Help Wanted: Imaginary Friend Exorcist

5-year-old's new buddy gives dad flashbacks of 'The Shining'
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2010 1:00 PM CDT
"As anyone who grew up watching 1980s movies knows, absolutely no good can come from having an imaginary friend in the house," writes Peter Hartlaub.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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(Newser) – A generally literal-minded 5-year-old has a new imaginary friend, and his dad is quietly freaking out—and blaming Stephen King. Oh, and Stanley Kubrick, who translated King's novel The Shining to the big screen. "Before King and Kubrick came along, I'm guessing that imaginary friends were kind of cute," Peter Hartlaub writes for the San Francisco Chronicle. "One more innocent thing forever ruined by the memorable words of Stephen King."

At least the friend is nameless. "Imaginary friends become considerably more scary when they have a name," writes Hartlaub, mid-tizzy. "Next thing you know, they're living in your kid's stomach—and then it's only a matter of time before he's borrowing mom's lipstick and writing 'redrum' all over the walls, I get writer's block, Scatman Crothers dies and I end up chasing my family through a hedge maze." To learn about the frazzled dad's contingency plan, click here.

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