One of the most amazing sounds—right up there with Beethoven’s compositions and thunder—is the rare hush in a kindergarten classroom of 25 sticky, fidgety bodies with a lot to say. How do teachers DO that: tame them into brief silence?? Sometimes the thoughts that emerge from the mouths of babes are so profound, you realize you’ve been taking life for granted and those words crack open a new world. Most of the time it’s just drivel. Talented New York illustrator Steve Sanford provides us with June’s tale of Rumpus King Tom:

When my son Tom was about 3 years old, he went from never speaking to talking nonstop all day long about anything at all. People thought this was cute, in small doses. Once, though, we were trapped in the car with him for a 5 hour road trip to New Hampshire. Desperate, I made Tom a long-shot proposition: 5 cents a mile for total silence. Amazingly, it worked. Everyone was happy for an hour. Best $3 dollars I’ve ever spent.

I should mention, paying Tom to shut up in no way harmed his potential as a public speaker (in case there are any CPS agents lurking out there.) Tom went on to become a captain of the Stuyvesant High School debate team, one of the highest ranked teams in the country.


Once a month Konga Line shall crown one wonderfully beastly boy Rumpus King and one gloriously beastly girl Rumpus Queen. Send in stories of your little goblins for a chance at the crown. If your mini-monster is named Rumpus Royalty, I’ll post your terrible tale and send you a fabulous FREE KONGA TEE of your choice.


Yakety Yak Yak: Tale of Rumpus King Tom
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