* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we occasionally take a contrarian view on the subject of kidnapping. Special correspondent Tyler Gooch has the facts in his first piece for us.

To My Son’s Kidnapper

By:
tyler.gooch@ymail.com

Dear Kidnapper,

My name is Glenn Adams. I am Jeffrey’s father. My wife Sharon and I received your ransom note requesting $250,000 for the safe return of our son. We would like to inform you that we do intend to pay the ransom. But it will probably take us until next Friday to round up the money. So if you wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on Jeffrey for us until then, we would really appreciate it. A few things you should know about Jeffrey though:

Jeffrey has quite an affinity for candy (we assume that that is how you lured him away from the playground). Please do not let him have any candy containing peanuts; he has an allergy. While the peanuts will not kill him, they will cause his hands to swell up and he will begin to urinate everywhere. Do you rent? If so, you can pretty much kiss that security deposit goodbye.

While we think you are a bad guy for taking our son, we do feel like we should give you fair warning. Jeffrey will often signal to you that he has a secret he wants to whisper in your ear. Do not lean in to hear the secret. Most of time Jeffrey will just spit into your ear, though on occasion he will have an actual secret. What he whispers to you will be horrifying. My therapist is still trying to help me deal with the night my son whispered, “Dad, we don’t need to put up the flyers about Mr. Snuggles.” You see, we had recently lost our family cat, Mr. Snuggles, and printed out flyers offering a reward. I mistakenly asked why the flyers were unnecessary.

I then sat in disbelief as I learned, in vivid detail, how Mr. Snuggles was, in fact, never lost, but had instead met a grisly demise at the hands of my son. After Jeffrey finished depicting this gruesome scene in his soft, innocent whisper, he stepped back, looked me in the eye and said, “I guess there IS more than one way to skin a cat!” He then cackled maniacally as he ran down the hallway in his dinosaur pajamas. Every night since, I have lain awake in bed, unable to picture anything but a suffering Mr. Snuggles. If you forget about this and do bend down to hear a secret, pray that you only get a loogie in the ear.

Jeffrey repeats a lot of the words and phrases that he hears adults use, even curse words, so please watch your language around him.

This is going to sound a bit odd, but always protect your femoral and carotid arteries. We once let Jeffrey read an anatomy textbook that piqued his interest. This was our greatest failure as parents.

I am sure that by this point Jeffrey has begun repeatedly asking you for carrots. For your own safety, please soften the carrots in boiling water before giving them to Jeffrey. If you must serve Jeffrey raw carrots, please make sure that he does not sharpen them with his teeth and make sure there are no rubber bands nearby. He will fashion a rudimentary bow and arrow and launch the carrots everywhere. The soft carrots do less damage to the drywall and your flesh.

If you have some sort of physical deformity, it would be best not to let Jeffrey know or see. He will mock you mercilessly. Kids can be so cruel sometimes.

As you may already know, our son does not like it when you call him “Jeff.” If he asks you to call him “The Demon Prince of Darkness, Sorrow and Hellfire,” then please refer to him accordingly — he is just having one of his “episodes of lunacy.” It should pass shortly.

Do not mess up the correct uses of “good” and “well.” This upsets him. Also, try to avoid adverbs when possible. Use passive voice at your own risk.

If you happen to fall asleep without locking Jeffrey up, he will put your hand in a glass of warm water. We’ve tried to get him to stop, but boys will be boys.

All in all, we are desperate to get our little Jeffrey back, but again, it will take us until next Friday to get the money together for his ransom. If you need us between now and next Friday, please contact the Myrtle Beach Best Western. This feels weird to say to our son’s captor, but thank you.

Sincerely,

Glenn and Sharon Adams

P.S. Please don’t let this letter frighten you. Jeffrey is a good kid but a bit quirky. If this letter does frighten you, do not try to get rid of Jeffrey by abandoning him in the woods. He has certainly already picked up your scent and he will be very upset when he inevitably finds you. Trust us, abandoning him will not work.

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