Jack & Jill Went… and Caught Hepatitis


A preventable tragedy, really. Jack and his sister, Jill could certainly not be blamed. Neither their parents. After all, they were only trying to provide the very best for their children. The best the developers had to offer. The best the Hills could afford.

Unlike their next door neighbours, the Grimms, who could afford private everything for both Hansel and Gretel; therapists, trainers, mod-cons, en suits, the Hills turned to the newest design solution for that age old challenge of giving each child their own bathroom. Not just a shared bath, a bath accessible from each child’s room and, importantly, NOT from any hall-ways. The hope was that this bathroom arrangement would give their children the same sense of self esteem a private en suit would – without the need to repeat toilet and tub.

In that respect the plan worked as neither Jack nor Jill showed any resentment or envy toward Hansel or Gretel for having their own private bathrooms.

There were minor altercations over how long Jack spent alone in the bath, but his parents understood that jack was coming to that particular age when boys were best left alone and un-questioned during “personal times”.

Ms. Süßigkeithaus across the way had her own opinions about these new fangled arrangements for children. “Indulgent” she called them. “A sure way to spoil an entire generation of kiddies”. The Hills were not bothered so much by Mrs. Süßigkeithaus’s opinions. She had, after all, no children of her own and they had learned to trust their instincts when it came to suspicious spinsters. They knew, somehow, that she was not to be trusted with children and quite possibly meant them harm, despite the enticing assortment of candy cladding her tiny house.

Tragedy does tend to revisit the screen of the crime. And so it was for the Hills. It wasn’t enough, that heart-breaking tumble leaving poor Jack with a devastating head injury, not to mention little Jill’s multiple fractures.The new house was to be their new start.

The Hill’s were very rigorous about hygiene with their children and no one could say that their personal habits were the problem. No, it was that new house, or more specifically the seemingly sophisticated arrangement of the children’s shared bath.

Jack, with puberty rapidly taking him over quite rightly insisted on total privacy while attending to his toiletisms. He closed and locked both doors to the shared toilet/tub area. A reasonable course of action except that this meant having to open a door before reaching his sink (where he always diligently washed his hands).

One touch of that door handle was all it took. Soon, Jill, attempting to borrow her brother’s pail by sneaking through his vanity, came in contact with the perilous contaminant, followed by Mrs Hill. Each became devastatingly ill, eventually ending up in hospital.

All alone in the new house it was decided that Mr Hill would require the services of their maid, Mrs. Spratt, full time. But eventually the maid herself fell ill and with her massive weight and terribly unhealthy diet, Mrs. Spratt succumbed.

The Hills have since knocked down walls and made one large bathroom with sinks directly beside the toilet. Jack and Jill are quite content with this more old-fashioned arrangement. The family was approached to go public with their deadly encounter with Hepatitis but they had had their fill of media attention after their children’s now infamous tumble down the hill.

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