Lieutenant Black has been tasked with putting three little girls to bed while his wife is out for the evening. His charges are his daughter Darcy and her friends Anna and Sherry. We have the utmost faith that Lieutenant Black will perform his duties and bring honor to this institution and his family.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 7:45 PM
Morale: Cautiously Optimistic
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Excellent
Lieutenant Richard Black reporting for duty. My wife has left for the evening. After having brushed their teeth with the same toothbrush, the kids are in bed. All is quiet on the Western front. I have opened up a beer in celebration.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 8:05 PM
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Good
Anna is having a nightmare. She is sobbing and asking for a dreamcatcher that has been left some 500 miles away by her mother. I have remedied the situation by lying. In substitution for the lost dreamcatcher I have used one of my daughter’s stuffed animals, a cheetah, as a totem to ward off bad dreams. I have named the cheetah Cujo.
Anna remains dubious and I am standing guard by the door. The other two girls have not moved and slumber peacefully.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 8:10 PM
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Rebounding
Anna appears to have fallen asleep. I have slipped away from my post to enjoy a second beer.
Darcy appears to suffer from some mild gastrointestinal distress. Sherry remains, essentially, unconscious.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 8:11 PM
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Poor
Anna began sobbing shortly after I left the room. To calm her nerves I read the poem, “The Raven.” All children, I am told, like birds.
She is a very bright girl. I hope her active mind will focus on the literary nuances within the poem and be soothed by its rhyme and meter.
Sherry is still unconscious. My only concern is that she will drown in her own saliva.
Darcy is restless but still asleep. Her hindquarters are producing a sound not of this Earth.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:30 PM
Morale: Snake’s Ass
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: In Decline
Situation has deteriorated. Past two hours have been spent consoling Anna. She is terrified of birds. I’ve told her that they are simply harbingers of the living dead and nothing to worry about. She seems to have taken my advice to heart and while she does not appear to be asleep, her eyes are screwed shut—which I take to be a promising sign. In lieu of beer I am taking sips of Robitussin.
Other than her salivary glands, I have no indication that Sherry is still alive.
Darcy’s abundant gas has rendered the second floor of our home uninhabitable to anyone who hasn’t consumed an entire bottle of cough syrup and/or isn’t over the age of five.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:30 PM
Morale: Titanic 45 minutes After Impact
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: All Hands Abandon Ship
SOS. SOS. SOS. WE ARE GOING DOWN. Anna is in full scream mode. I have taken her downstairs away from the other girls to allow them to sleep.
By chance the movie Aliens is on. I hope that its portrayal of the unbreakable human spirit will give Anna the courage she needs to face her demons and finally fall asleep. Cujo the cheetah is nowhere to be found and is, presumably, pretend killing all of the dolls in Darcy’s room.
Darcy appears to have passed something that smells like a dead walrus.
Sherry still has not moved.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:58 PM
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Hiroshima
DANGER CLOSE. I REPEAT. DANGER CLOSE. PLEASE LEAVE THE WINE BAR AND SEND ALL ASSETS TO OUR LOCATION. Darcy has projectile vomited Cheez-Its and chocolate across the bedroom, stairs, and bulk of the second floor.
Sherry remains immobile and without proper gear I cannot confirm her status. I fear she may have passed.
Anna is now fully awake. When asked what her favorite movie is, she mentioned Bambi. As a substitute I have started the movie Deer Hunter to keep her occupied.
OH GOD MORE VOMIT. Running out of old towels. If I don’t make it, please tell my wife that I love her. That’s you. I love you.
Mama Bear 11:34 PM
Lieutenant Black, we are finishing our last round of Pinot Noir. Once we pay the tab we intend to bring the entire clientele of Vin Du Set Wine bar to your location. Please have crackers and Brie out for company. This night out is going into overtime.
PFC Black 11:35 PM
MAMA BEAR SAVE YOURSELF. DO NOT ENTER. REPEAT DO NOT ENTER.
Mama Bear 11:38 PM
Lieutenant Black, you’re such a kidder. We will be inbound shortly. A round of Cabernet has been ordered but we are closing out our tab. Stay strong. I have the utmost faith in your abilities to handle the situation.
Status Update to Mama Bear: 11:52 PM
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: XXX
Evacuated to basement. Anna mumbles constantly. Something about “one shot, one kill”. Darcy has covered the floor in vomit. Level of methane may cause an explosion…too afraid to light space heater. So cold…using dryer sheets to mask stench. Taking deep breaths to oxygenate…will find Sherry…leave …no one…behind.
Mama Bear 12:41 AM
Red Zin is incoming. Disregard prior request for Brie as chocolate fondue is inbound. We will be at your location as soon as we finish latest wine flight.
Notes From Mission Control
Despite all odds Lieutenant Black retrieved Sherry. She was found in his arms in the basement once the fire department arrived. Medevac copters lifted all four members of the household to a hospital in rural Kentucky, one of the few places in network for his family’s insurance.
Anna, Sherry, and Darcy were treated for the effects of extreme flatulence and are recovering in an oxygen tent on the premises.
Lieutenant Black is deep in therapy to treat his slumber party PTSD. Last we heard, his wife and her friends are still at the wine bar.
Illustration by Michael Tonn