Somehow I Must Stop My Past Self from RUINING MY LIFE!!

~ A counseling story about taking responsibility ~

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Frank usually spent his minutes on the time out stool shouting that his sister who was to blame for whatever had happened. Or he blamed the dog, or a man in a fake beard, or Dad.

But today Frank was quiet. He was thinking, he was scheming.

"I must stop him," Frank slammed his fist. "There must be a way to stop Past Frank."

Frank called his past self "Past Frank." This was the guy who was ruining his life. This was the guy who used car jacks on his parents' bed while they slept, leaving Frank--the real Frank--to warm the time out stool.

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It was also Past Frank who sneaked onto Kate's phone and messaged her boyfriend that she wanted to break up because his armpits smelled like overcooked asparagus. But the real Frank got the scolding and had to watch them kiss and make up.

In short, Past Frank had all the fun and Frank had to pay for it.

"There must be a way to stop that guy," Frank said, "but how?"

The good thing about time out was that he had plenty of time to figure out how. Minutes escaped as his mind raced...

...and spun...

...and chugged...

...and dozed.

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In his dream, Frank watched his past self prepare to swing.

"Who ate the rest of my pizza?" his sister shouted.

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Past Frank approached his target. But at the last moment something caught his attention. The magnet letters moved all on their own. The spelled out words. They created a message!

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Past Frank gasped and tried to miss the door.

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He rubbed his eyes and looked again at the message. "Can it be?" he muttered. Past Frank backed away and dashed down the hall to his bedroom where Fluffy was. Fluffy always calmed him.

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In the air beside his head there was a flash of light, and a folded piece of paper dropped out of nothing.

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He opened it.

Past Frank screamed and jumped into bed, pulling pillows and covers around for protection. His eyes darted around the room.

The phone rang.

He didn't answer it.

The phone kept ringing--louder and louder, faster and faster. "Please, just leave me alone!"

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Ringing and ringing, rattling his brain. Past Frank powered off the phone.

Still it rang.

When he could stand it no longer her lifted the phone to his ear and said, "H-hullo?"

The voice, which sounded strangely familiar, said, "Never do a bad thing again!"

"Who are you?" stammered Past Frank.

"I am you. I am the future. I am Future Frank!"

[Frank on time out stool, smiling.]

Frank awoke. He was still on the stool...but he was smiling.

After Mom released him from time out, the boy went right to work. First, he tried to build a time machine.

[Various time machine attempts; getting hair singed, etc.]

Then he tried phone numbers--a thousand of them--looking for the one that would connect him to the past.

[Disturbing people all over the world. Dad or mom holding paper, "$250 phone charge?? Who's been calling Mongolia??"]

And for weeks and weeks he searched for an invisible time portal that would send his notes to Past Frank.

But nothing worked. Frank finally resigned himself to the fact that he would be at the mercy of his past self's poor choices forever. "Well," he announced, "if I've got to suffer for Past Frank's fun, I might as well suffer for some of my own fun too."

One exciting hour later, three things were different in his house:

The scale in his parents' bathroom was now rigged to show ten extra pounds whenever someone stepped on it.

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An alarm clock set for 2:30 AM was nailed inside a box in the attic above his sister's bedroom.

And, finally, Fluffy had a new home in Frank's parents' clothes hamper.

[Show two eyes looking through holes of hamper. Frank is bending down to pick up a folded piece of paper.]

It was there that he found the note.

For Past Frank, it read. "Funny," thought Frank, "this looks like my handwriting, but I don't remember writing this." He also didn't remember looking for time portals in his parents' closet, and hadn't he thrown away all the notes anyway--all two thousand of them--just as Mom had asked?

Frank unfolded the paper and read these words:

[Hands holding small paper: I've got you now! Beware! Be good!]

A chill went down the back of Frank's neck to his toes. "I don't remember writing this," he muttered. "And if I didn't that means...I have a Future Frank! I'm his Past Frank! My future self has figured out how to come back and get me!"

Frank spun in circles, his eyes looking everywhere at once. "He could be watching me now!"

He knew what he must do. Immediately, Frank yanked the lid from the clothes hamper and Fluffy shrieked and smashed into Frank--just as he had hoped would happen to Dad.

[Bat yanking on Frank's hair, etc.]

After getting Fluffy back into her cage, he fixed the bathroom scale, though it was nearly impossible with trembling hands.

He couldn't undo the nails around the alarm clock so he took the whole thing outside to dump it in the trash.

Breathing a sigh, he absently kicked an old milk carton, which skipped down a foothill, landed in a stream, and became...

"Litter! Oh no, what have I done!"

Frank jumped into the creek to repair his mistake and once again returned to the trash can. But, alas, another problem happened as he tossed carton in. Something fell out. A small piece of folded paper.


Frank ran crazily into the woods, shouting at the sky and promising himself that he would be good for the rest of his life, and never do anything to upset his Future Frank.