PLEASE STOP!!

When I was a child, one of the things I enjoyed doing was hitting other children with a stick.   Many of my classmates also enjoyed doing this.  We would walk through the forest in back of our school, trying to find the biggest stick we could feasibly wield as a weapon.  When we found the right stick, we would lure an unsuspecting child out of the teacher's sight during recess and attack them.  We called this game Stick War and it was the best game ever as long as you weren't the one being beaten mercilessly.


We were able to secretly play Stick War for almost three whole days before one of our asshole classmates ruined it by calling for help when we wouldn't stop hitting him.  Our teacher was furious.  She sat us down and told us that from then on, if any one of us felt like we were being treated unfairly, we could yell "PLEASE STOP!" and the offending party must stop or face dire consequences.


Life after Please Stop was very different for us.  We could no longer overpower our weaker classmates with brutality.  


No matter what was happening to you, you could always count on Please Stop to prevent it from continuing.  It was a magic bullet of pure power. We respected it.  We feared it.  

It didn't take us long to learn how to abuse it. 


We began using Please Stop for everything.  We used it to settle ownership disputes and to bend the rules of freeze tag.  If we didn't want to learn about numbers, we would shout "PLEASE STOP!" at our teacher.  It became a single word - "PLEESTOP" - uttered triumphantly in a loud burst.

Please Stop quickly made its way into our home lives, too.  I clearly remember sitting at the dinner table, yelling "PLEASE STOP!" at my mom because she was trying to make me finish my meatloaf.   My sister and I became Please Stop ninjas, constantly finding creative new ways to wield the ultimate source of power more effectively.   

But one fateful day, we flew too close to the sun and ruined Please Stop forever.  I remember that it was summer.  I had just come inside from catching grasshoppers and I was sorting them on my sister's bed because I didn't want to get grasshopper guts on mine.  I tried to sort them based on how many legs they still had - the intact grasshoppers would be dried out for display purposes and the  mangled ones would be used in dissection experiments which were not done for scientific reasons, but more as an excuse to chop up grasshoppers with my mom's butcher knife.  

My sister was horrified to find me trespassing on her side of the bedroom. 

My sister:  "Don't sit on my bed!"

Me:  "It's a free country!  I can sit on your bed if I want!"

My sister:  "PLEASE STOP!"

Me:  "PLEASE STOP SAYING PLEASE STOP!"

My sister: "PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO PLEASE STOP SAYING PLEASE STOP!" 

Me:  "PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO PLEASE STOP TELLING YOU TO PLEASE STOP SAYING PLEASE STOP!" 

We had discovered a glitch in the system -- Please Stop was flawed.  It could be used against itself infinitely, thereby becoming useless.  We were in a goddamn Mexican standoff.  

It felt like we had forcibly ripped apart the universe and were now staring at a gaping black hole where our powerful weapon used to exist.  What had we done?  

Over the course of the summer, the other children in my class also began to discover the flaws of Please Stop.  Parents could not be controlled by it.  It was hard to yell it effectively when your mouth was crammed full of your own socks.  It was even harder to yell when your head was underwater. 

By the time we returned to school in the fall, we had resigned ourselves to settling things the old-fashioned way, with sticks and rocks.   But we were bitter and jaded, having placed our faith in something so obviously corruptible, so even Stick War lost its former appeal.   



There was a brief ray of hope when someone invented "Please Stop to Infinity" to solve the escalation problem, but shortly afterward someone else invented "Please Stop to Infinity to Infinity" and we were right back where we started.  

As we grew up, we learned to solve our problems through "talking" and "compromise," but I think secretly we all still yearned for the days where we only had to yell "PLEASE STOP" and anything we wanted was ours.  

53 comments:

Stormy Cruz said...

Hahaha, awesome.

Seriously, though, these kinds of things can really shatter a child.

I remember when "Jinx, personal jinx" was ruined for me. I thought those three magical words could make my sisters (or anyone else) shut up forever until my mom made the rule: "No jinxing at the table."
Dinner was never the same.

Jay Ferris said...

Great, now what am I supposed to do if The Skeleton Man tries to rape me again? I MUST KNOW HIS WEAKNESSES!

