Have you heard the tall tale ’bout Slobenia Isle?
It sat off the coast of Shipshape, ‘bout a mile.
A slobby old place, always in disarray.
Messy and dirty most every day.
Slobenia Isle was a land full of kids.
Steven’s and Sally’s and George’s and Sid’s.
And Kelly’s and David’s and Rachel’s and Jimmy’s.
And Bobbie’s and Mary’s and Jenny’s and Timmy’s.
And Freddie’s and Debbie’s and Kenny’s and Anne’s.
And Tracy’s and Tommy’s and Susie’s and Dan’s.
And Mary’s and Bryce’s and Kimberly’s too.
And Ronald’s and Jenny’s and even a Sue.
The Slobs, as they called themselves, lived on this isle
Amongst dirty dishes and clothes in a pile.
Their socks and their underwear strewn ‘bout the street.
And all of the trash from the foods that they’d eat.
But the Slobs, well it seemed that they just didn’t care.
The extent of this problem, they just weren’t aware.
Somehow they just didn’t want to address.
This ugly, egregious, perpetual mess.
Now the Slobs, they were ruled by the King and the Queen.
Of the land of Shipshape which was always kept clean.
Spotless and sparkly, tidy and trim.
Each thing in its place, proper and prim.
Shipshape was a land of persnickety folks.
Fastidious ladies and punctilious blokes.
Neat-niks and nit-picks, they were always convening.
To delegate out the next week’s worth of cleaning.
Who’d do the laundry and vacuum the rugs?
Who’d do the dusting and clean up the bugs?
Who’d wash the dishes and who’d scrub the floors?
With a sponge and a bucket, down on all fours?
Who’d sweep the porches and who’d clean the sinks?
Who’d wash the toilets that were all full of stinks?
Who’d wash the windows, sparkly and clean?
Who’d scrub the stove to bring back its sheen?
They’d always be scolding those Slobs ‘cross the sea.
“Clean up your Island immediately.”
“Pick up your clothes and clean up your clutter.”
“The mess in your streets, it’s making us shudder!”
“You can’t live that way, you must live like us.”
“This is just not a rule we will even discuss.”
“You must clean your island, you must make it so.”
“Until it is clean, we won’t let it go.”
But the Slobs didn’t like these tyrannical rules.
They felt that the laws of Shipshape were for fools.
So they all stood together, in their town square.
Amongst all the dirt and the grime and pet hair.
They agreed to resist the laws of Shipshape.
The rules and the edicts and stifling red-tape.
“We won’t clean our Island, we like it this way.”
“This oppression of yours, we’ll no longer obey.”
So, the Kind and the Queen, they prepared for a fight.
To clean up Slobenia Isle and it’s blight.
They loaded up trash bags and cleaning supplies.
They mapped out a plan that would surely surprise.
They filled up their ships and they took to the seas.
They sailed towards Slobenia with no guarantees.
Filled with foreboding and deep apprehensions.
Prepared for a battle of epic dimensions.
Now the Slobs, they had lookouts scanning the shore.
They knew the Shipshapes were preparing for war.
So they summoned their soldiers, they sounded alarms.
They built up their beaches with weapons and arms.
Then they waited until the Shipshapes were approaching.
‘Til the King and the Queen and their ships were encroaching.
When the moment was right, with a mighty decree.
They fired their weapons out towards the sea.
Their cannons fired dirty old socks through the air.
Their trebuchets flung lots of old silverware.
And dishes and glasses and clothes that were soiled.
And garbage and trash and food that was spoiled.
But the King and the Queen would not stand for losing.
This was a war, of course of their choosing.
And though they could sense that this crisis was dire.
They kept sailing on through this curtain of fire.
This battle went on for days upon days.
But the Shipshapes sailed on through the harrowing haze.
When they finally arrived on Slobenia Isle.
They saw all the Slobs and their rank and their file.
They commanded the Slobs to “clean up your isle.”
“If you don’t we will have to stay for a while.”
“We’ll take all your freedoms, we’ll take all your rights.”
“We’ll take all your fun in the days and the nights.”
The Slobs, they yelled back, “can’t you see we’re just kids?”
“Steven’s and Sally’s and George’s and Sid’s.”
