Thursday, January 18, 2007



Ain't Not Misbehavin'

While I never drew on the walls (at least, not as extensively as above), I did have a propensity for mischief when I was a wee lad. Of course, I only know this because I've been told so by my parents. I'm not particularly good at remembering details about my youth — there's whole segments of my life I just do not remember for some reason (perhaps lead paint? Or leaded gas?) But as luck would have it, Mama Cornell recently recounted for me, with little effort, the details of what she considers the worst thing I ever did.

Room Cleaning Episode #183

My mother had demanded my brother and I clean our room. Now, when you're a child, time behaves much differently than it does when you're an adult. The child-adult time conversion goes something like this:

15 childhood minutes = 1 adult hour

Put plainly, this means:

15 minutes "feels like" 1 hour to a child.

Now, this was the standard dirty room of 2 boys under 10. All in all, cleaning it up would have probably taken about a half-hour to an hour of adult time. Applying the child-adult time conversion, we see that, to a child, that feels like 2-4 hours of labor.

Faced with 4 childhood hours1 of constructive physical activity, we decided to investigate other options. Some important facts were revealed to us after careful evaluation. The mess was comprised almost totally of clothing, with some paper products. There were very few toys, since proper child procedure requires toys be scattered in the community living area, so that people can injure themselves on them. So this mess was unique, in that my brother and I had almost no genuine emotional attachment to the mess itself. A 5-10 minute solution — in child time — soon presented itself.

The Fresh Fix

Being an adult now, I have an understanding of how my mother may have felt when she walked in on her sons shoving armfuls of clothing out the window onto the roof. At the time, I thought she was just angry; but I understand now that her anger was probably outstripped by utter shock and disbelief. Though I think it's safe to say, that moments later, anger became the dominant emotion. Because I know that if I was on the roof, picking up the discarded clothing, and my child closed and locked2 the window behind me, I would be rather angry.

Apparently, after that, she had to go to the neighbor's house for a couple of hours. She'd go to the neighbors a lot back in those days. I'm not sure who the neighbors were, but God bless 'em... they're right up there with polio inoculation on the list of reasons I'm alive today.


1 Amongst children, this span of time is known as one unit of "church".

2 I'm not entirely sure that we locked the window, but I hate the idea that as a child I would close a window without locking it. I mean.. that's how the monsters get in the house, right?

Comments on this Article

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Florian Pichler

As I'm a regular visitor of this blog I have to say that this is one of the articles I like most since I started reading here.

I also enjoy your paintings and illustrations but your artikels sometimes just make my day.


Thanks Florian! Glad you liked it:D

Russer Butter

Yeah, I can't remember most of my childhood either, but then again I still maintain that I was grown in a testube and then sent off to high school, because colleges don't look back beyond high school grades.

If I did have a childhood though and drew on the walls I would have to say I liked to draw maps, because every once in a while my parents find a line of dots and an X on a wall behind some piece of furniture. Either that or I was planing some demolition to add an extra wing on the east side of the house.


I agree - this is right up there with The Draft in terms of embarrassing myself here in the office with boisterous laughter. Kudos.

Mama testMonkey tells me the worst thing I ever did was destroy the family Christmas tree when I was two. I aledgedly pulled it down, crushing and destroying hours of labor and countless priceless family ornaments in the process. Since I was two, I didn't have the presence of mind to burn it to the ground. Shame.

I hate Christmas trees.


Russer - That must have been one big test tube, if you stayed in it until High School...

Testmonkey - Perhaps it was an inspired commentary on the attachment to material goods. Did you smash all the gifts as well?


my daughter creates secret art galleries on the backs of our furniture, where she can squeeze through and admire her work but we can't. it doesn't occur to her that the furniture may one day be moved. or that we already know. (she always signs her work.)

i try not to discourage it, because one day she'll be a grown-up and won't make secret art galleries. and that's a shame.


