As I mentioned before, Model a Monster, which is otherwise an innocuous and adorable book of arts and crafts projects centered mostly around dinosaurs, has an ending that is unexpectedly weird. Really weird. Like, "where did I read that creepy thing as a child that still haunts my mind well into adulthood?" weird. That kind of weird.
It starts around page 150, where we are told how to "Make a monster diary". We're going to take an ordinary diary and imagine that each "day" is about eleven million years in the history of planet Earth. By this reckoning, human history starts around 6:15 PM on December 31. World War Two ended a third of a second before New Year's Day. I always found activities like this to be like a real life Total Perspective Vortex.
And then, we get to play The Extinction Game. Yay...?
I know it probably would have been easier to retype the questions, but I'm going to be using scans instead (click for the larger images). Because otherwise, I don't think you'd believe me at all when I try to tell you that what you are about to read is the ending of a book for children about making hand-made dinosaur models and toys.
The instructions to The Extinction Game tell the little kids reading this to "find the answers to these questions". They can ask a teacher, librarian, or other adult for help in answering them.
This is going to be sad/hilarious later.
There are about two-dozen questions in The Extinction Game. Some of them have answers that are pretty easy to find:
Some of them... well, I don't know if there are straightforward answers for these, or if there ever will be:
So far so good. But the next batch of questions takes an unexpected turn, and the implications here are pretty weird:
This brings us to the next batch of questions, which... jeez, have fun fielding these ones teachers and librarians:
OK, this book was made in England during the Cold War (if you're under twenty, go download the "Songs from the Big Chair" album if you don't understand the mindset at work here; but download it anyway because it is awesome). Still, WTF?!
And then, it gets worse:
"No! I must model the monsters!" Trish shouted.
The book said, "No, Trish. YOU are the monsters."
And then Trish was a Bastard.
Lest you think this is as weird and dark as Model a Monster gets, it is time for a little story! This is what was chosen to be on the very last page of the book. Enjoy. I'm sure all the little kids who just wanted a book about making model dinosaurs did:
We need something to laugh at after all those vast, galloping herds of Nightmare Fuel. So next, I'll review a notoriously strange dinosaur book from way back in 1979 by a fellow New Englander. What could it be???
Art of the day! Consider this a teaser for that upcoming book. It's actually pretty remarkable how spot-on my memories of it were: