Writer’s note: My twins started the potty talk when they were four. The shared vocabulary of 4-year-olds even got the parents to chuckle. Fast-forward four years, and I’m pretty sure treating potty talk like strep throat is the only treatment: quarantine and fluids. Twins always have a partner to laugh at their bathroom humor, even when most of their friends have moved on.
The Scary Derrière will likely not get your child to stop using potty words, but it will expand their vocabulary and confuse them enough that their go-to words will seem boring. It probably won’t accomplish any of those things, but do write with your kids; it’s fun and gives you the freedom to coin new words.
How many words for “butt” can you find in the story?
The Scary Derrière
“Peace corner, Rufus,” Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Wainwright announces. “No more potty talk.”
“Ah, poop,” Rufus comments, to the amusement of his classmates.
Mrs. Wainwright is quickly losing her grip on the classroom to Captain Underpants wannabe Rufus Sewell. “Rufus, quit the potty talk,” Mrs. Wainwright tells him for the five-thousand-and-fifth time this week.
“But I like potty talk,” Rufus argues. “It’s funny.”
“Funnier than the rump on a golden plover?” Mrs. Wainwright questions. The kids laugh. “I bet you didn’t know I used to have a potty mouth. Until that one day…” she trails off.
“You had to go to the peace corner?” Rufus asks.
“Worse.” When Mrs. Wainwright shakes her head, her hair comes loose. “Hold on. I need to fix my bun.”
The kids laugh even more.
“I’m going to get in trouble for telling you this story,” Mrs. Wainwright whispers. “I had a visitor. Its name was the Scary Derrière.”
“Are you being serious, Mrs. Wainwright?” Rufus quizzes.
“Tootily,” Mrs. Wainwright says. She’s winning the other kids over.
“What’s the Scary Derrière?” a classmate asks.
“Well, did you know ‘derrière’ is a word for your rear end?” Mrs. Wainwright asks.
Some of the kids repeat the word and laugh.
“It’s French, as in ‘pardon my French.’ And the Scary Derrière is a ghost who finds kids with naughty potty mouths,” Mrs. Wainwright warns. “Legend goes, he was a kid with a potty mouth of mythical proportions, and he went to Middletown Middle.”
“Is he here now?” Rufus asks.
“The Scary Derrière’s real name was Keith Keister; a kid who couldn’t put three words together without toilet talk. He used so many potty words he had to invent more, like ‘dooky’ and ‘doo-doo.'”
“He invented ‘dooky’?” Rufus asks.
“And ‘doo-doo,’ ‘patootie,’ and ‘wazoo,'” Mrs. Wainwright adds. “Probably in this very room, a long time ago, before the age of ghosts and aliens.”
Rufus laughs, but Mrs. Wainwright continues.
“Kid Keister couldn’t stay out of trouble. When he got older, he couldn’t keep a job, and he’d have to bum money from his family and friends. They’d say, ‘Keith Keister, when are you going to grow up and quit the potty talk?’ Then they stopped helping him, he hit rock bottom, and his life was in the dumper. So, he started robbing banks.”
“Seriously?” Rufus interrupts.
“Seriously. He tried to rob a train with a booty-filled caboose, but his horse Duff was too slow for Keister to breach the train’s tail end.”
“That’s why he switched to banks?” Rufus asks.
“You got it. It’s easier to catch a bank,” Mrs. Wainwright says. “Every time he robbed a bank, Keith Keister demanded money in a note filled with cheeky language. Pretty soon, the police figured out Keister was the poetic, potty-mouthed robber.”
“Do you think they would have caught him if he didn’t talk the potty talk?” a boy asks.
“Well, in that case, he wouldn’t have been robbing banks in the first place. But in our story, Captain Tushii of the Hi-Knee City Police Department tracked Keister over five states and predicted his next target was the Tokus National Bank. He and his partner, Detective Gloot E. Uss, waited in the bank’s posterior for Mr. Keister to arrive.
Keith parked Duff, strode confidently into the bank, and handed a note to a rosy-cheeked teller named Faye Fanny. Keith’s other hand was hidden in the pocket of his britches, pretending to hold a pistol. When Ms. Fanny read Keister’s poem, she laughed and read it aloud:
“I know a young lady named Faye
who would stand at a bank all day.
‘Fear not,’ the kind robber would say,
‘I want to take your money and dart;
not stand around and…’
After pausing for a moment, Faye filled in the last word with ‘…fart’?”
The kids in the class hollered in laughter and applauded.
“But wait!” Mrs. Wainwright continues. “Tushii and Gloot E. Uss rushed from the bank’s rear-end. Keith exited the bank, but when he tried to jump on Duff, he could not get over the horse’s hindquarters and landed on his can. Duff humped it down the road while Keith clung to the reins and was dragged on his behind across town with the lawmen on his tail.
Keith freed himself and escaped to an empty factory building. By the smell, he judged they made fudge or chocolate there. He raced to the factory’s backside, where he found an old trunk filled with junk. He squeezed in and hid in the trunk for nearly an hour.
Whether it was because of the twisted shape of his body or the amount of baked beans he had consumed at lunch, Keith’s belly ballooned with an unrelenting, pestiferous gas that needed releasing. So, Keith did the natural thing – he cut the cheese.”
“What cheese?” Rufus asks. “You said it was a fudge or chocolate factory.”
Rufus’ friend Steve answers, “It means he broke wind… bottom-burped… farted.”
“Stevie Haunches is right,” Mrs. Wainwright continues. “Keister dropped a stink bomb so lethal that the trapped gases poisoned him. When Tushii and Gloot E. Uss found poor Keith Keister, he had expired. Killed by the smell of his own fart.”
“Whoa.” Rufus can barely speak.
“But that was not the end of our friend. Today, Keister haunts the children at Middletown Middle who cannot curb their potty mouths.”
“What does his ghost look like?” Rufus asks.
Mrs. Wainwright pauses for a moment before saying in a stern tone, “The Scary Derrière dresses in black and is ringed with green smoke. But you will smell his foul gases long before you see him because not everyone who smelt it dealt it. Sometimes it’s a warning from the ghost of the Scary Derrière.”
Rufus looks upset.
Mrs. Wainwright asks, “What’s wrong, Rufus?”
Rufus sniffs the air and pauses for a moment before declaring, “The Scary Derrière is in this room… I can smell him.”
The kids scream in horror, to Mrs. Wainwright’s delight.