“And Kelly’s and David’s and Rachel’s and Jimmy’s.”
“And Bobbie’s and Mary’s and Jenny’s and Timmy’s.”
“And Freddie’s and Debbie’s and Kenny’s and Anne’s.”
“And Tracy’s and Tommy’s and Susie’s and Dan’s.”
“And Mary’s and Bryce’s and Kimberly’s too.”
“And Ronald’s and Jenny’s and even a Sue.”
“And kids, well we only just want to have fun.”
“To jump and to play and to dance and to run.”
“We surely don’t think about keeping things clean.”
“That’s for adults who are mostly just mean.”
The King and the Queen, were silenced of speech.
They’d once been kids too, running ‘round on this beach.
And a chink in their armor started to crack.
As childhood memories came flooding back.
“Well you do have a point”, they said to the Slobs.
“Sometimes we lose sight, because of our jobs.”
“But we must find a way, to answer this riddle.”
“To find a solution, to meet in the middle.”
So the King and the Queen, they scheduled a meeting.
Around a big table with plenty of seating.
They invited the leaders of Slobenia Isle.
The plan was to compromise once in a while.
They wrote up a truce that they all had to sign.
In bright purple pen on the signature line.
A truce that would end this unfortunate brawl.
A truce that would end this war once and for all.
The truce said “you must clean your island each week.”
“For the rest of the time we’ll try not to critique.”
“And we’ll pay an allowance, an adequate rate.”
“Just enough money to help motivate.”
The Slobs, they agreed to give it their best.
To keep their isle clean at their leaders request.
To pick up their clothes, to clean up their trash.
With the hope that they’d build up a small stash of cash.
Then the King and the Queen said, “let’s go out and play”
“Let’s run ‘round the beach for the rest of the day!”
“Let’s climb in the trees, let’s splash in the creek.”
“Cleaning your isle can wait ‘til next week.”
And that’s the tall tale ‘bout Slobenia Isle.
That sat off the coast of Shipshape ‘bout a mile.
An island whose residents just want to play.
And a place that’s no longer a mess every day.
15 responses to “The Tale of Slobenia Isle”
What will it cost me to have the king and queen stage an invasion on my kids’ rooms?
In the interest of full-disclosure, this is strictly fictional and the Isle of the Slobs is still very messy. In fact, so is the Kingdom!
I love a good ballad and a witty one too. Very enjoyable. My daughter is 8 and her room is immaculate and my son is 13 and his room is toxic. It’s a house of extremes. The two of them are poles apart, at the moment…
That’s what makes kids so great, all their different and unique personality styles.
I loved this, Steve! Well done. My son is nine and actually cleans and picks up after himself without any reminding (or bribing or money). My daughter? She’s five and basically leaves a trail of clutter in her wake. Maybe I should start paying her in peanut butter cups…
Peanut butter cups are some pretty valuable currency!
My daughter’s room was always messy up until she left home, though we too, fought the brave battle! Our son’s was clean, until he turned into a teenager. That’s when a carpet of clothing became the norm. We all “signed” the agreement as well and once a week their rooms were clean. Once. The rest of the time we shut the doors! Very witty and fun to read!
Thanks! But as you can read above the battle at our place has not yet been fought! Honestly here, its not really their rooms that are as much of the problem, its the trail of mess that they leave everywhere else.
I know!! It creeps. It has a life of its own! If you don’t nip it quick, it’ll take over!
Well, I just have to say that I’ve no kids at home,
and in all of the countries I happened to roam,
I’ve never heard once of an island so rare.
I wish my own clutter piles all would go there!
(Nice work, Steve. I like whimsy.)
Thanks Mikey. I love when people leave rhyming comments!
What a fantastic story! And your rhyming is, again, top notch. I am so impressed. Your post flowed beautifully, and what a great tale! You are a great writer, and your stories stay with me after I’ve read them. Nicely done. Do you think a lot, in rhyme?
Thanks! That’s very kind! I don’t think in rhyme, but I’ve always been a fan of writing in rhyme… even as a kid I remember writing rhyming stories. I don’t know why… sometimes I sit down to write a post and it just comes out that way. 🙂
Brilliant, Steve and so true! I’m currently living on Slobenia Isle and I’d much rather be on Shipshape. We’re in need of a meeting.
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