The Boundary Between Two Worlds

Sister Madly so wanted to be an orphan when she was young. The Boxcar Children can do that to a girl.

boxcar children

No doubt it would be a dreamy life, where she would spend her days collecting pretty rocks, cooking over an open fire, bathing in a babbling brook (but only when she felt like it, by golly!) and stocking her humble abode with treasures found at the local junkyard. She would be a pioneer in the industrialized Midwest, where she would eat nothing but jerky and Zingers- which was only logical, since these foods never spoil. Also, they were readily available at the party store down the street.

Despite its flawless beauty, there was something about this plan that offended her mother so horribly- seriously, what did being an orphan have anything to do with her mother, anyway? After all, it was a perfectly normal childhood desire to be a foundling; even her sister, Tallulah, had orphan aspirations, which were inspired by the movie Annie.

*Turns out, being an orphan had everything to do with her mother.*

Alas, the dream began to sour when it became clear that Sister Madly could never survive in a boxcar; in fact, she is reminded of her own incompetence every time she goes camping. And it’s not just setting up the tent; getting in and out of the horrid thing can only be achieved through a sophisticated network of zippers which leaves her whimpering within the confines of that canvas prison until someone lets her out. If she can’t figure out a tent, surely the boxcar would have eaten her alive. Not to mention that she has no idea where the nearest junkyard is, that babbling brooks are hard to come by, and what on earth does she know about intentionally starting fires?

tent kingdom

But what killed the orphan dream was not only the discovery that the frosting can be peeled off a Zinger in one rubbery piece, but that it can stick to the ceiling for hours.

And that riffraff is FDA approved.


Fortunately, her plucky spirit did not die with the dream, for even prior to these discoveries Sister Madly was fascinated with the idea of alternative worlds- especially those found down rabbit holes, inside of cupboards or magic books, or behind mirrors. It is so much easier to survive in these realms than in a boxcar as one’s basic necessities are always provided for through magic, with no shortage of life lessons learned through a host of mythical creatures, arch nemeses, and lovely lunch pail trees. Sister Madly never understood why those who stumbled upon these worlds spent their entire time trying to get back home- seriously, just think about it. Magical jewelry. Luck Dragons. Ancient texts. A moon that becomes a kitten’s smile. Spontaneous musical numbers in which you instinctively know all the songs and all the choreography.

And again- lunch pail trees.

goblin king

But as the years passed, her looking-glass remained inaccessible, she never encountered the Goblin King, and her mother was constantly preventing her from traveling Over the Rainbow by dragging her to the basement whenever there was a tornado in the area. Apparently, Sister Madly’s insistence that she knew exactly how to get home from Oz was not at all reassuring.

As neither her mother nor the laws of physics were on her side, Sister Madly sulked at the prospect of living out the rest of her life in the world of the mundane.

But is there really such a difference between the two worlds?

In one world, roads are made of yellow brick.
In the other, roads are made of asphalt, in which large, gaping sinkholes appear without warning and swallow everything whole.

In one, the animals speak the native language and join you for dinner.
In the other, the animals speak a foreign language and are made into dinner.

In one, certain foods make you grow taller.
In the other, certain foods make you grow wider.

In one, the moon is a smile.
In the other, the moon has a face. Sometimes.

In one, mushrooms make you hallucinate.
In the other, mushrooms make you hallucinate.

In one, animals wear human clothing.
In the other, animals are human clothing.

So Sister Madly, explain to us if you will, why should you prefer the mysteries and adventures of alternative worlds when the one you live in is just as bizarre?

Then again, there’s that whole lunch pail tree thing…


THEME SONG: Mad World, Tears for Fears

26 responses

  1. Ha! Very charming. I also dream of being an orphan, but I’m nearly 50 now. Why might one “prefer the mysteries and adventures of alternative worlds when the one you live in is just as bizarre?” Because the world we live in is truly off the wall! Who does not long for the sanity of Oz or some other strange place where things actually make sense? I’ve been trying to walk through the back of wardrobes for years now and doing my best to fall down rabbit holes. Everyone has to have a hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 29, 2016 at 6:59 AM

    • Hm… journeying to a fantasy land not for adventure, but for a bit of rest and relaxation- and restoration of sanity. Never thought of it that way!

