Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Good Scare

My first experience with the joy of scaring came unexpectedly when I was about 12 years old. I had been sent outside in the dark of night to fetch something for my mother. In the dark I believe in scary spooks, ghosts, goblins and the formidable Bloody Mary. So I quickly grabbed what I needed, ran to the door and slammed it shut behind me.

My dad was just inside the door. The terrified look on my face and the unexpected slamming startled Dad. He screamed and jumped. The hairs on his head were completely on end. I was already horrified by the prospect of Bloody Mary scratching my face off, so his loud hollering startled me anew and I bellowed, "Ahhhhh!!!!". Well, Dad didn't expect me to scream in response to HIS scream so he jumped and screamed a SECOND time. We stared into each other's eyes both pale and confused. We could then do nothing but collapse in a heap. We laughed without reserve for an hour. It is still one of our favorite subjects to laugh about.

My husband thinks scaring is the best form of comedy. I prefer literary wit, which makes me sound snooty. I suppose I am snooty. Whatever. My rough-neck husband enjoys the element of surprise. I have to admit the concept has grown on me.

For the first few years of our marriage I was terrified to turn a dark corner or open a closet if I had not seen my spouse recently for without fail he would be waiting silently in the dark to jump out and "WAAAHAAAHAHA!!!". And of course (even though I was semi-prepared) I would convulse with fear and scream with wide-eyed surprise.

Sometimes I would not be prepared at all. For instance, once when in the shower with suds in my eyes an enormous hand suddenly reached in and roughly goosed my nude hiney which was accompanied by loud "BOO!".

"AHHHH! I'll kill you!" I threatened. He couldn't hear my shouts for being doubled over with fits of uncontrolled laughter.

A couple years ago I decided to fight back. After a large leisurely Sunday meal my husband looked so at ease. He rubbed his full belly and sauntered over to the ol' water closet with a magazine and a terrible joke about "dropping the Cosby's off at the pool". I bid ed my time and waited until I was sure he had settled in.

I quietly approached the bathroom door. I could hear him clear his throat and the sound of rustling pages. I suddenly raised my fists to the door and banged with all the energy of my soul. I accompanied the pounding with a loud, "AHAAAAA!!!". What I heard coming from the other side of that door was sheer chaos. The rustling magazine hit the floor and it sounded as though my victim had been dethroned. I heard him utter a few choice expletives. Then I could hear nothing but my own laughter.

You know how people write ROFLMAO? It means "rolling on floor laughing my a#$ off". I don't think anybody that texts or types the acronym is actually rolling on the floor... But I'll tell you right now, I was literally ROFLMAO! (I mean, I guess my hind quarters are still attached so I didn't laugh them OFF but the rest is true.)

I had such a grand time breaking the all time scare record I decided to try it on my children. So the next day when little Tyson came around the corner all wide-eyed and unsuspecting with his "mama can I have a cookie?" expression, I jumped out in front of him like a lunatic escaped from the bin. "RAAAAAA!!!!" The look of sheer terror and surprise is something that delights me to this day. His green eyes were huge and his little mouth opened in a blood curdling scream all the while his tiny body shook with confused fear. When he settled down and saw his sweet mama laughing like a rabid hyena he began to cry. I cried too. Tears of joy and laughter. I held him close and we cried together. It was a beautiful moment for us. One I'll always treasure.

I got brave and thought I'd try scaring Big Poppa again (he likes it when I call him Big Poppa...). A goose for a goose, I thought. He did not know I was in the house. I slowly crept up to the shower and peeked around the corner only to be met with a fist the size of a boxing glove an inch from my nose. I went white and had a strong urge to relieve myself on the spot.

"I thought you were someone breaking in the house," he said. "I was ready to break your nose." Noooooo! Not the faaaccce! Anything but the face!

After that experience I had sworn off scaring, but today my brother-in-law and recent roomie lay in wait for me behind boxes in the garage... It's war!

Let The Wild Rumpus Start!