Childhood Story: Orange Pants & The Purple Villain

published Jun 27, 2022
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Credit: Oliver Ryan
The original Orange Pants that I wore as a child after which my father created the character. My mother later had them framed and gave them to him as a present. :)

You mentioned that your father told you Orange Pants stories when you were a kid. What were they like and will you share one?

Debra N.

Dear Debra,

Flattery will get you everywhere :). Of course, I’d love to share the story and thanks for asking. I’ve never written one down before. My father would make them up as he put us to bed and then later on I made them up and told them to my first through third graders at nap time when I was a teacher. These stories are really meant to be told with funny voices and you can make them up as you go filling in the details, because the beginning and ending is always the same: Orange Pants wakes up and heads to school, he always gets captured by the Purple Villain, and he always gets sent to bed without this dinner because no one believes him. Here’s one for you. Enjoy!

Orange Pants & The Purple Villain

It was just last week, I know – because he told me – that Orange Pants got up and jumped out of bed, gave a big loud yawn, that woke up his little sister next door and went to put on his orange pants. He ONLY wore bright orange corduroy trousers that went up over his shoulders and clipped in front. He had some with patches on them and some that were faded, but also one pair that was bright and new. On this particular day he reached down to the bottom of the pile and pulled up his favorite, softest pair that had a patch on each knee and smelled good, because his mom always put bars of scented soap in everyone’s drawers. 

Running downstairs to the kitchen he slid into the kitchen table, pulled his sister’s hair, who shouted “Stop, you beast!” and asked his mother what was for breakfast. Orange Pants actually really liked his sister, Carmine, but sometimes he couldn’t help it. Then his father walked in and he said, “Good morning, Daddy-O!” This always drove his father crazy… 

“Don’t call me Daddy-O!” his father replied, to which Orange Pants said, “Okay, Daddy-O.” 

“I said, don’t call me Daddy-O!” said his father again.. 

“Okay, I will never do it again….. Daddy-O.” This could go on for some time.

“Aaargh!” said his dad, finally giving up, and burying his face in his newspaper. 

When breakfast was done, Carmine and Orange Pants cleared their bowls, found their lunch boxes and helped their mother assemble their lunch for school. It was a lovely spring day outside, and as Orange Pants said goodbye to his mother and father, “Goodbye, Daddy-O.”

“Aaaarrgh! Now listen Orange Pants, I want you to go straight to school and no FUNNY BUSINESS. Do you understand me!?” 

“Yes, sir, Daddy-O!” and off he ran down the steps to catch up with his sister who was already halfway to the bus stop. 

Now the truth is that the reason Orange Pants’ father said what he did was that he always seemed to get into trouble, even though it was never his fault, but his father would never believe him… BUT Orange Pants did have a habit of taking the long way to school. 

At the bus stop he said goodbye to his sister and decided to walk. The main reason was because he wanted to take a good look at the construction site for the new building that was going up down the street.

The construction site was going full tilt when he got there. There were workers in yellow hard hats all over the place, trucks going in and out and big cement mixers waiting in a line to drive down into the hole to pour the foundation. As Orange Pants dawdled by the opening to the site and watched all the activity, he didn’t notice that there was a tall crane with a big bucket rolling towards him. 

All of a sudden the bucket dropped down and opened up, scooping him up and hoisting him high into the sky. Then he heard the dreadful voice of his arch enemy, the Purple Villain!

“Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Oh Orange Pants I’ve got you now! I’ve been waiting all morning and knew you wouldn’t go straight to school. Ha, ha! You’ll never get away now!” 

And with that, the crane rolled faster and faster up out of the building site, down the street, into the woods, on and on, all the way north to the Purple Villain’s hideout. 

“Oh, no!” cried Orange Pants, “I’m in deep trouble now, and I should have taken the bus to school with Carmine. I’ll never get away from the Purple Villain this time.” Hanging onto the huge metal bucket, Orange Pants stared out at the country passing far below him. From his town into the woods, the trees got bigger and bigger until at last they were so far north he could feel the cold and the great bucket came down right in the yard of the Purple Villain’s home in the woods, which he shared with his wife, Nasty Nelly. 

