ABBOTSFORD, BC — Father-of-two Allen Marks was caught off-guard when he found himself suddenly gripped by white-knuckled horror while taking his children, Angie and Michelle, back-to-school shopping.
The incident occurred shortly after the family entered the stationary aisle of their local dollar store and came upon a shelf of three-ring binders.
Onlookers report seeing Marks grow very pale as younger daughter Michelle began playing with the locking mechanism of an open binder until the two sides of the ring suddenly snapped together with, what seemed to Marks, a terrible amount of force.
Delighted by the sound, the two girls started rapidly opening and closing numerous looseleaf binders. Each crack of their 2.5” metal rings sent lightning surging through the part of Marks’ brain responsible for his basal fear response.
Desperately trying to shake the mental image of two metallic pincers pinching into his warm flesh, a visibly-shaken Marks steadied his breathing and pointed out some nearby duotangs as an alternative.
“Oh wow! Th-these look like they’re having a lot of fun. So colourful. Girls, wh-what if we got these instead?” pleaded Marks, barely able to hear the words over his thundering heartbeat.
“No daddy, those are for babies!” sang back daughter Michelle, unbowed. “Mrs. Robichaud said we need binders for grade 4!”
“Yeah, we need binders! Roar!” echoed Angie, now flapping a binder’s covers open and shut in a hideous pantomime of two enormous jaws closing on his throat, imagined Marks.
“Alright girls, you can each get one. We still have to get your school clothes, so hurry along,” directed Marks, his own surging adrenaline screaming at him to “flee, flee now you fool!”
At press time, Marks had abandoned his two children in a dead sprint after hearing eldest Angie say, “Daddy, look at my pretty earrings!” and turning around to see a binder pinched onto each of her earlobes.