      I like that hobby. When you find that magic portal, let me know. Will be needing a vacation from reality very soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      April 29, 2016 at 12:23 PM

  2. Those goodies, also BAW approved! What’s in the picnic pail?

    In one world, there are alligator lizards.
    In the other, there are alligator lizards.
    In both worlds, blame is on the Shrooms! So unfair.

    Moms are such misunderstanding creatures. Others call them spoil sports but not me. They don’t understand that the majik protects you, sees you safely home, sane as a hookah smoking caterpillar.

    As always Ms Moppet, wings up at your call.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 29, 2016 at 7:06 AM

    • Lunch is in the lunch pail! Twas a ham sandwich and a pickle inside (according to the story)- not my first choice, but garnished with those magic shrooms, it would be nothing short of divine!

      The caterpillar seemed sane to me (he says ‘Hi,’ by the way.)

      Liked by 1 person

      April 29, 2016 at 12:34 PM

      • Ham sandwich and a pickle. Branston Pickle? mmMMmm!

        He is sane, as caterpillars go of course. Oh yeah, how high? First branch or way up? Yell hello to him for me, don’t want to confuse him.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 29, 2016 at 12:49 PM

        • Oh way up. Way, way up. On cloud 9, in fact- which, I believe, is Angel territory.

          Liked by 1 person

          April 29, 2016 at 12:58 PM

        • You are correct with cloud 9. Where the days are spent in the leisurely pursuit of bowling for bear claws. I’m told the Angels blame the caterpillar.

          Track 9 is different again … 😦 don’t ask!

          Liked by 1 person

          April 30, 2016 at 11:52 AM

  3. locksley2010

    Mad World what a TUNE!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 29, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    • If we were to ever take a road trip, I do believe we wouldn’t squabble over the music!

      Liked by 1 person

      April 29, 2016 at 12:25 PM

      • locksley2010

        Awesome, I’ll bring the Jack Daniels!

        Liked by 1 person

        April 29, 2016 at 3:03 PM

  4. Most awesome blog post….. (as always) 🙂

    I made sure not to be eating anything this time around as I read your post. I never know where you will go on your roller coaster ride in that mind of yours…but I love it ..:)

    I always want a wardrobe to see if it lead to another world….and yep tornados fascinated me for the same reason… 🙂

    As did Black Holes…suck me through to some other world…! I can take It ..Please!

    Just get me out of here of this mundane world…:)

    PS I bet you read a lot of Choose your own Adventure books growing up? ( I cheated a lot on them)

    Great post…thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    April 29, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    • I’m still looking for that magic wardrobe- let me know if you ever find it!

      I forgot about Black Holes…. yeah, Black Holes will suffice.

      Indeed I read Choose You Own Adventure, and I died quite often in those things- further evidence that the whole Boxcar dream was ill-conceived. Maybe I should have cheated as well. ;c)

      Liked by 1 person

      April 29, 2016 at 12:41 PM

      • I cruise the antique stores all the time 🙂 Will definitely let you know if I find a magic wardrobe…:)

        Liked by 1 person

        April 29, 2016 at 6:52 PM

        • Oooh, antique stores are magical places in and of themselves! Do you have a favorite and/or unusual acquisition? Mine is currently an antique opium pipe.


          April 29, 2016 at 7:20 PM

        • I found a cool ring made of solid silver in the design of a Dragon many many years back…..:)

          Liked by 1 person

          April 29, 2016 at 7:24 PM

        • A dragon? That is awesome!!


          April 29, 2016 at 7:32 PM

        • I firmly it is magical and ancient and will wisk me away to another world one day…so I wear it on occasion….:)

          Liked by 1 person

          April 29, 2016 at 7:37 PM

  5. Great post as always! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    April 29, 2016 at 3:12 PM

  6. Cnawan Fahey

    Let’s hear it for the shrooms! They are in fact the boundary between the worlds…

    Liked by 1 person

    April 30, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    • Are they the boundary… or are they the Gateway?

      Liked by 1 person

      April 30, 2016 at 7:26 PM

      • Cnawan Fahey

        Ha! I was pondering the same question. And yes, they are one in the same.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 30, 2016 at 7:43 PM

  7. Cnawan Fahey

    In my experience, the tasty ones bring delight, but it is non-tasty ones that enlighten.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 1, 2016 at 5:03 AM

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