Tony said...

Sometimes I forget how easily amused and gullible we used to be when we were kids. In elementary school, we played Smear the Queer. It was almost like the stick game, but different in that we had to tackle/kick/punch whoever was holding the ball. I don't understand why we even picked up the ball in the first place.

Veronica Marcetti Dimick said...

Holy shit, I am super glad I went to the school I did! We couldn't touch each other or the nuns ... well, I don't want to even think about the evil that would have transpired.

Untypically Jia said...

PLEASE don't ever STOP drawing stuff like this. It helps me get through my day!

inflammatory writ said...

This was hilarious. I remember we had "cooties times infinity", which was the worst kind of cooties there was, until we had "cooties times infinity to the infinity power", which was something quite different.

Barbara said...

We had a version of this growing up called "no punch backs". Those were the days.

Martin said...

Hahahahah! The pictures are awesome. Love it.

madelyn said...

this is the funniest shit i have ever read.

P.T said...

You're so funny! And what an awesome post!

Assertive Wit said...

oh my god, I don't think I've laughed this hard since I saw Black Dynamite hahahhahahahaa

this made my Thursday!

dawn said...

your game sounds a lot more than ours.
Of course you can't play Smeer the Queer these days without a lawsuit being thrown in your face...
Ah, the good old days?

Amy said...

You had the most bizarre childhood I've ever heard of. Classes at Charles Manson Elementary, playing Stick War outside on the Jim Jones Memorial playground... cutting up grasshoppers BTK Killer style. It's really just more than I can imagine.

Busymom3 said...

This is awesome, you are so hillarious, this brought back some really fond childhood memories!! We had some rediculously fun stick wars back then.

Mandar said...

I just love those pictures you draw. It takes the story to epic status automatically.

That comment up before was me, trying to have a cool display name that takes you to my homepage, and failing at it. Why doesn't delete comment delete everything about that comment? :(

Michael said...

Please forgive the following nerdness...

Clearly the conundrum was that you and yours were viewing "Please Stop" as a simple counterspell, where one could counter a counterspell by just throwing it on the stack.

What you needed was a Time Stop or perhaps a Last Word

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I still use sticks and sharp rocks.

What?

Please stop never worked for me.

Just to let you know, you now have 666 followers. Be scared. Be very scared.

Hippo Brigade said...

You used to cut up grasshoppers with your mom's butcher knife?
That's cool.

I used to play with my cat's poo.
I think it's these defining moments that make us the women we are today.

juskaulani said...

This was a good moral kind of story. It's funny and had a good point.

Willy said...

i know so many abusers of "please stop"

it "must stop"

Krista said...

That post was awesome on so many levels I don't even know how to compliment it. I will settle for a cheezy pun. You ROCK, Allie!

Surprisingly Bright said...

This was freaking hilarious. I may love you.

miss. chief said...

One time while wandering the woods at my elementary school I found two ninja throwing stars and I was so stupid, I didn't even try throwing them at other students. I just showed my teacher who took them away. Darn it.

dogimo said...

So fucking delightful.

PLEASE NEVER STOP.

To infinity, Allie.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I agree with Krista. There are no words-love this. Also, what dogimo said.

ShineForLife said...

You beat your classmates...with sticks???

Hm. My elementary school only had woodchips. No large sticks. Ah, what a blow to my childhood.

Ed said...

A big enough stick will solve any problem.

lintilla said...

We had a similar game at my school - Monkeys and Bananas. The boys were monkeys and the girls were bananas (for some reason). The rules consisted of beating the crap out of each other.

Isn't it weird how violent young kids can be?

BlackLOG said...

I feel you gave up on "Stick Wars" far to easily. Once "PLEASE STOP" reared its ugly head you just needed to change the rules of engagement. Bigger sticks and stealth attacks would have been the way forward. As long as you got that first blow correct there would have been no "PLEASE STOP" and you could have carried on with the stick beating until your little hands got tired. At that point you could have shouted "PLEASE STOP". If feeling particularly vindictive you could have carried on hitting them and then reported what was left of your victim for not stopping being beaten. They would then have been left to face Dire Consequences and his younger brother Fuck-the.....

