Russell took a day off from school and spent the whole day at home. To the paperboy dropping of the morning edition he said, “If you think I’m going to tip you, think again, buster. I’m on holiday.” A telemarketer called the house phone and he said, “Nosy, nosy, nosy people. I’m not the homeowner, dirtbag.” He ran up and down the stairs four times, and followed that with a mad dash to the bathroom. He stared at the toilet and said, “Open wide, sucker.” He sneezed inside the bowl, flushed, and then broke for a snack.

A pod of birds fluttered against his bedroom window at 10:18 a.m. “What do you think this is, a peep show!” he said to them. He screamed but the birds flapped their wings violently against the window, as if they were about to smash it. Russell pounded on the glass, but they continued flapping and chirping and tweeting. He beat his chest like Tarzan and put his fists up like a boxer. It was an ugly, violent sight.

By 10:23 a.m. Russell’s mind was empty. He didn’t know what else to do. He began tearing through his father’s study looking for the answer. “No, no: The Answer,” he said out loud, flipping through pages, reading words he didn’t care to understand “No, no: The Answer,” he said again. And again, and again…

“Eureka!” he shouted. He found it. It was located on the third line of page 34. He grabbed a pencil, underlined the word “turgid,” spit on both pages of the book. and closed it quickly.

He stuck the pencil in his mouth like a cigarette. “Ah, I haven’t had one of these in years,” he said, taking pulls and ashing out the eraser over a desk drawer. Russell was amused and delighted by his imagination, but wondered what the rules were about this kind of thing. He thought about God—if He was watching, amused or embarrassed by his whole charade. There are Man’s Laws, and there are God’s laws, he thought. Russell had no idea what that meant. Surely, he heard that on television once. “There are Man’s Laws, and there are God’s laws,” he repeated, out loud this time so the Big Guy could hear it.

“There is a ‘Turkish March’ inside me. I can feel it,” he said at 10:53 a.m., rubbing the Casio keyboard like a genie lamp. He turned on a drumbeat in ¾ time, closed his eyes, and conducted like Mozart…
… No, no, no…! Russell stopped – Nothing is working! – and pulled the plug from the outlet.