You have 'til the count of three to come down from that coffee table, mister. What happens at three is a mystery to you. I could spank you, I suppose. Three swift smacks to the bottom, you run crying to your room, and ten minutes later you've forgotten everything that happened. Feel lucky if you are spanked. You won't get spanked, though. Perhaps something telekinetic happens at three. Do you know that word, telekinetic? It means that Santa might find out you've been bad and you'll receive inferior toys for Christmas. Orphanage toys. You know, board games that involve spelling, things carved out of wood, yo-yo's. No Nintendo Wii after three, one might say.

Now consider this: What if someone you love is directly affected by your actions? Imagine standing on the coffee table, then, without warning, Snuffleupagus decides to sit on Big Bird's head. His cranium collapses and confetti flies everywhere, because puppets have confetti instead of brains. Wouldn't that be a shame? Kevy Wevy is too stubborn to come down from the table and, well, bye bye birdie. Gordon will be crying, Grover will be crying, Telly will be crying. Guy Smiley will choke back tears while delivering the report on their preposterous puppet news show. All will be sad. Will people want to be your friend when you go back to school on Monday? Hardly. Where will your little mutinous spirit be when you have to play with the leg brace kid at recess?

Perhaps the punishment will be a psychological thing. Hearing that word, that execrable number—three, three, three—it will be hell, it will be anguish and bereavement and torture. Your Play-Doh sculptures will grow dark and hostile, you'll cut your ear off, contract syphilis, day will become night and vice versa, and your suntan will suffer immensely. Leg brace kid will pretend he doesn't know you, and you'll spend your recesses eating dandelions like a farm animal. Does this scare you yet? Are the calluses softening, Kevy Wevy?

Say nothing happens. I get to three, feel some fatherly sympathy and you leave a free man. Wouldn't that be something? Who's to say the discipline is immediate, though? For all we know, three is a patient and vengeful number. You may not remember three, but three will remember you. You'll be ten monsters deep in an imagination session when alluva sudden BAM SLASH BOOM! You don't know what hit ya, but you're twitching on the ground and you can't breathe and you're too young to articulate prayers, so you slowly fade into a deep, deep sleep, and you don't wake until well after dinner. Dessert comes and goes, yet Kevy Wevy is passed out on three. What a waste of pudding.

I'll tell you what, Kevin, I'll do ya a solid. I'll count slowly for you. You know the gravity of your decision, but maybe you still need to mull it over. Breathe deep, child. Here I go. ONE! That's not so bad, is it? One is friendly, one is cautionary. It's a detour sign redirecting you so don't get lost. I can think of another number, though, that isn't so—TWO! Oh yeah, now Kevy Wevy's feeling it, it's burning, you're petrified. You're probably urinating on yourself as we speak. This is it. This is the halleluiah moment where you see the light but feel the flames biting at your heels. Come on, Kevin, come on! Here…it…goes…THREE! No video games for a week.