Unmentionable

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Unmentionable is the sixth in a series of collections of short stories by Australian author Paul Jennings. It was first released in 1991.

The stories[edit]

Ice Maiden[edit]

A man hangs out a different ice sculpture at the front of his fish shop every month. But when he makes a maiden sculpture that is a copy of his cousin, one of his friends wants to keep that one. The boy, who is the protagonist, ends up holding the sculpture and kissing it. As his flesh is stuck to the ice sculpture, he tries to scream out words to other people but all he gets are laughs because of his nasal noises. He eventually runs into water and the ice sculpture melts, and the boy is near drowning. However, his hair has actually saved his life because the man saw it floating in the water! The boy wakes up and sees both the man and his cousin looking down at him only to see what the ice sculpture was based on, the fish man's cousin. Was later adapted as an episode of Round The Twist.

Birdman[edit]

A boy is entering a flying contest; the wings that he has built are broken and his hang-glider has been stolen by the school bully (who is also entering the contest), so he relies on a cat-shaped hat that has washed ashore. This hat seems to come to life every now and then; whenever it does, it opens its eyes, and it forces whoever wears it to do whatever it sees someone else doing. The cat-shaped hat sees a bird flying and the boy flies up with it. After, the bully tries on the hat but it sees a pile of faeces and the bully ends up going towards it. Was later adapted as an episode of Round the Twist.

Little Squirt[edit]

A boy always gets beaten by his older brother, especially at running and at urinating as high as possible. However, he spends a week training, making him a lot better. Finally, the boy beats his brother at the urinating contest and his brother hits the roof. Was later loosely adapted as an episode of Round The Twist.

The Mouth Organ[edit]

When a girl accidentally destroys a magnolia tree, she works as a busker to pay up for a new one. A young man (called Young Ponytail) gives her a mouth organ that, whenever a song is played on it, causes whoever hears it to act to the lyrics. Somehow, the mouth organ is stuck into the girl's mouth and the class blocks their ears and eventually run after the girl, while other people join the chase. Eventually all the people are turned into wood, and Young Ponytail gets the mouth organ out of the girl's mouth.

The Velvet Throne[edit]

Tired of being bossed around by his brother (Gobble), who is extremely overweight and spends his whole time lying in bed watching TV and eating junk food, while he just spends the whole day working, a young man runs away from home; when he stops at a toilet block, he gets locked in. The messages in the graffiti written around the toilet block seem to come true. The effects of the message include: The toilet paper roll in the holder starting to "rock'n'roll," the toilet block getting locked, people gathering around and dancing, a rat being flushed away into the toilet and a velvet throne replacing the toilet. As the toilet block opens, the man writes a message saying that his brother disappears and the man goes home and sees that his brother is gone forever

Cry Baby[edit]

A boy burns his buttocks after trying to photocopy them, causing him to feel pain whenever he sits down. He then helps his grandfather find a water-holding frog, but they get trapped in the desert without water. Knowing that neither of them can go on any further, the boy sits down on his burnt bottom and tears rush from his eyes as he feels the unbearable pain. His tears fall onto the ground, causing a ton of frogs to appear on the ground and the grandfather's wish is granted.

Ex Poser[edit]

A boy invents a lie detector that works exactly as intended. His friend uses it on the two richest children in his class, hoping to embarrass them.

Sloppy Jalopy[edit]

When a boy gets his earrings confiscated at school, he buys a new one. But this one is enchanted; it causes whoever wears it to get rubbish attracted to them. Was later adapted as an episode of Round The Twist.

Eyes Knows[edit]

A boy's parents are getting divorced, and he can't decide who to stay with. So he invents a robot man with green eyes and red eyes; whenever he is in a difficult situation, he spins the eyes; both colours cause a different outcome.

External links[edit]

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