When I was a kid, I was afraid of monsters. I knew that they were under my bed and in my closet. I just KNEW it. No matter what my mother and father said, I just KNEW it. One night at bedtime, before turning my lights off, my father pulled out a spray can from behind his back and handed it to me.
"What’s this?" I asked.
"Monster Be Gone," he said. "A few sprays under your bed and in the closets, and you won’t have to worry about the monsters any more."
"No way," I said.
"Yeah," he said.
Sure enough, a big white label wrapped around the can said MONSTER BE GONE.
What a relief! My father finally believed there were monsters in my room, AND he had the tool to defeat them.
We sprayed under the bed. We sprayed in the closets. We sprayed my room every night.
And there were no more monsters.
A few years later, when I was 8 years old or so, my grandmother was in her basement cleaning. I went down to help her, but she was already done. She was spraying a can of Lysol around the room with a final flourish.
I took in a big whiff.
"Huh," I said. "That smells exactly like Monster Be Gone."
And then it clicked.
My dad is clearly the greatest dad on earth.