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Home --> Humor --> Jes' Plain Jokes --> Say a Little Prayer for Me

Say a Little Prayer for Me

Claim:   Child mistakes sounds of Mom's sexual satisfaction for prayer.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]


Origins:   We've been seeing this purported "child's letter" on the Internet since March 2002. Some versions arrive accompanied by the lead-in "This is true story - a child had this letter hanging up in his pre-school classroom ... how'd you like to be his mother?!" Another claims the missive was one of many children's letters sent in December 2001 to the "fighting sailors of the Diego Garcia." (Diego Garcia is a U.S. Navy support facility located in the Indian Ocean.)

Common sense should put this one to bed rather quickly. Pre-schoolers not only don't spell that well, they don't form letters that well, let alone string them into words which themselves are spaced fairly consistently across a page. Even significantly-older kids have trouble getting all that right, and by the time they do they've long since lost the level of wide-eyed innocence about sexual matters needed to pen such missives. The note was written by an adult trying to imitate a child's style of lettering. It's a joke, a deliberate leg-pull.

Those still inclined to believe the "Oh God!" letter was penned by a naive child should take a look at another "letter to sailors" (also dated 12 December 2001), this one written by 'Susin':

Another note

Disabuse yourself of the notion that children old enough to compose, letter, spell, and use punctuation this well would be as stunningly naive as the content of these letters would have us believe. Any kid old enough to know the phrase "Oh God, Oh God, yes, yes" needs to be divided up by commas would also be old enough to realize that there's something amiss about Mom being off in the bedroom with a
strange man while Dad is away, and that cries of "Oh God!" emanating from that room during those moments have to do with sex, not religion. Likewise, a child capable of punctuating "He says navy doesn't kill people, they just give blow jobs" with its requisite comma could hardly fail to be aware in these post-Lewinsky years that sailors likely would not enjoy being complimented on their skills at performing this particular sexual act.

The theme of children's blurting embarrassing intelligence about sexual matters or repeating parents' ill-judged comments is an old one and shows up in numerous jokes and anecdotes. In a well-known urban legend, a misbehaving hellion looks to thwart his mother's attempt at controlling him in public with a loudly-voiced threat of telling Grandma that he saw Mom kissing Daddy's private parts. In that instance, the tyke's object is blackmail, but it once again turns upon the theme of the child's disclosure bringing to light certain parental sexual activities that the grown-ups would have preferred to have kept private. Likewise, an ancient Dennis the Menace strip demonstrates the folly of letting certain comments fall too near the ears of the very young: In the first panel where Dennis is shown meeting one of his mother's friends, he asks "Is this the lady with the dead hair?" The second panel shows Dennis' mother pursuing her outraged and now hurriedly departing friend with anguished cries of "Honest, Ruth, I said 'tinted' not 'dyed.'"

Barbara "dyed to rights" Mikkelson

Last updated:   29 March 2007

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