Hitting Below the Belch

Before you read further I ask that you first, take a few moments to look at the pictures of these two little girls one more time.

Ok, now what words would you use to describe them? Precious Adorable Cute... I'm sure you came up with those descriptions and many more along the same lines, all of which would be equally appropriate. Allie and Avery are as darling as two little girls can be; however, they share a disturbing dark power putting them in the ranks of such horror classics as Chucky, Damian, and Children of the Corn. You laugh, but this evil that they wield is quite serious I assure you. And what is this darkness wrought forth by such delicate little angels? I will tell you.

These little cherubs can let rip burps measurable on the Richtor Scale!

I am not joking, people. Allow me to tell of my the first experience in being subjected to this most unholy evil. It was the first dinner Ashley ever cooked and it was delicious. I inhaled large forkfuls, completely unaware of the impending doom yet to be revealed by Allie, age 5 and 4-year-old Avery. Without warning they opened their mouths uttering an apocalyptic noise described only the book of Revelations. Once the ringing stopped in my ears, and I cleaned the blood from my punctured eardrum, my first thought was to politely suggest to Ashley that she should have these little dears tested or something. To me, it just didn’t seem normal for such frail creatures to bellow sounds at a decibel levels that would drown out a KISS concert or with such ferocity that they reduce the mighty King of the Jungle to live the life of a gay vegetarian.

Being that it was very early in our dating relationship, I felt it inappropriate to curb the girls charming behavior, but I couldn’t condone it either. Picking another piece of broccoli from my hair and placing it back onto my plate, I looked at Ashley to see how she would deal with the matter. To my relief she acted as I would’ve expected a parent to, furrowing her brow as she looked at the eerily silent (and exhausted) girls. "Here we go," I thought as her mouth opened to deliver a stern rebuke or better yet, a gentle rebuff given that company was present. I couldn't have been more wrong as Ashley, instead, unleashed the sound of Hell itself, launching a fresh round of broccoli and mashed potatoes into my hair. High fives all around. It was like Animal House on Bizzaro World and they looked at me as if I were this year's newest pledge.

"So this condition, is it genetic?" I asked, untangling my hair from rapidly drying gravy. However, after repeated episodes, I realized there was nothing medical about this dark art. Scraping the remnants of another evening's meal off the usual spots on the wall, I pictured Ashley making her Faustian agreement with a belching demon. I wondered which of the two parties made out better in the deal. At the very least I know what Ashley received, but that she shared it with the girls blew me away (no pun intended). It's one thing to watch Ashley conjure forth the stench of burning sulfur mixed with chili cheese fries in the face of a three-hundred pound beer-guzzling biker forcing him to fall on his knees, pleading for heaven's deliverance. It's quite another to watch Allie and Avery follow up this savagery by repeating it in each of his ears thus vaporizing his body into ash as he spontaneously combusts.

Many times, you’ve seen kids get away with a burp here and there, giggling with pride at their achievement, but these "normal" child-like burps are comparable to say, the mere clicking a pen or the snapping of a clothespin. Often these little scamps will attempt to repeat their mischievousness but find they are unable to duplicate its authenticity forcing them to grunt, instead, hope the hoax won’t bring their fun to an end. At worst, they may try too hard, triggering their gag reflux which results in the projecting of chocolate milk from their nostrils as I once witnessed a third-grade classmate do during lunch. He however, was more dork than evil sorcerer. Allie and Avery on the other hand would probably laugh in disgust at their peers' pathetic and foolish attempts to harness such force. A force, I will add, measurable, not only in volume but in length as well. In one instance, Allie belted one out lasting long enough for her to shift from first to fifth without missing or grinding a gear.

I have gained some ground in this unholy war of good and evil. The first step was to recognize the signs preceding, what I call, "the unleashing." Most telling is the rapid gulping of vast quantities of carbonated beverages, followed by a glazed-over look resembling that of the scary twins in The Shining. Upon recognition I’ve learned to cover my ears and duck. I've also learned to remain in that position for several minutes as there are almost always aftershocks. The best defense thus far has been to insist on the use of straws, while outlawing all liquids containing carbon in any form, and then to, of course duck and cover since the use of straws and choice of beverage are immaterial.

In an attempt to at least establish some form of Christian decency, I've been requiring the girls (all of them) to piously chant, "Excuse me, I'm a princess" following each demonic eruption. It's my hope that these poltergeists will repent in the realization that "real" princesses are much too proper to engage in such devilish acts. At first, I believed that my little exorcism might be working until it dawned on me that they had turned my offering for salvation into a mocking taunt. It's almost wasn’t worth continuing on any more. In the instance where Allie displayed her adeptness in driving a stick, I quietly reminded her by asking, "What do you say, Sweetie?" She looked up at me, breaking into a huge grin. "That was a big one!" High fives and uncontrollable laughter all around. Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do.

I never considered myself a saint but I will take that mantle over being a martyr any time. What am I referring to? I'm beginning to fear for my life. It’s the littlest one that scares me the most. She's developed an additional hideousness felt only by those civilizations, that upon contact with this evil, were instantly wiped from the memory of the earth. One evening Avery and I sat on the couch watching cartoons in a bonding moment worthy of Hallmark. I looked down at her and smiled, while in the distance, I heard gentle thunder build. However, the ensuing horror was not thunder, dwarfing it tenfold. A stench appeared, making the maggot-filled, butt hole on a dead donkey’s carcass, half-decayed in its own fesses, smell as fragrant as spring flowers sprayed with Chanel. This dark stench lifted me into the air and hurled me into the wall behind us. Dazed, I got to my feet and slowly approached Avery, making signs of the cross with each step. Avery never budged through the whole thing. I called her name. Lightning flashed, and her head spun a full 360 degrees stopping when it locked onto my presence. "Ron, I like you." she said with an unholy smile. Then she patted the seat next to her, "You're funny."

All that have ears hear me now. For those that see this all as another opportunity to cry, "Girl Power!" with a thrust of your fist into the air; for those feminists out there that seen this as the destruction of yet another male-stronghold; and for those that believe this to be final sign confirming the prophesy of the country’s first woman president, I implore you to open your eyes and see the truth. Those sweet girls are made of anything but “sugar and spice and everything nice.” Pray for me. Pray for deliverance.

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