Hairy Scarey Mary Glass Story

Original release: February 2010
Byline: Liza Hyatt

When I was no more than 2 and my older brother, who thought he was the king of the world, was 4, we each had our own special cups for milk. His was a yellow plastic cowboy boot shaped cup that had a star-shaped spur on the end. Mine was the Hairy Scary Mary Glass with a picture of a creature with long pink hair covering her from head to toe. We were of the age when we were learning the rules of life, and in my mind, the most important rule of all was that my older brother Charlie was NOT allowed to drink out of MY Hairy Scary Mary glass. His evil older brother lips were not to touch it! Ever. He felt the same about me and his cowboy boot cup. I, on the other hand, felt that it was perfectly fair that I should be able to drink out of either cup.

My mother did not know anything about these rules. In her mind, cups were cups and neither cup belonged to anyone. So, one day, she poured the milk and handed me the cowboy boot cup. As if I had been handed the holy grail, I immediately drank out of it, right in front of my brother's jealous eye. I grinned at him, believing I had triumphed. But then, my mother handed him the Hairy Scary Mary glass - and he drank out of it and gave me that older brother smirk which he still uses today and which still sends me over the edge. He drained the glass, set it on the counter and walked away, as if to say, "Game over. I win as always." I looked around for a weapon. Found an interesting wooden hammer shaped object with triangular numbs on the end of it - something I later learned was called a meat tenderizer. It felt just right in my hand. I followed him to the other room, leaving my mother doing the dishes. Charlie heard me coming, looked up from his train set, and WHAM! I sent my weapon down and with one amazing blow, I tenderized his forehead. I ran back to the kitchen calling, "Charlie bleed all over!" My mother came to see, and the next thing I new we were in the car speeding off to the doctor. I had hit him hard enough that he needed stitches. Over the years as we grew up, he continued to believe he was the king of the world. And I often wished I could whop him in the head with the meat tenderizer. But I never did.

That was my one experience of physically overpowering my older brother. But I did get a great story from the day.

And I grew up to become a professional storyteller performing at schools, churches, parties, festivals. And I believe stories teach better than any other way of communicating. So when my own daughter was 2 and angry and wanting to hurt something, I would tell her the story of the Hiary Scary Mary glass and that would help her understand and diffuse her own anger through laughter. She is 9 now and whenever we meet new people, or just for the fun of it, she often asks, "Tell the story of the Hairy Scary Mary glass." This summer when my sister was visiting, my daughter requested the story, so I told it to them both. My sister went back home to Massachussets and googled Hairy Scary Mary. Tracked down a glass for sale by a collecter who lived in the same city as me. I had never even thought to look to see if Hairy Scary Mary was still to be found after over 40 years. I have kept this part of the story secret from my daughter. My Hairy Scary MAry glass is going to be mailed to me this week. When it arrives, I will give my daughter her milk at dinner time in the glass and see what her reaction is. After that, I will probably use the glass in storytelling performances. And the next time my brother visits, I might even graciously let him put his evil older brother lips on my sacred glass!

By Liza Hyatt



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