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Don't write about reverse psychology. (prompt for UChicago)
Don’t read this essay.
Don’t wear pants.
A young girl, aptly named Marcy, is obnoxious, precocious, and intolerably insufferable (here have her redeeming qualities come to die). Because of these traits, and the sweet taste of refusal on her tongue, Marcy’s mother often finds herself in strange situations. When dear mother asks Marcy to lave the plates, Marcy retorts with an ardent “No!” When mother pleas for Marcy to tidy her bedroom, she again counters, “No!” Even when she, the loveliest of all mothers, expresses concern for Marcy and her abysmally low grades, and recommends rehabilitation by diligently overseeing Marcy’s completion of schoolwork, she is bombarded with naught but vehement denials and bitter rejections from her callow youth. It seems that her once innocent (and complacent) cherub is to exist no more, replaced by a steadfast, incorrigible adolescent.
‘Twas one wintry day when the sun sparkled after a fresh pat of snow had lain itself on the earth, and a chilling wind breathed swish, swish through the leafless branches, and there was much to be done. The hustle and bustle of Marcy’s house drummed in her ears, and she took solace in the warm haven of her bedroom. Her mother, however, was not as pleased. The floors need vacuuming! The laundry needs washing! The books need tidying! But Marcy sat, pantless, and doodled, and slept, and filled her mind with dreams of sugarplum fairies and candy canes and piping hot cocoa. Her mother, furious with her insolence, had had it, so she stormed to her room and slammed her meaty fist upon Marcy’s door. She had an idea.
“Marcy, I’d like you to not clean your room. And while you’re at it, please watch more television and eat more candy canes. Don’t wash the dishes, don’t finish your homework, don’t act kindly towards your brother, and definitely don’t put on your pants. Ever!”
And with an intent slam, her mother left.
Marcy sat, and thought. Bewilderment ensued. Though typically astute, her little mind buzzed and grew hot with confusion. It was positively the most enigmatic puzzle to ever present itself in young Marcy’s life! Was her mother being sarcastic, or merely facetious, or seriously demanding her to not do all those things?
Marcy decided on the latter. This was not her brightest moment.
And so, with a happily ever after, she never wore pants again (appreciating the refreshing breeze), she never cleaned her room again, and her mother wept nightly for her lost cause.
Don’t push that shiny red button.
A beautiful, villainous criminal mastermind, aptly named Marsilla, was as bewitching as she was evil, as wise as she was diabolical, as hot as she was haughty (here has her humility and benevolence come to die). She lived in an iron-clad fortress on the island of Corsica, acquired by exploiting the fertile vineyards of nearby French residents. Her evildoing garnered appreciation from her minions and provided a stable income, but it stirred a boiling hatred in a young resident of Fontainebleau, Jacques.
Jacques was the best of them all. He could ride horses without saddles. He had swam the English Channel in one swift stroke. He could even seduce women with but one flickering glance of his deep, cerulean eyes. He was perfect; perfectly angry, that is. Marsilla had squeezed his family’s vineyard of all their profit, like she had of so many others, leaving them destitute and vengeful. The day Jacques turned fifteen, the day his first hair of manhood sprouted, he bid farewell to his family, to Fontainebleau, to everything he loved and grew up with, and set out on his journey to that magnificent castle of hate, settled on that elusive French island.
Through labyrinthine jungles, scorching deserts, and the frigid Mediterranean, he endured all of mother nature’s fury, battling the wildest of beasts and defeating the vilest of attackers. He lost four slices of cheese, three toes, two oak lutes, and and his only bottle of red wine. Bloody and stark of provisions, he stumbled, anemic from blood loss and tripping over his newly lopsided feet, onto the sloping sands of Corsica. He had made it. Staring up at the looming fortress, his eyes searched for an entrance, a crack in its barrier, a fault in its shield. He paraded the grounds with insidious intent, and in his concentration, he tripped over a metal bar protruding from the dirt. However, the metal bar was his key, for as he pushed upon the heavy pole, an opening appeared in the impervious facade, and he, bright-eyed Jacques, resident of Fontainebleau, scurried into the chamber.
Marsilla, being the (in)famed handsome and omniscient queen of Corsica, was aware of Jacques’ valiant efforts. But in her heart, in her hardened, blackened heart, she had a touch of sorrow, remnants of a penurious childhood, which bred a whisper of benevolence and compassion, and so she secretly hoped that he would not press that tempting cherry-stained button.
Jacques crawled through the musty, grimy furrow, with only the luster from his skin as a guide for his path. His end, he feared, was near. But, alas! The unexpected exit emerged before his eyes! Jacques scrambled towards the light, like a hyperactive chihuahua, and landed on the shimmering tile with a resounding SPLOOG. The tunnel, it turns, was a waste conveyance system.
The room Jacques had landed in appeared to be a control center of sorts, with shiny buttons and impeccably clean machines that beeped and flashed at random. He felt bad leaving behind a trail of sploog. As he surveyed the room, wary of important looking switches and knobs, he came upon an intimidating steel door with vertical bars obscuring its foreground, like a jail cell imprisoning a metal wall. Vague inscriptions and monstrous demons painted on its facade piqued his curiosity, so he set both ruddy palms on the cool doorknob and twisted. A cryptic chamber echoed from behind.
Darkness suffocated him in this claustrophobic room, but he could see, for one precise, cinematic spotlight shone on a pedestal; what it was supporting he knew not, so he ran forward to look. The parts of his scalp illuminated by the spotlight felt warm as he peeked over the pedestal. Strange, it seemed, for there was but one, fist-sized button, colored a rosy blush, with the white words “DO NOT PUSH” stamped over its face.
He deliberated. He sweat. His little mind pondered harder than it ever had before, and resolutely, with a calm visage, his scraped palms pressed upon that baffling button.
With that, a metal claw, like the hand of some behemoth demon, whisked him in the black air, up and up, until it reached the pointed tip of a tower, the top of a cone, and plopped him on a precarious chair, balanced at the apex, sparing no time before spraying him with sticky chocolate and covering him with feathers. He let out a shriek. A fool for Corsica to mock.
“Sigh,” sighed Marsilla.
Please buy me, not a fluffy puppy, but an equally fluffy tarantula.
I love whitewashing fences! And no, you can’t help.
Don’t not eat your salad not before eating your dessert...not.
Don’t not think this is too long.
And, for the love of all that is holy on our godforsaken Earth, please, please do not accept me to the University of Chicago.
I hope that story doesn’t turn out like the rest.
New York, New York
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