4point44: you and/or your daughter might enjoy this. Very cool (not that I'm condoning such behavior).

(via Make:)

The Colonel

You know, Kev... I've got to say, I think I've solved the mystery of the missing childhood memories.

In your case?

Blunt head trauma.

What other recourse did Mama Cornell have?


oh kevin, I knew you were bad, but I had no idea you hated "mom" so much.

on another note....your footnotes are pretty accurate. You should enter this information in wikipedia!

Rob Weychert

A very funny and very well-told story. Bravo, sir! Now I have to ask my mom what the worst thing I ever did was...


4point44 - Haha - that's sweet :D

Colonel - Hey! You may be right! That might explain why the back of my head is so flat, too.

Niff - Well... okay. But only because I don't have to do research to back up my claims.

Rob - Worst thing you ever did that she KNOWS about. Remember... that's an important clarifier.

Terry Tolleson

That's one of the funniest things I have seen you post on here, BSR. Gold!

I'd like to point out that the young lad in the illustration is obviously covering up a much greater offense. He's already removed all the real doors and lights and what have you and must redraw them. How else would you explain the father not realizing he was walking to a fake door? He clearly walked to where the door used to be and is now shocked to find no true door there at all.

Oh, that boy sho' has some antics about him, he does.


Hmm..not sure what the worst thing is that I did, but I do know what the stupidest thing was. In an apparent flush of teenage brain malfunction (TBM) I took a kitchen knife and carved my initials in our coffee table. I'm not talking some small carving here either. It stretched from the top of the white Parson's table to the very bottom. How I thought I'd get away with this - I have no idea.

mother of the mischievous

This is absolutely hilarious. As the mom of four boys, I can certainly relate. I have a few of those stories myself....


I've often wondered if the 'unit of Church' is a universal constant? Now that you've mentioned it, I believe it is.

BTW, you should approach Apple and have them add the child-adult ratio into their Time converter widget.


Terry - Haha - well, that means this kid can put up drywall all on his own... that's a talent WORTH the occasional wall graffiti.

BigA - I used to have some terrible bouts with TBM. Owning a slingshot and having TBM are a bad combination.

Mother of the Mischievous -FOUR boys!? Wow - I bet you do have some doozies...

Chris - I'm not allowed to approach Apple anymore. Not since I tried to market my "kPod" line of mp3 players.


hahaha... great story (and fantastic illustration)

there are too many stories of my mischevious youth to pick just one to share here... but let's just say, my creativity was only ever responded to by screams of "MARTHA!!"


I think probably the worst thing I did (with an accomplice) was almost get arrested for arson. And even though I was being threatened with Juvenile Hall, I couldn't help but giggle that the officer's name was Srgt. Dicks.


You should know that I drew a real living Bearksinrug character in my life drawing class today. Complete with Mustache, gangly physique, surgery scars, et al. He had a mean look on his face the whole time too. If it wasn't for your sketches of naked old men with ugly skin I wouldn't have had any reference point for this horrid afternoon.


Throwing stuff out the window is always a great way to clean. You should be proud that you thought of it at such a young age.


Martha - Was your creativity in any way related to lighter fluid and matches? ;)

Sutter - Hmm. I have a guess who the accomplice may be. Maybe the kind of person who gets refrigerator magnets made featuring his exposed wang.

Tyler - Haha - awesome! Did he have an accent?

Monkeyinabox - *sniffle* thank you... that makes me feel so special...


excellent drawing kevin, and writing too


I have a confession. At a young age I once set an old mattress on fire outside of our home. My parents were furious, but I shouldn't have had access to matches at any age.

I also used to draw on the desks in school. Someone had already began a doodle and I would let's say, embeliish it a bit.

Fond memories, fond memories.


Denny - Thanks!

Diane - Whoa - so that had to be what you WANTED to do, right? Set the whole mattress on fire? Was it to keep from having to go to bed early?

Captain Purple



Haha - appropriate!


is kim asian?

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