Little Binky Flees the Nest

by Mary Liza Hartong and Andrew Kingsley | 9/24/15 6:30pm


Mary Liza aka Judith and Andrew Kingsley aka Richard fret about their son leaving home.

by Kate Herrington and Kate Herrington / The Dartmouth

*Binky and his parents, Judith and Richard, stand on the front steps of their home. Binky wears a Dartmouth T-shirt and a frame pack. His parents fight back tears.*

Binky: I know transitions are hard, and I know you’re scared, but I promise you’re going to be just fine. Think of all the friends you’re going to make. And all the opportunities you’ll have. Besides, it will be Christmas vacation before you know it!

Judith: We’re scared.

Binky: I know you are.

Richard: I feel lost here, and I don’t know where anything is.

Binky: Dad, it’s the same house. I’m just going to Dartmouth. Haven’t you guys been alone at the house before? When I was at school? Sleepovers?

Richard: There was that one time when you went outside to pick up the newspaper, remember? We were alone for three minutes. We sent out an Amber Alert.

Judith: We thought you were dead.

Binky: I’m not. I’m just going to college. You’ll be fine without me.

Judith: We can’t live without our Pookie! Who will leave dirty socks around the house for me to pick up? And dirty dishes in the sink? And dirty movies on the family computer? It’s not like I have hobbies, sweetie.

Richard: Of course we don’t have hobbies. What are we, Amish? You can’t just up and leave. What, am I just supposed to tell boring golf stories to the cornflakes? I bet the Tony the Tiger would love advice about bowties, condoms and V8 engines. He’s successful, and he didn’t leave his loving family to go to hoity-toity Dartmouth University.

Judith: What a standup cat. Now, he’s successful, and he didn’t leave his family all alone in Iowa to go to some hoity-toity Dartmouth Academy for Negligent Sons!

Binky: It’s Dartmouth College, Mom.


Binky: I have to get on the bus. Try to have some fun without me.

Richard: Fun? That’s Satan’s word.

Judith: As is moist. And Ke$ha.

Binky: K bye.

*Binky boards the bus with glee. Richard and Judith look on with horror. The sky darkens.*

Judith: So what do you want to do?

Richard: Golf beer? Brag cufflinks? Cholesterol snore? Judith, I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Judith: Pull yourself together, Richard. We could always make another one.

Richard: My back hurts, and I have a long day at work tomorrow.

Judith: Ok, we won’t do that, but let’s do something fun. It’s what Binky would want.

Richard: What did we say about that word, Judith? He’s dead to me now. I have no son. Only lies.

Judith: What do we do with his room?

Richard: A wet bar?

Judith: Yoga studio? Craft room? Sex dungeon?

Richard: What?

Judith: Six onions.

Richard: That’s what I thought. Let’s have lasagna tonight.

Judith: You read my mind.

*Three hours later*

Judith, holding a blue onesie: He was so little!

Richard: I remember his first word.

Judith: Yes, it was, “waaaaaahhhh.” And he projected! A real thespian.

Richard: He was so gifted. I feel so alone!

Judith: There’s a production of “Cats” playing at the midtown theater. That’ll cheer us up.

Richard: You think?

Judith: Sure! Maybe it’ll be a gateway musical. We’ll start going to the opera and then poetry readings and then Paris!

Richard: I’m game if you are.

Judith: Deal.

*Three months later: Binky returns.*

*Doorbell rings.*

Binky: Mom! Dad! It’s me.

Judith *opens door*: Richard, there’s a man at the door to see you.

Richard: I’m watching the game. Tell him we’re not buying. We already have knives.

Binky: Mom, it’s me.

Judith: Doesn’t ring a bell.

Binky: I literally just rang a bell.

Judith: He’s aggressive. Richard, come here.

Richard: Fine already. What’s your problem, kid?

Binky: It’s me, Binky. Tinkie Wink. Honey bunny funny money. Baby bean burrito boy. Cookie pookie monster crispy critterkins. Tracy. Your son.

Richard: We don’t have a son.

Judith: We raise greyhounds. I’m barren, you see.

Richard: It’s a sore subject. You should go.

Binky: I live here.

Judith: And I can have children. We all have dreams.

Richard: Run along, sonny.

Binky: I AM YOUR SON. Look, this is my birth certificate.

Judith: He taunts me.

Richard: Do you enjoy upsetting your mother like this?

Judith: After all I’ve done for you.

Binky: Yes! You are my mother. I do enjoy upsetting you.

Richard: Go to your room. You’re grounded, Slinky.

Binky: Close enough! There’s no place like home!

*Binky goes to his room, only to find it filled with greyhounds.*