Harini said...

LOl!! I still use please stop when i dont wanna be rude :P.

Martyn said...

Another great post Allie, that had me laughing until I was saying Please Stop! at the screen for making me laugh so much.

Anyway as a token of appreciation there is something nice for you on my blog

http://vegemitesaga.blogspot.com/2010/02/beautiful-blogger.html

Moooooog35 said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for showing me the ONE flaw in the 'Please Stop' program!

Looks like I'm getting laid tonight!!

MODG said...

using this on my husband tonight.

O said...

So funny...you definitely started my friday off the right way.

Imnotbenny said...

Allie, you are the funniest writer I have ever come across. I'm not wearing a hat, so my hair is off to you.

--------------

Update: Turns out that is a recipe for extremely bleedy and gross.

--------------

Update 2: Dizzy. Should have just gone with "kudos".

Brian O'Mara-Croft said...

Hi Allie -- Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you on my blog, Lost in the Hive, last night. I was inspired by a blog entry you wrote a while ago while drunk.

Last night, after a few, I decided to get creative...maybe a bad idea. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I very much enjoy your blog.

Cheers,
Brian

~dawn said...

Man-o-man! Danger has been averted!
Now that the 666 hex is reversed- You Welcome- you are once again safe to pursue the delights of your artistic talents.

Oh, and I gave you mad props on my blog today... a little award-y thing to pass along your link so that others may bask in your genius-ness.

The thought of you having to wait til your too old, or dead like Beethoven was just too much for me to bear...:)

Shana said...

Sometimes if I'm laying on the couch, J will come over and lay on top of me so I can't move - because he can and because he finds this amusing. I'm going to employ the PLEASE STOP rule going forward and see how long I can get it to work. J's not very smart, so maybe a while. Thanks for the idea.

Cupcake said...

Dude, that's fucking awesome!!! I TOTALLY would've bashed kids with a stick! Damn those nuns and their eagle eyes!!!!

Dominick Bonny said...

Where have you been all my blog life? I love this blog.

Jordan said...

This is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. Please never stop.

Christina In Wonderland said...

Ah, the utter insanity of childhood. I miss those times. PS: I love how little cartoon Allie seems to have the most evil little gleam in her eyes. Nice. :) You should be proud, as should your parents.

Eva Gallant said...

That was hilariously funny! lol

Bridget Callahan said...

This was a really amusing post. But this comment is about that photo at the bottom of the page there. Because your expression has perfectly captured the normally incongruous ideas of "leave a comment please" and "I'm going to eat your baby". Good job!

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Sadly, I was always the queer. It's why I no longer play with balls.
It makes my hubs sad.

AMBELLINA said...

I wish this worked at my job.

"PLEASE STOP NOT GIVING ME RAISES!"
"PLEASE STOP MICROMANAGING ME!"
"PLEASE STOP TAKING AWAY MY INTRANETS SO'S I CAN'T PLAY ON THE COMPUTER YOU SCHMUCKS!"

I think that would just get me fired. But then I would be all..."PLEASE STOP FIRING ME!"
(TO INFINITY)

meandthebee said...

this is the first time i've commented here. go me!
anyway, this was hilarious, as is everything else i've read of yours so far. even those fun-looking triangles = hilarious.
boyfriend is just jealous.

Amanda West said...

Ah... The sweet bliss of being a child.

And that horrible thing called Growing Up.

Buggar.

Jenny Brown said...

I don't even know what to say to you........I'm speechless.......

I'm your newest follower, by the way!

Werbs said...

I think I said "what the fuck!" with pure pleasure 6 times while reading this.

Maudlin said...

Facebook brought me the awesomeness of your blog... and now I totally want to play Stick War with my manager as the target.

You are awesomely funny. Even my boyfriend who hates people thinks so. I concede you the internet :)

jemoniker said...

I know this is an old post but I was struck speechless as to how bad ass your post is! This post should be in some Harvard class teaching the psychology of the adolescent mind! I can totally relate and my mind almost shut down from remembering going through something similar as a child. maybe this was one of all kids rights of passage. brilliant work!

Ava Heart said...

The Secret: Please Stop-always-one-more-than-you!