Short Story: Taming The Hulk

ShortbreadKaren CantwellShort Stories › Taming The Hulk

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About this Short Story

Written by
Karen Cantwell


Frazzled soccer mom, Barbara Marr, deals with the stress of parenting in the modern age.


  • 2954 Words
  • 33 Comments
  • 80% Community Rating
  • 15023 Views

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Mothers can relate to The Incredible Hulk.

We all have those gentle Bruce Banner moments where our lives, and children, are calm, enriching and fulfilling. Birds sing on our shoulder while we bake cookies and our well-mannered kids sip lemonade on the front porch. Life is good.

On the flip side are the moments that initiate the Hulk sequence. Kids fight over the remote control while the dog relieves himself on the new carpet. Simultaneously, the brutal rainstorm outside reveals more holes in the already-leaky-roof and little Johnny’s teacher is calling to ask why he hasn’t turned in any homework for two months. Mothers lose control during those darker moments and the thrashing green monster is unleashed. It’s not a pretty sight, but it happens to the best of us. In fact, if any mother ever tells you she’s never had a Hulk moment – she’s lying.

My name is Barbara Marr and I am a mother who understands the Hulk phenomenon. I…

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Red Barn said "Taming the Hulk was not only an absolute blast to record with the very talented Annie Bottoms, the story was captivating and a joy to listen to. A story that every mother these days will relate to, particularly during the rush and bustle of the holiday season. "
6 years ago
Kirsty Riddiford Guest Editor said "This was a lovely, warm, enjoyable story. I didn't want any interruptions until I had reached the end! It was well written with a good pace, and most of all, it made my cynical self go all mushy inside (I love cheese balls too ...). 'Taming the Hulk' should be compulsory reading for all pushy, competitive mothers the world over!"
7 years ago

Sandy Wardrope said "Hi Karen, I've just came across this smashing little story-of how life should be and how to work on the really important things, like you and your kids. Years ago I was in the same sort of mould,stressed. Then one day I woke, i ditched my watch turned the calender face down and said lets go and get lost. It worked. Still doing it. Your tale was easy to read, fast moving and enlightening. It contained great dialogue with nary a wasted word. Well done, all the best. Yours Sandy W."
4 years ago
Ozzi Codeofthedevil said "really nice., it's great., :D i love it."
5 years ago
Mohammad Alawneh said "nice :) thanks"
5 years ago
Sherehan Al Taweel said "this was a very nice story. I loved it. it made my day. Thank you"
5 years ago
Alexandra Gray said "Oh this is so true to life it could work as a piece in a parenting magazine! Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the small stuff in life, great story, great read."
6 years ago
Melford Maderazo Guest Editor said "This was great! Many thanks!"
6 years ago
Peter Parkin said "Read this late on a Friday evening whilst sitting waiting for my rather nervous and demanding granddaughter to go to sleep. A step back from a given situation is frequently a difficult step to take but when taken boldly it has the capacity to destroy idols and to restore balance. Thank you. Great story! Cheese balls for all - Hurrah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
6 years ago
Maysam Kandej said "Wonderful ... Lovely ... and amazing story it is ... I do love it ... Good mother, good father, and lovely children! That's it ... A family :) Thank you dear Karen!"
6 years ago
Gordon Forrest said "Everybody should have a backyard like yours including English people. Nodrog."
6 years ago
Lucille Joyner said "Karen Cantwell is not only a superb writer, she is a superb humorist. Her observations are so accurate, she can direct her writing in any direction she chooses and be tops in each one. She's like a human camera that takes an accurate picture of each character and of each situation."
6 years ago
Jeanne Quigley said "Even though my four kids are now adults, I still loved this story. Nothing like a moral to keep everyone on their toes. And how right this moral is. I like the way the story is written, we get a good glimpse into the characters of the mother and children. I read it online but intend to listen as well. By the way, we don't have cheese balls in Ireland - it'd be Tayto crisps!"
6 years ago
Ginny Swart Guest Editor said "What a super story! Every mom can relate to The Hulk and every mom should take notes from this one!"
6 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "A great choice for the Friday Story - I loved this when I first read it, I think it carries a very important message but is great reading also - Thanks - Diane"
6 years ago
David Wardrop said "This story is a lot of fun."
6 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "Well I can't look a cheese ball in the face since a very drunken occasion some years ago but after reading this maybe I'll let them into the house again. A lovely story with a timely reminder to stop and smell those roses and count the stars. - Super - Thanks - Diane"
6 years ago
Rod Valen said "The simple trings of life as a simple story W"
7 years ago
Evelyn Hunter said "Well written and nicely narrated. A wonderful story that almost dares mothers everywhere to rethink today's social parenting pressures. Oh how simple life would be if we would only allow it."
7 years ago
Marie Marshall said "Frankly she should've gone and popped a cap in the ass of the lady from Schmenk Schmenk and Yang. There's not a jury that woulda convicted her! :-D"
7 years ago
Mark Patrick said "Hi Karen, being a connoisseur of Cheez Balls, this story tasted very good. Had the perfect ingredients to conjure up memories of home. You should submit this story for the Hometown Tales competition. Thanks"
7 years ago
Lucy Goldsborough said "A beautiful, funny, realistic and poignant story. It made me smile, laugh and cry just a little bit. I look forward to reading more!"
7 years ago
Brendan Byrnes said "Great fun and terrifically read! Congrats to both Karen Cantwell and Anne Marie Bottoms."
7 years ago
Dorothy Spruzen said "Every helicopter mom should read this! Charming on the surface, but serious where it counts."
7 years ago
Maurice Fraunfelder said "This is wonderful! We laughed and sometimes "cried for happy". While it is light and funny entertainment, it is also a serious lesson for "all pushy, competitive mothers the world over" to quote Kirsty's Editor's Review. We are so very proud of The Author, and anxiously await what is next -- Karen's totally objective parents. ;-)"
7 years ago
Lb Gschwandtner said "What a great way to absorb a short story. Well done by writer & reader!"
7 years ago
Ronnell Porter said "Great writing made vivid by an exponentially talented actress made this fun story enjoyable!"
7 years ago
Karen Cantwell said "Thank you so much everyone for the kind comments - I really am so glad people are finding it entertaining and even a little mushy inside! :-) And thank you to Short Bread Stories for putting it in audio format. I'm tingly all over!"
7 years ago
Terry Collett said "Held me all through. Good story and well written."
8 years ago
Karen Cantwell replied saying "I appreciate the compliment, Terry! I'm writing another Barbara Marr short story right now, actually."
8 years ago
Robert Edward McAllister said "That's a great story. I havent actually experienced cheese balls - I like in the UK but they sound amazing. This story is even more amazing. The dialogue works really nicely and the kids all have good voices (even if it's hard to tell one from the other - I'm sure alot of parents have the same problem with their kids) and its just an easy going story, which are rare for me among the madness, death and torture. Thanks very much."
8 years ago
Sarah Hinkle said "Great story. It was well written and spot-on."
8 years ago
Susan Donim said "Brilliant - A really great story for any mother out there who is feeling frazzled! Wonderfully written, had me hooked from the beginning. And as someone who is often close to erupting into the Hulk, it was very refreshing to read! "
8 years ago

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