First, listen to a master. This bloke (‘Bongo’) rang into an Australian radio station cracking on his story is true. If it’s true, I’ll eat every single one of my hats. Mind you, the guys at Mysterious Universe believe it. Strange things happen in The Outback.
What do you think?
Go to episode 404 of Mysterious Universe and, unless you want to hear all about sleep paralysis and trolls sitting on chests (which is also fascinating), you can skip straight to Bongo’s yarn at 51:25.
No doubt about it, Bongo is a master of the form. I bet he’s been telling this very yarn for years and years (since September of ’78). If you go to the Australian Outback you’ll meet a number of great storytellers just like Bongo; my in-laws love their camping holidays and they’ll tell you exactly where to find these old guys – out near Lightning Ridge and so on. There’s nothing much else to do out there after dark, you see, with no internet connection and no nothing. Spinning yarns while sounding authentic is a valued skill, like playing the banjo or the harmonica… or the Bongos, even. Continue reading “Tall Tale Techniques For The Scarily Inclined”
Natalie Tran is one of Australia’s best comedians and I enjoy her increasingly sporadic uploads to Community Channel on YouTube.
Recently Natalie has been babysitting, and wonders what to do when the kid tells her there’s a monster in their bedroom.
a. Do you go along with it?
b. Do you tell them it’s just their imagination?
I like the idea of going in with a cricket bat and coming out with a bunch of clothes in a black bin liner, announcing the job done, but let’s assume this is a serious question. What is the best thing to do?
Most picture book writers are on ‘a’ side of the fence, not only going along with the idea of monsters, but maybe even introducing the very concept of monsters to children in the first place. I mean, who thinks of this stuff?
There are a lot of picture books with the message for preschoolers: Don’t be scared of the dark. The monsters you imagine are benign. We’ll then read a book about a terrible monster under the bed who turns out to be an adorable fluffy creature who befriends the child protagonist.
Here’s what I’d like to know: Do all children imagine monsters? Or is the idea of a monster introduced by the very media designed to assuage their fears? If we were to bring up a child sans media, sans Grimm, sans terror, would that child still conjure up the worst?
I doubt anyone has managed that experiment, but I do know that for our part, the resident toddler didn’t start being afraid of the dark until she started watching more sophisticated television and listening with some comprehension to picture books.
This List of Legendary Creatures From Japan will open your eyes to the wonderful, wacky world of Asian mythology and folklore and you may realize Grimm Brothers’ fairytales were text bundles of joy by comparison.
Wolf Comes To Town by Denis Manton must be one of the most underrated children’s book on the Internet. I was genuinely astonished to check out what others have said about this picture book on Amazon and Goodreads. Both sites show a 1.5 star average rating at time of writing. Can you guess what reviewers don’t like about this book?