Getting your child used to reading horror stories is probably not the best parental practice in the world – but I am eternally grateful that my parents were none of the modern oh our child is too precious for this sort. Stephen King has always held a very high position amongst people I have never met and probably will never have a chance to and yet somehow managed to contribute to my so called growing up. I was raised by Uncle Steve. Me and so so so many others, because maybe the times are changing and everything flows, but in my book Stephen King will always be the voice of more than one generation.
Some things I learnt from him are more useful than others, I admit, but still they go on my list of Things to know if you want to happily live till the age of at least 100 and not get arrested in the process.
Number 1: The best place to hide a body is in an old well
If you ever have any problems with a spare corpse you’d rather no one ever found, just google the nearest abandoned well. No one ever finds anything in old wells. They are more efficient at corpse hiding than a black hole would be if we could ever safely reach one.
Pro tip: Never use one well for more than one corpse. You want to hide all the limbs in; if they start sticking out, even Stephen King cannot help you.
Number 2: Kids are mental; and pretty scary too
I cannot even understand how anyone could ever want to have a little demon growing up in their house. Not even a Shining level of demon, just a regular kid will do.
I want to say: in Danse Macabre? but I am not sure now, Stephen King said he doesn’t trust people who say they want to go back to school. Me neither. Kids are insane. They enjoy torture, and suffering, and macabre.
There is something primarily evil about children, something that makes them wake their parents up in the middle of the night and tell them we all are going to die. Not sure what happens with this evilness as we grow up. Maybe we just hide it better?
Number 3: Showers are sinful
Come on, they clearly are.
Number 4: If you are G.R.R. Martin, better not drive alone
What would Annie Wilkes do to G.R.R. Martin? I would rather not know. Personally I am as far away from Annie Wilkes attitude as possible, but there is one thing Neil Gaiman said about all that drama I will always agree with: G.R.R. Martin is not your bitch.
But there is a far broader lesson here than we cannot expect writers to cater for all our wishes. People, in general, are not our bitches. They can do as they please and unless they are bound by a legal contract they willingly signed, in general we have no right to order them around.
It is quite sad that so many people so often forget about this little detail.
Number 5: No dream is worth our souls
We may think that some things are worth fighting for – but there is always a price and sometimes that price is just not worth it. Once you cross the line there is no going back either. You may think that once you say A you have to say B (but even in orders there is a bit of room for free will), so maybe somehow you will not have to do it and things will go back to order. No. If you say A, B will say itself and it won’t ask you for your permission.
Number 6: Some things better stay dead
Oh how I wish Christine never happened. Or at least the idea to read Christine. I am a hardcore Stephen King fangirl, but cars killing people just don’t do it for me.
The same applies to things we used to love and we try to bring back. Not all of them turn into evil zombie cats. True. They could though; so any time we try to reinstate a long lost feeling let us think first if it wouldn’t be better to let it go and cherish its memory.
(or burn it just in case; cover under a thick layer of concrete; at least not bury on an old haunted cemetery, please!)
Number 7: The best stories are discovered, not invented
I’m not even sure where I remember this one from, sometimes I even worry that I made it up; it is all because this truth is so deeply encoded into my brain it may as well be mine.
There are people who believe in plans and notes, but I’ve never been one of them. I look for stories. There is certain beauty in the belief that around every corner, under every bench and bridge, outside and inside, in someone’s smile or anywhere one can find a story. A good one, a bad one, it doesn’t matter. A story.
And stories that are found, stories that find us, are just so much better.
Number 8: It is always useful to know one bad joke
Have you ever considered the fact that a bad joke could save your life?
We tend to look down at certain knowledge; think it is just garbage not worth our attention. But all information is precious. Understanding the world consists not only of Quantum Mechanics; it is full of little things like the shapes of leaves or celebrity names. The more we know, the better our judgement of the world around us is. Why reject some parts of life just because they do not match our idea of respectable content.
Number 9: Ancient demons have very bad taste in TV shows
If you know anyone who spends their life watching Reality TV, I have very bad news for you – they are probably possessed by an ancient demon addicted to Don’t Tell the Bride. Wait till your entire street turns into a wedding from hell, where all the brides’ hate their dresses and all the grooms want to get married in the gym… Oh, wait, that sounds like a regular TV wedding.
Number 10: There are no monsters scarier than human beings
I read lots of horror stories. The majority of them by Stephen King, as, you know, I possess a certain level of brand loyalty (that is how I pet name my obsession). But no amount of clowns (I hate clowns), zombies, vampires, ghosts etc. etc. will ever scare me as much as a guy who rapes and murders young girls and hides it from his wife.
Or a village full of people ready to sacrifice an innocent child to save their sorry asses.
The truth is, we don’t need ancient demons or creatures from hell. We are very good at destroying each other. And that is, I must admit, the saddest thing I have learnt from Stephen King so far.