“Oh Nasty Nelly!” Shouted the Purple Villain, as he grabbed Orange Pants by the back of his corduroy trousers and held him up for her to see. “Look what I’ve brought back for dinner!” 

“Oh Sweetie, what a treat,” said Nasty Nelly as she came running out of the cottage, “You’ve caught that naughtly little boy again and we’re going to have a great feast tonight. I’ll start the water boiling to make Orange Pants stew!” 

“Yes, yes!,” cried the Purple VIllain,”it’s going to be the best Orange Pants stew ever and I’m going to invite all our friends right now to join us.”

Carrying Orange Pants into the house, the Purple Villain hung him in a closet by the rear straps of his pants and he was stuck there unable to get down. When he closed the door, Orange Pants could hear them both cackling in the kitchen, and he could hear Nasty Nelly turning up the stove and the sound of gas. Then he heard the Purple Villain dialing his phone and calling his friends…

“Ring-ring, Ring-ring” the phone sounded… 

“Hey, Snake Eyes, it’s me, The Purple Villain, and I want you to come to dinner. Guess what we’re cooking up?? Yes, that’s right! Orange Pants stew. Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.” 

Snake Eyes Magursky was on his way.. 

Then he called the Horrible Clam Eater, The Galloping Garumphkins, Sam the Thief, The Giant Thrasher, and Slimy Squid and a whole host of the worst and meanest creatures and beings in the world.. But of course, The Purple Villain loved them all and they all loved coming over to his house for big dinners. 

It wasn’t long before you could hear the dull roar of footsteps in the distance. The Galloping Garumphkins, just by himself, was two hundred feet tall! 

“Oh no! Oh no!” Wailed Orange Pants in his closet, “What am I going to do??? I’m really in trouble now and I should have listened to my father and gone straight to school. How will I ever escape?” 

Just at that moment, there was a quick knock on the window right by his side, and outside he could see the smiling face of his friend Leprechaun Joe. 

“Open the window!” He said to Orange Pants. “There’s a lever right to your right. Turn it!” 

Orange Pants did as he was told and right away Leprechaun Joe grabbed him off the hook he was hanging from and pulled him onto his magic carpet hovering outside the window. 

“Now, hold on! I’m going to get you out of here.” 

Up they rose over the roof and just in the nick of time. As Orange Pants looked down he could see the Purple Villain and Nasty Nelly running out into the yard screaming as huge creatures came crashing through the forest coming towards the house. 

“He’s getting away!” Yelled the Purple Villain.

“I’m so sad I can’t make Orange Pants stew!” Wailed Nasty Nelly, “Why didn’t you lock him up better you idiot?” 

Then The Purple Villain and his wife got into a big fight right there in their front yard with her hitting him over the head with a wooden spoon as all their friends started arriving for dinner. 

Off they flew, far up into the sky, with Leprechaun Joe saying how lovely it was to see him again and how he’d heard Orange Pants yelling and just KNEW that it must be the Purple Villain at work again. Orange Pants thanked his friend profusely and said he must certainly come for dinner at his house some time. 

Down they glided over Orange Pants’ school where all the children had long gotten out, past the building site that was now quiet, and over to the front yard right in front of his house. 

“Thanks again, Leprechaun Joe. I really owe my life to you for saving me this time.” 

“Anytime, my dear friend, and have a good night!” Off Leprechaun Joe flew on his magic carpet, the tassels gently waving in the breeze. 

“Orange Pants! Where have you been?” It was his father, standing on the porch looking very mad. 

Orange Pants ran up to him and started talking really fast about the Purple Villain and the big crane that scooped him up and then being taken away up North to be cooked up into soup by Nasty Nelly… and then the Horrible Clam eater and Leprechaun Joe saving him at the last minute… 

“Orange Pants, stop telling stories and you go straight to bed without any dinner! Do you hear me?” 

“Yes, sir, Daddy-O!” He said, and dashed up the steps and into the house. 

Sometimes he just couldn’t help himself. 

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Maxwell Ryan is a father and was an elementary school teacher in NYC before founding Apartment Therapy. He’d love to answer your question: This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.

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