination to design clothes for him, which he can then be dressed in. Some examples are shown below. This encourages creativity, artistic skill, and all sorts of worthy things like this.